Art and Lesiure in Ancient Pompeii

Essay by swarnamaliHigh School, 10th grade March 2010

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Downloaded 1402 times

Pompeii is a partially buried Roman city near the modern day Naples in the Italy. It is situated in the region of Campania, in the territory of the contemporary town of Pompei. Along with nearby Herculaneum, its sister city, Pompeii was completely buried under a 20 metre layer of ash and pumice during the long catastrophic eruption of the infamous Volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning two days in August 79AD. In 1748 the Ancient city of Pompeii was discovered by accident and recent excavation has shown the city (in ancient times) to have been a vibrant cultural city in Southern Italy.

Art in the ancient city of PompeiiArt was a very important element in ancient Pompeii. This aspect can be seen throughout all aspects of the Pompeian culture, as art was integrated into daily life. Just from the countless amount of artworks and frescoes uncovered from the remains of Ancient Pompeii, Easily, we can assume that art was part of the people of Pompeii's lives, whether it was a simple decoration, an important structure of their homes, or of cultural, or religious significance.

Obviously there were no available documentation methods that exist today like camera's, so the only way to capture a moment would to be to have it painted down as a cultural artefact.

The people of Pompeii had a cultured lifestyle, there were luxuries that their society took pride in. The area of Pompeii was actually where many wealthy and prosperous Romans had holiday villas.

Religious artReligion was a very important characteristic of ancient Pompeian art. By means of paintings and sculptures ancient Pompeian artists could creatively express their own attitudes and sacred, spiritual beliefs.

The belief of the gods and other customs were an important part of being Pompeian. From uncovered paintings, we can observe that many of the artworks discovered depicted the ancient Roman gods and goddesses.

Something else that was religiously significant to the ancient citizens of Pompeii was the Lararia. The Lararia ranged from being small paintings to elaborate shrines, usually in every Pompeian household and shop as a place of worship. The Lararium in the House of Vettii shows the genius- which is the head of the household and is represented by a male, and the snake below representing guardian spirits of the family.

Artwork of the GodsApolloApollo is the roman god of the sun. He is the god of music and poetry. Pompeian's were involved with law and politics and Apollo was associated with law, philosophy and the arts. He was a very important god and what he stood for highly influenced ancient Roman society.

VenusVenus is the Roman goddess of love. Pompeians have a lot of faith in love and their populace was one where there was courtship and marriage.

In the house of Venus there is a famous fresco depicting the goddess resting in a seashell being guided through the sea by angels. It is very similar to the painting by Botticelli. This fresco indicated that the Pompeian's had strong beliefs in Venus and love .There was also graffiti found a t the House of Pinarius, stating ," If anyone does not believe in Venus, they should gaze at my girl friend"Hercules (Greek: Herakles)The legendary Roman god Hercules had several paintings, sculptures and frescoes devoted to him. A series of artworks of Hercules that were found at Herculaneum's basilica, you could see the importance and influence of religion in politics as Hercules represented power and strength.

Every notable structure in ancient Pompeii had special architectural designs. Countless, including the famous villa of Mysteries had frescoes, sculptures and designs carved into pillars. Most of these were religiously established, sculptures andportrayed the ancient Roman deities in intricate designs.

LeisurePublic Bath HousesVarious Leisurely amenities had sophisticated artistic decorations, including a very renowned place were the Pompeian's spent their time at: Baths.

With ancient Hellenistic and Latin influences, the populace of Ancient Pompeii took pleasure from daily baths. Baths ranged from small private baths to enormous facilities run which were by the Roman Government. These baths covered a few blocks of land. Bath houses also included luxuries like work out rooms and even outdoor pools.

The changing rooms in particular had very beautiful designs.

Ancient Graffiti by anonymously writted, discovered in Pompeii ruins stated, "Baths, win and sex corrupt our bodies but make our lives worth living."AuditoriumA pre-colosseum stone Amphitheatre recently excavated from the Pompeii ruins was the first known structure of its kind in Italy, archaeologists date the stone arena back to around 70-80BC. This privately built stadium housed approximately 20,000 spectators. It was noted for its extremely high attendance and popular games including Gladiator vs. Gladiator and also Gladiator battling an animal. The games symbolized admiration and honour for the winner and shame and embarrassment for the defeated. Gladiatorial games were so popular that there were courts of the gladiators. They were initially for guests but later became barracks and served for many things including practice. The gladiators also lived nearby in cells.

The popularity of the amphitheatre resulted in the two owners becoming magistrates.

Bibliography"Pompeii Art and Architecture Gallery", [2009] ,BBC,"Roman Baths and Bathing", [2003], Vroma,"A Day in Pompeii", [2009], Museum Victoria,"Arcane History", [2009], Arcane,"Ancient City of PompeiiArcaded Court of the Gladiators, Amphitheatre,and the Necropolis at Nocera", [2006], Mr.Sedivy,"Monuments of Ancient Pompeii", [2009], Pompeii Tours, Tingay Badcock,J. (1972), These Were The Romans, Hulton Publications, West SussexJ Patrick Greene, Alfredro and Pio Foglia and William Starling,(2009) A Day in Pompeii