Zeus is the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religion, who rules as king of the gods of Mount Olympus. His name is cognate with the first element of his Roman equivalent Jupiter, his mythologies and powers are similar, though not identical, to those of Indo-European deities such as Jupiter, Perkūnas, Perun and Thor. Zeus is the child of Cronus and Rhea, the youngest of his siblings to be born, though sometimes reckoned the eldest as the others required disgorging from Cronus's stomach. In most traditions, he is married to Hera, by whom he is said to have fathered Ares and Hephaestus. At the oracle of Dodona, his consort was said to be Dione, by whom the Iliad states that he fathered Aphrodite. Zeus was infamous for his erotic escapades; these resulted in many divine and heroic offspring, including Athena, Artemis, Persephone, Perseus, Helen of Troy and the Muses. He was respected as an allfather, chief of the gods and assigned the others to their roles: "Even the gods who are not his natural children address him as Father, all the gods rise in his presence."
He was equated with many foreign weather gods, permitting Pausanias to observe "That Zeus is king in heaven is a saying common to all men". Zeus' symbols are the thunderbolt, eagle and oak. In addition to his Indo-European inheritance, the classical "cloud-gatherer" derives certain iconographic traits from the cultures of the ancient Near East, such as the scepter. Zeus is depicted by Greek artists in one of two poses: standing, striding forward with a thunderbolt leveled in his raised right hand, or seated in majesty; the god's name in the nominative is Ζεύς. It is inflected as follows: vocative: Ζεῦ. Diogenes Laërtius quotes Pherecydes of Syros as spelling the name, Ζάς. Zeus is the Greek continuation of *Di̯ēus, the name of the Proto-Indo-European god of the daytime sky called *Dyeus ph2tēr; the god is known under this name in the Rigveda, deriving from the root *dyeu-. Zeus is the only deity in the Olympic pantheon whose name has such a transparent Indo-European etymology; the earliest attested forms of the name are the Mycenaean Greek, di-we and, di-wo, written in the Linear B syllabic script.
Plato, in his Cratylus, gives a folk etymology of Zeus meaning "cause of life always to all things," because of puns between alternate titles of Zeus with the Greek words for life and "because of." This etymology, along with Plato's entire method of deriving etymologies, is not supported by modern scholarship. Cronus sired several children by Rhea: Hestia, Hera and Poseidon, but swallowed them all as soon as they were born, since he had learned from Gaia and Uranus that he was destined to be overthrown by his son as he had overthrown Uranus, his own father, an oracle that Rhea heard and wished to avert; when Zeus was about to be born, Rhea sought Gaia to devise a plan to save him, so that Cronus would get his retribution for his acts against Uranus and his own children. Rhea gave birth to Zeus in Crete, handing Cronus a rock wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he promptly swallowed. Varying versions of the story exist: According to Hyginus ) Zeus was raised by a nymph named Amalthea. Since Saturn ruled over the Earth, the heavens and the sea, she hid him by dangling him on a rope from a tree so he was suspended between earth and sky and thus, invisible to his father.
According to Pseudo-Apollodorus ) Zeus was raised by a goat named Amalthea in a cave called Dictaeon Antron. A a company of soldiers called Kouretes danced and clashed their spears against their shields so that Cronus would not hear the baby's cry. After reaching manhood, Zeus forced Cronus to disgorge first the stone his siblings in reverse order of swallowing. In some versions, Metis gave Cronus an emetic to force him to disgorge the babies, or Zeus cut Cronus's stomach open. Zeus released the brothers of Cronus, the Hecatonchires and the Cyclopes, from their dungeon in Tartarus, killing their guard, Campe; as a token of their appreciation, the Cyclopes gave him thunder and the thunderbolt, or lightning, hidden by Gaia. Together, his brothers and sisters and Cyclopes overthrew Cronus and the other Titans, in the combat called the Titanomachy; the defeated Titans were cast into a shadowy underworld region known as Tartarus. Atlas, one of the titans who fought against Zeus, was punished by having to hold up the sky.
After the battle with the Titans, Zeus shared the world with his elder brothers and Hades, by drawing lots: Zeus got the sky and air, Poseidon the waters, Hades the world of the dead. The ancient Earth, could not be claimed. Gaia resented. Soon after taking the throne as king of the gods, Zeus had to fight some of Gaia's other children, the monsters Typhon and Echidna, he left Echidna and her children alive. When Zeus was atop Mount Olympus he was appalled by human sac
A triclinium is a formal dining room in a Roman building. The word is adopted from the Greek τρικλίνιον, from τρι-, tri-, "three", κλίνη, klinē, a sort of "couch" or rather chaise longue; each couch was sized to accommodate a diner who reclined on their left side on cushions while some household slaves served multiple courses rushed out of the culina, or kitchen, others entertained guests with music, song, or dance. The triclinium was characterized by three klinai on three sides of a low square table, whose surfaces sloped away from the table at about 10 degrees. Diners would recline on these surfaces in a semi-recumbent position; the fourth side of the table was left free to allow service to the table. The open side faced the entrance of the room. In Roman-era dwellings wealthy ones, triclinia were common and the hosts and guest would recline on pillows while feasting; the Museum of Archeology in Arezzo, Italy, or the House of Caro in Pompeii offer what are thought to be accurate reconstructions of triclinia.
The custom of using klinai while taking a meal rather than sitting became popular among the Greeks in the early seventh century BC. From here it spread to their colonies in southern Italy and was adopted by the Etruscans. In contrast to the Greek tradition of allowing only male guests into the formal dining room, called andrōn, while everyday meals were taken with the rest of the family in the oikos, the Etruscans seem to not have restricted the use of the klinē to the male gender; the Romans may have seen the first dining klinai as used by the Etruscans but may have refined the practice when they came to closer contact with the Greek culture. Dining was the defining ritual in Roman domestic life, lasting from late afternoon through late at night. 9–20 guests were invited, arranged in a prescribed seating order to emphasize divisions in status and relative closeness to the dominus. As static, privileged space, dining rooms received elaborate decoration, with complex perspective scenes and central paintings.
Dionysus and still lifes of food were popular, for obvious reasons. Middle class and elite Roman houses had at least two triclinia. Here, the triclinium maius would be used for larger dinner parties, which would include many clients of the owner. Smaller triclinia would be used with a more exclusive set of guests. Hence their decoration was at least as elaborate as that found in larger triclinia; as in the larger triclinia, wine and love were always popular themes. However, because of their association with patronage and because dining entertainment included recitation of high-brow literature like epics, dining rooms could feature more "serious" themes; as in many houses in Pompeii, here the smaller dining room forms a suite with the adjoining cubiculum and bath. Accubita Cyzicene hall Stibadium Triclinium Galleries and plans of Roman triclinia
Blond or fair hair is a hair color characterized by low levels of the dark pigment eumelanin. The resultant visible hue always has some yellowish color; the color can be from the pale blond to reddish "strawberry" blond or golden-brownish blond colors. Because hair color tends to darken with age, natural blond hair is very rare in adulthood. Naturally-occurring blond hair is found in populations of northern European descent and is believed to have evolved to enable more efficient synthesis of vitamin D, due to northern Europe's lower levels of sunlight. Blond hair has developed in other populations, although it is not as common, can be found among natives of the Solomon Islands and Fiji, among the Berbers of North Africa, among some Asians. In Western culture, blond hair has long been associated with female beauty. Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, was reputed to have blond hair. In ancient Greece and Rome, blond hair was associated with prostitutes, who dyed their hair using saffron dyes in order to attract customers.
The Greeks stereotyped Thracians and slaves as blond and the Romans associated blondness with the Celts and the Germans to the north. In western Europe during the Middle Ages, blond hair was idealized as the paragon of female beauty; the Norse goddess Sif and the medieval heroine Iseult were both portrayed as blond and, in medieval artwork, Mary Magdalene, the Virgin Mary are shown with blond hair. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, scientific racists categorized blond hair and blue eyes as characteristics of the supreme Nordic race. In contemporary western culture, blonde women are negatively stereotyped as sexually attractive, but unintelligent; the word "blond" is first documented in English in 1481 and derives from Old French blund, meaning "a colour midway between golden and light chestnut". It eclipsed the native term "fair", of same meaning, from Old English fæġer, causing "fair" to become a general term for "light complexioned"; this earlier use of "fair" survives in the proper name Fairfax, from Old English fæġer-feahs meaning "blond hair".
The word "blond" has two possible origins. Some linguists say it comes from Medieval Latin blundus, meaning "yellow", from Old Frankish blund which would relate it to Old English blonden-feax meaning "grey-haired", from blondan/blandan meaning "to mix". Old English beblonden meant "dyed", as ancient Germanic warriors were noted for dyeing their hair. However, linguists who favor a Latin origin for the word say that Medieval Latin blundus was a vulgar pronunciation of Latin flavus meaning "yellow". Most authorities French, attest to the Frankish origin; the word was reintroduced into English in the 17th century from French, was for some time considered French. "Blond", with its continued gender-varied usage, is one of few adjectives in written English to retain separate lexical genders. The two forms, are pronounced identically. American Heritage's Book of English Usage propounds that, insofar as "a blonde" can be used to describe a woman but not a man, said to possess blond hair, the term is an example of a "sexist stereotype women are defined by their physical characteristics."
The Oxford English Dictionary records that the phrase "big blond beast" was used in the 20th century to refer to men "of the Nordic type". The OED records that blond as an adjective is used with reference to women, in which case it is to be spelt "blonde", citing three Victorian usages of the term; the masculine version is used in the plural, in "blonds of the European race", in a citation from 1833 Penny cyclopedia, which distinguishes genuine blondness as a Caucasian feature distinct from albinism. By the early 1990s, "blonde moment" or being a "dumb blonde" had come into common parlance to mean "an instance of a person, esp. A woman... being foolish or scatter-brained." Another hair color word of French origin, functions in the same way in orthodox English. The OED gives "brunet" as meaning "dark-complexioned" or a "dark-complexioned person", citing a comparative usage of brunet and blond to Thomas Henry Huxley in saying, "The present contrast of blonds and brunets existed among them." "Brunette" can be used, like "blonde", to describe a mixed-gender populace.
The OED quotes Grant Allen, "The nation which resulted... being sometimes blonde, sometimes brunette.""Blond" and "blonde" are occasionally used to refer to objects that have a color reminiscent of fair hair. For example, the OED records its use in 19th-century poetic diction to describe flowers, "a variety of clay ironstone of the coal measures", "the colour of raw silk", a breed of ray, lager beer, pale wood. Various subcategories of blond hair have been defined to describe the different shades and sources of the hair color more accurately. Common examples include the following: ash-blond: grayish blond. Bleached blond, bottle blond, or peroxide blond: terms used to refer to artificially colored blond hair. Blond/flaxen: when distinguished from other varieties, "blond" by itself refers to a light but not whitish blond, with no traces of red, gold, or brown. Dirty blond or dishwater blond: dark blond with flecks of golden blond and brown. Golden blond: a darker to rich, golden-yellow blond (found in Northeastern Europe, i.e. Russia
Phlegyas, was king of the Lapiths in Greek mythology. Phlegyas was daughter of Halmus or Dotis, he was one of Apollo's lovers. According to one tradition, he had no children while in Strabo's account, Phlegyas was the brother of Ixion. Phlegyas succeeded Eteocles who died without issue, in the government of the district of Orchomenos, which he called after himself Phlegyantis. While pregnant with Asclepius, Coronis fell in love with son of Elatus; when a hooded crow informed Apollo of the affair, he sent his sister Artemis to kill Coronis, unable to perform the task himself. However, Hermes gave it to the centaur Chiron to raise. Phlegyas, angry at Apollo for killing his daughter, torched the Apollonian temple at Delphi, causing Apollo to kill him with his arrows and condemn him to severe punishment in the lower world. In another version of the myth, Phlegyas had no children and the two brothers Lycus and Nycteus are responsible for his death. In the Aeneid of Virgil, Phlegyas is shown tormented in Tartarus in the Underworld, warning others not to despise the gods.
In the Thebaid of Statius, Phlegyas is shown to be in the Underworld entombed in a rock by Megaera and starved in front of an eternal feast. In the Divine Comedy poem Inferno, Phlegyas ferries Virgil and Dante across the river Styx, portrayed as a marsh where the wrathful and sullen lie within Hell's Circle of Anger. Phlegyas was the mythical ancestor of the Phlegyans. Phlegyas appears in the video game Dante's Inferno; this version became a gigantic fiery rock monster following his death. Dante unknowingly rides across the Styx on the wrathful demigod's crown. After fighting his way towards Dis and seeing Beatrice become Lucifer's bride, Dante takes control of Phlegyas and uses him to break into the City of Dis; when Dante reaches the circle of Heresy, Phlegyas breaks the ground. Dante manages to jump off in time, but Phlegyas breaks through the floor and plummets into the abyss. In the animated film based on the video game called Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic, the appearance of Phlegyas is more toned down as he appears in the film as a green-skinned humanoid who willingly took Dante and Virgil through the fifth circle of Hell without incident.
He was knocked out by Lucifer. John Tzetzes, Book of Histories, Book IX-X translated by Jonathan Alexander from the original Greek of T. Kiessling's edition of 1826. Online version at theio.com Maurus Servius Honoratus, In Vergilii carmina comentarii. Servii Grammatici qui feruntur in Vergilii carmina commentarii. Georgius Thilo. Leipzig. B. G. Teubner. 1881. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Pausanias, Description of Greece with an English Translation by W. H. S. Jones, Litt. D. and H. A. Ormerod, M. A. in 4 Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio. 3 vols. Leipzig, Teubner. 1903. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library. Pindar, Odes translated by Diane Arnson Svarlien. 1990. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Pindar, The Odes of Pindar including the Principal Fragments with an Introduction and an English Translation by Sir John Sandys, Litt. D. FBA. Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library.
Pseudo-Apollodorus, The Library with an English Translation by Sir James George Frazer, F. B. A. F. R. S. in 2 Volumes, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Greek text available from the same website. Publius Papinius Statius, The Thebaid translated by John Henry Mozley. Loeb Classical Library Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. Online version at the Topos Text Project. Publius Papinius Statius, The Thebaid. Vol I-II. John Henry Mozley. London: William Heinemann. P. Putnam's Sons. 1928. Latin text available at the Perseus Digital Library. Strabo, The Geography of Strabo. Edition by H. L. Jones. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Strabo, Geographica edited by A. Meineke. Leipzig: Teubner. 1877. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library; the Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Homeric Hymns. Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
Greek text available from the same website
Vulcan is the god of fire including the fire of volcanoes, deserts and the forge in ancient Roman religion and myth. Vulcan is depicted with a blacksmith's hammer; the Vulcanalia was the annual festival held August 23 in his honor. His Greek counterpart is the god of fire and smithery. In Etruscan religion, he is identified with Sethlans. Vulcan belongs to the most ancient stage of Roman religion: Varro, the ancient Roman scholar and writer, citing the Annales Maximi, records that king Titus Tatius dedicated altars to a series of deities among which Vulcan is mentioned; the origin of the name is unclear. Roman tradition maintained that it was related to Latin words connected to lightning, which in turn was thought of as related to flames; this interpretation is supported by Walter William Skeat in his etymological dictionary as meaning lustre. It has been supposed that his name was not Latin but related to that of the Cretan god Velchanos, a god of nature and the nether world. Wolfgang Meid has dispued this identification as phantastic.
More this etymology has been taken up by Gérard Capdeville who finds a continuity between Cretan Minoan god Velchanos and Etruscan Velchans. The Minoan god's identity would be that of a young deity, master of fire and companion of the Great Goddess. Christian Guyonvarc'h has proposed the identification with the Irish name Olcan. Vasily Abaev compares it with the Ossetic Wærgon, a variant of the name of Kurdalægon, the smith of the Nart saga. Since the name in its normal form Kurdalægon is stable and has a clear meaning, this hypothesis has been considered unacceptable by Dumezil. Vulcan's oldest shrine in Rome, called the Vulcanal, was situated at the foot of the Capitoline in the Forum Romanum, was reputed to date to the archaic period of the kings of Rome, to have been established on the site by Titus Tatius, the Sabine co-king, with a traditional date in the 8th century BC, it was the view of the Etruscan haruspices that a temple of Vulcan should be located outside the city, the Vulcanal may have been on or outside the city limits before they expanded to include the Capitoline Hill.
The Volcanalia sacrifice was offered here to Vulcan, on August 23. Vulcan had a temple on the Campus Martius, in existence by 214 BC; the Romans identified Vulcan with the Greek smith-god Hephaestus. Vulcan became associated like his Greek counterpart with the constructive use of fire in metalworking. A fragment of a Greek pot showing Hephaestus found at the Volcanal has been dated to the 6th century BC, suggesting that the two gods were associated at this date. However, Vulcan had a stronger association than Hephaestus with fire's destructive capacity, a major concern of his worshippers was to encourage the god to avert harmful fires; the festival of Vulcan, the Vulcanalia, was celebrated on August 23 each year, when the summer heat placed crops and granaries most at risk of burning. During the festival bonfires were created in honour of the god, into which live fish or small animals were thrown as a sacrifice, to be consumed in the place of humans; the Vulcanalia was part of the cycle of the four festivities of the second half of August related to the agrarian activities of that month and in symmetric correlation with those of the second half of July.
While the festivals of July dealt with untamed nature and waters at a time of danger caused by their relative deficiency, those of August were devoted to the results of human endeavour on nature with the storing of harvested grain and their relationship to human society and regality which at that time were at risk and required protection from the dangers of the excessive strength of the two elements of fire and wind reinforced by dryness. It is recorded that during the Vulcanalia people used to hang their clothes and fabrics under the sun; this habit might reflect a theological connection between the divinized Sun. Another custom observed on this day required that one should start working by the light of a candle to propitiate a beneficial use of fire by the god. In addition to the Vulcanalia of August 23, the date of May 23, the second of the two annual Tubilustria or ceremonies for the purification of trumpets, was sacred to Vulcan; the Ludi Vulcanalici, were held just once on August 23, 20 BC, within the temple precinct of Vulcan, used by Augustus to mark the treaty with Parthia and the return of the legionary standards, lost at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC.
A flamen, one of the flamines minors, named. The flamen Vulcanalis officiated at a sacrifice to the goddess Maia, held every year at the Kalendae of May. Vulcan was among the gods placated after the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64. In response to the same fire, Domitian established a new altar to Vulcan on the Quirinal Hill. At the same time a red bull-calf and red boar were added to the sacrifices made on the Vulcanalia, at least in that region of the city; the nature of the god is connected with religious ideas concerning fire. The Roman concept of the god seems to associate him to both the destructive and the fertilizing powers of fire. In the first aspect he is worshipped in the Volcanalia to avert its potential danger to harvested wheat, his cult is located outside the boundaries of
Pompeii was an ancient Roman city near modern Naples in the Campania region of Italy, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area, was buried under 4 to 6 m of volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Volcanic ash buried inhabitants who did not escape the lethal effects of the earthquake and eruption. Preserved under the ash, the excavated city offers a unique snapshot of Roman life, frozen at the moment it was buried and providing an extraordinarily detailed insight into the everyday life of its inhabitants. Organic remains, including wooden objects and human bodies, were entombed in the ash and decayed away, making natural molds; the numerous graffiti carved on the walls and inside rooms provides a wealth of examples of the lost Vulgar Latin spoken colloquially, contrasting with the formal language of the classical writers. Pompeii is a UNESCO World Heritage Site status and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy, with 2.5 million visitors every year.
Excavations recommenced in several unexplored areas of the city, in 2018 new discoveries were reported. Pompeii in Latin is a second declension plural noun. According to Theodor Kraus, "The root of the word Pompeii would appear to be the Oscan word for the number five, which suggests that either the community consisted of five hamlets or it was settled by a family group." The ruins of Pompeii are located near the modern town of Pompei and about 8 km away from Mount Vesuvius. It stands on a spur about 40 m above sea level formed by an ancient lava flow to the north of the mouth of the Sarno River. Three sheets of sediment from large landslides lie on top of the lava triggered by extended rainfall. Today, Pompeii is some distance inland, it covered a total of 64 to 67 hectares and was home to 11,000 to 11,500 people, on the basis of household counts. The first stable settlements on the site date back to the 8th century BC when the Oscans, a people of central Italy, founded five villages in the area.
With the arrival of the Greeks in Campania from around 740 BC Pompeii entered into the orbit of the Hellenic people and the most important building of this period is the Doric Temple, built not near the centre, but in a more isolated position in what would become the Triangular Forum, as the Greeks wanted to control just the streets and the port. At the same time the cult of Apollo was introduced. Greek and Phoenician sailors used the location as a safe port. Around the 6th century BC, it merged into a single community on the important crossroad between Cumae and Stabiae and was surrounded by a tufa city wall, it began to flourish and the first maritime trade started with the construction of a small port near the mouth of the river. The earliest settlement was focussed in regions VII and VIII of the town as identified from stratigraphy below the Samnite and Roman buildings. 524 BC saw the arrival and settlement of the Etruscans in the area including Pompeii, finding in the river Sarno a communication route between the sea and the interior.
To the Greeks, the Etruscans did not conquer the city militarily, but controlled it and Pompeii enjoyed a sort of autonomy. Pompeii became a member of the Etruscan League of cities. Recent excavations have shown the presence of a 6th-century BC necropolis. Under the Etruscans a primitive forum or simple market square was built, as well as the temple of Apollo, in both of which objects including fragments of bucchero were found by Maiuri. Several houses were built with typical of this people; the city wall was strengthened in the early 5th century BC with two façades of thin, vertically set, slabs of Sarno limestone some 4 m apart filled with earth. In 474 BC the Greek city of Cumae, allied with Syracuse, conquered the Etruscans definitively at the Battle of Cumae and gained control of the area; the period between about 450–375 BC witnessed large areas of the city being abandoned while important sanctuaries such as the Temple of Apollo show a sudden lack of votive material remains. The Samnites, people coming from the areas of Abruzzo and Molise, allies of the Romans, conquered Greek Cumae between 423 and 420 BC and it is that in advance, all the surrounding territory, including Pompeii, was conquered around 424 BC.
The new rulers imposed their architecture and enlarged the town. From 343 BC the first Roman army entered the Campanian plain bringing with it the customs and traditions of Rome and in the Roman war against the Latins the Samnites were faithful to Rome. Pompeii, although governed by the Samnites, entered in effect in the Roman orbit, to which it remained faithful during the third Samnite war and in the war against Pyrrhus; the city walls were reinforced in Sarno stone in the early 3rd century BC. It formed the basis for the visible walls with an outer wall of rectangular limestone blocks as an enormous terrace wall supporting a large agger, or earth embankment, behind it. After the Samnite Wars from 290 BC, Pompeii was forced to accept the status of socii of Rome, however and administrative autonomy. From the outbreak of the Second Punic War in which Pompeii remained faithful to Rome, an addit
The Pompeian Styles are four periods which are distinguished in ancient Roman mural painting. They were delineated and described by the German archaeologist August Mau, 1840–1909, from the excavation of wall paintings at Pompeii, one of the largest group of surviving examples of Roman frescoes; the wall painting styles have allowed art historians to delineate the various phases of interior decoration in the centuries leading up to the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, which both destroyed the city and preserved the paintings, between stylistic shifts in Roman art. In the succession of styles, there is a reiteration of stylistic themes; the paintings tell a great deal about the prosperity of the area and specific tastes during the times. The main purpose of these frescoes was to reduce the claustrophobic interiors of Roman rooms, which were windowless and dark; the paintings, full of color and life, brightened up the interior and made the room feel more spacious. The First style referred to as structural, incrustation or masonry style, was most popular from 200 BC until 80 BC.
It is characterized by the simulation of marble, with other simulated elements, the use of vivid color, both being a sign of wealth. This style was a replica of that found in the Ptolemaic palaces of the near east, where the walls were inset with real stones and marbles, reflects the spread of Hellenistic culture as Rome interacted and conquered other Greek and Hellenistic states in this period. Mural reproductions of Greek paintings are found; this style divided the wall into various, multi-colored patterns that took the place of expensive cut stone. The First Style was used with other styles for decorating the lower sections of walls that were not seen as much as the higher levels. An example would be the wall painting in the Samnite House in Herculaneum; the Second style, architectural style, or'illusionism' dominated the 1st century BC, where walls were decorated with architectural features and trompe l'oeil compositions. Early on, elements of this style are reminiscent of the First Style, but this starts to be substituted element by element.
This technique consists of highlighting elements to pass them off as three-dimensional realities – columns for example, dividing the wall-space into zones – and was a method used by the Romans. It is characterized by use of relative perspective to create trompe l'oeil in wall paintings; the picture plane was pushed farther back into the wall by painted architectonic features such as Ionic columns or stage platforms. These wall paintings counteracted the claustrophobic nature of the small, windowless rooms of Roman houses. Images and landscapes began to be introduced to the first style around 90 BC, gained ground from 70 BC onwards, along with illusionistic and architectonic motives. Decoration had to give the greatest possible impression of depth. Imitations of images appeared, at first in the higher section in the background of landscapes which provided a stage for mythological stories, theatrical masks, or decorations. During the reign of Augustus, the style evolved. False architectural elements opened up wide expanses with.
A structure inspired by stage sets developed, whereby one large central tableau is flanked by two smaller ones. In this style, the illusionistic tendency continued, with a'breaking up' of walls with painted architectural elements or scenes; the landscape elements took over to cover the entire wall, with no framing device, so it looked to the viewer as if he or she was looking out of a room onto a real scene. The more developed Second Style was the antithesis of the First Style. Instead of confining and strengthening the walls, the goal was to break down the wall to show scenes of nature and the outside world. Much of the depth of the mature Second Style comes from the use of aerial perspective that blurred the appearance of objects further away. Thus, the foreground is rather precise while the background is somewhat indistinctly purple and gray. One of the most recognized and unique pieces representing the Second Style is the Dionysiac mystery frieze in the Villa of the Mysteries; this work depicts the Dionysian Cult, made up of women.
In the scene, one boy is depicted. Fashionable from the 40s BC onwards, it began to wane in the final decades BC. An example is the architectural painting at the Villa Boscoreale at Boscoreale; the Third style, or ornate style, was popular around 20–10 BC as a reaction to the austerity of the previous period. It leaves room for more figurative and colorful decoration, with an overall more ornamental feeling, presents great finesse in execution; this style is noted as simplistically elegant. Its main characteristic was a departure from illusionistic devices, although these crept back into this style, it obeyed strict rules of symmetry dictated by the central element, dividing the wall into 3 horizontal and 3 to 5 vertical zones. The vertical zones would be divided up by geometric motifs or bases, or slender columns of foliage hung around candelabra. Delicate motifs of birds or semi-fantastical animals appeared in the background. Plants and characteristically Egyptian animals were introduced, part of the Egyptomania in Roman art after Augustus' defeat of Cleopatra and annexation of Egypt in 30 BC.