Villa of the Papyri
The Villa of the Papyri, is named after its unique library of papyri, but is one of the most luxurious houses in all of Herculaneum and in the Roman world. It is located in the current commune of Ercolano, southern Italy and it was situated on the ancient coastline below the volcano Vesuvius with nothing to obstruct the view of the sea. It was perhaps owned by Julius Caesars father-in-law, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, in AD79, the eruption of Vesuvius covered all of Herculaneum with some 30 m of volcanic ash. Herculaneum was first excavated in the years between 1750 and 1765 by Karl Weber by means of underground tunnels, the villas name derives from the discovery of its library, the only surviving library from the Graeco-Roman world that exists in its entirety. It contained over 1,800 papyrus scrolls, now carbonised by the heat of the eruption, most of the villa is still underground, but parts have been cleared of volcanic deposits. Many of the finds are displayed in the Naples National Archaeological Museum, the Getty Villa is a reproduction of the Villa of the Papyri.
Sited a few hundred metres from the nearest house in Herculaneum and it was surrounded by a garden closed off by porticoes, but with an ample stretch of gardens and woods down to a small harbour. The villas layout is faithful to, but enlarges upon, the scheme of suburban villas in the country around Pompeii. The atrium functioned as a hall and a means of communication with the various parts of the house. The entrance opened with a portico on the sea side. The first peristyle had 10 columns on each side and a pool in the centre. In this enclosure were found the bronze herma of Doryphorus, a replica of Polykleitos athlete, the large second peristyle could be reached by passing through a large tablinum in which, under a propylaeum, was the archaic statue of Athena Promachos. A collection of bronze busts were in the interior of the tablinum and these included the head of Scipio Africanus. The living and reception quarters were grouped around the porticoes and terraces, giving occupants ample sunlight, the grounds included a large area of covered and uncovered gardens for walks in the shade or in the warmth of the sun.
The gardens included a gallery of busts and small marble and these were laid out between columns amid the open part of the garden and on the edges of the large swimming bath. The luxury of the villa is evidenced not only by the works of art. The villa housed a collection of at least 80 sculptures of magnificent quality, among them is the bronze Seated Hermes, found at the villa in 1758. Around the bowl of the atrium impluvium were 11 bronze fountain statues depicting Satyrs pouring water from a pitcher, other statues and busts were found in the corners around the atrium walls
National Archaeological Museum, Naples
The Naples National Archaeological Museum is a museum in Naples, southern Italy, at the northwest corner of the original Greek wall of the city of Neapolis. The museum contains a collection of Roman artifacts from Pompeii, Stabiae. The collection includes works of the highest quality produced in Greek, Roman and it is the most important Italian archaeological museum and is considered one of the most important in the world. Charles of Bourbon founded the museum in the 1750s, the building he used for it had been erected as a cavalry barracks and during its time as the seat of the University of Naples was extended, in the late 18th century. The museum hosts extensive collections of Greek and Roman antiquities and their core is from the Farnese Collection, which includes a collection of engraved gems and the Farnese Marbles. Among the notable works found in the museum are the Herculaneum papyri, carbonized by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, many of these works, especially the larger ones, have been moved to the Museo di Capodimonte for display in recent years.
The Farnese Hercules, which fixed the image of Hercules in the European imagination, a major collection of ancient Roman bronzes from the Villa of the Papyri is housed at the museum. These include the Seated Hermes, a sprawling Drunken Satyr, a bust of Thespis, another variously identified as Seneca or Hesiod, the museums Mosaic Collection includes a number of important mosaics recovered from the ruins of Pompeii and the other Vesuvian cities. This includes the Alexander Mosaic, dating from circa 100 BC and it depicts a battle between the armies of Alexander the Great and Darius III of Persia. Another mosaic found is that of the gladiatorial fighter depicted in a found from the Villa of the Figured Capitals in Pompeii. With 2,500 objects, the museum has one of the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in Italy after the Turin and Bologna ones. It is made up primarily of works from two collections, assembled by Cardinal Stefano Borgia in the second half of the 18th century. In its new layout the collection provides both an important record of Egyptian civilization from the Old Kingdom up to the Ptolemaic-Roman era, access was limited to only persons of mature age and known morals.
The rooms were called Cabinets of matters reserved or obscene or pornographic, the highlight of the censorship occurred in 1851 when even nude Venus statues were locked up, and the entrance walled up in the hope that the collection would vanish from memory. In September 1860, when the forces of Garibaldi occupied Naples, since the Royal Butler was no longer available, they broke into the collection. Limiting viewership and censorship have always been part of the history of the collection, censorship was restored during the era of the Kingdom of Italy, and peaked during the Fascist period, when visitors to the rooms needed the permission of the Minister of National Education in Rome. Censorship persisted in the period up to 1967, abating only after 1971 when the Ministry was given the new rules to regulate requests for visits. Completely rebuilt a few years ago with all of the new criteria, visitors under the age of 14 can tour the exhibit only with an adult
Mercury is a major Roman god, being one of the Dii Consentes within the ancient Roman pantheon. He is the god of financial gain, eloquence, messages/communication, boundaries, luck and thieves. He was considered the son of Maia and Jupiter in Roman mythology, in his earliest forms, he appears to have been related to the Etruscan deity Turms, both gods share characteristics with the Greek god Hermes. He is often depicted holding the caduceus in his left hand, similar to his Greek equivalent he was awarded the caduceus by Apollo who handed him a magic wand, which turned into the caduceus. Mercury did not appear among the di indigetes of early Roman religion. Rather, he subsumed the earlier Dei Lucrii as Roman religion was syncretized with Greek religion during the time of the Roman Republic, starting around the 4th century BC. He was often accompanied by a cockerel, herald of the new day, a ram or goat, symbolizing fertility, like Hermes, he was a god of messages, eloquence and of trade, particularly of the grain trade.
Mercury was considered a god of abundance and commercial success, particularly in Gaul and he was also, like Hermes, the Romans psychopomp, leading newly deceased souls to the afterlife. Additionally, Ovid wrote that Mercury carried Morpheus dreams from the valley of Somnus to sleeping humans, archeological evidence from Pompeii suggests that Mercury was among the most popular of Roman gods. The god of commerce was depicted on two bronze coins of the Roman Republic, the Sextans and the Semuncia. This is probably because in the Roman syncretism, Mercury was equated with the Celtic god Lugus, Romans associated Mercury with the Germanic god Wotan, by interpretatio Romana, 1st-century Roman writer Tacitus identifies him as the chief god of the Germanic peoples. The Romans made use of small statues of Mercury. Mercurius Arvernus, a syncretism of the Celtic Arvernus with Mercury, Mercurius Cimbrianus, a syncretism of Mercury with a god of the Cimbri sometimes thought to represent Odin. Mercurius Cissonius, a combination of Mercury with the Celtic god Cissonius, Mercurius Esibraeus, a syncretism of the Iberian deity Esibraeus with the Roman deity Mercury.
Esibraeus is mentioned only in an inscription found at Medelim, and is possibly the deity as Banda Isibraiegus. Mercurius Gebrinius, a syncretism of Mercury with the Celtic or Germanic Gebrinius, known from an inscription on an altar in Bonn, Mercurius Moccus, from a Celtic god, who was equated with Mercury, known from evidence at Langres, France. The name Moccus implies that this deity was connected to boar-hunting, Mercurius Visucius, a syncretism of the Celtic god Visucius with the Roman god Mercury, attested in an inscription from Stuttgart, Germany. Visucius was worshiped primarily in the area of the empire in Gaul
Margarete Bieber was a Jewish German-American art historian, classical archaeologist and professor. She became the second woman university professor in Germany in 1919 when she took a position at the University of Giessen and she studied the theatre of ancient Greece and Rome as well as the sculpture and clothing in ancient Rome and Greece. Bieber left Germany after the Nazis seized power and she made her way to the United States where she taught at Barnard College, Columbia University and she emphasised that Roman reproductions of Greek originals were essentially Roman works and carried the stamp of Roman civilization. Margarete Bieber was born on 31 July 1879 in Schönau, Landkreis Schlochau to Jewish parents — Valli Bukofzer, and Jacob Heinrich Bieber and she attended a girls school in Schwetz for six years before being sent to a finishing school in Dresden. In 1899 she went to Berlin where she attended Gymnasialkurse, a school founded by Helene Lange. In 1901 she passed the Maturitätsprüfung in Thorn and registered at the University of Berlin, as women were not allowed to enroll, she audited her classes, attending lectures by Hermann Alexander Diels, Reinhard Kekulé von Stradonitz and Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff.
She graduated in the winter semester 1901/02 in Berlin, in 1904 she moved to Bonn, studying under Paul Clemen, Georg Loeschcke and Franz Bücheler. She received her PhD from the University of Bonn in 1907, in the following years, Bieber did extensive research throughout the Mediterranean. She was the first woman to receive a grant from the German Archaeological Institute in 1909. From until 1914, she did research in Athens and Rome and she became a member of the DAI in 1913. When the First World War broke out, Bieber returned to Germany, from Easter 1915, she taught seminars and ran the Archaeological Institute at the University of Berlin for her former instructor Georg Loeschcke, who was ill. After he died in November 1915, a successor was appointed, Bieber continued to teach private courses out of her home, counting Dora and Erwin Panofsky among her students. After several unsuccessful attempts, her postdoctoral was finally approved in 1919 and she was the second woman to become a University professor in Germany.
Beginning in 1928, she headed the Giessen Institute of Archaeology and in 1931 and her future looking secure, she adopted a six-year-old girl named Ingeborg in 1932. After the Nazis seized power in Germany, they removed Jewish people from academic positions and she and her governess Katharina Freytag left Germany for England where Bieber became an honorary fellow at Somerville College, Oxford. Bieber left for the United States in 1934 at the invitation of Barnard College and she was recommended to Columbia University, where she became a visiting professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology in 1936. She applied for American citizenship in 1939, in 1939, she published The History of the Greek and Roman Theater. It became a text for students of the ancient theaters of Greece and Rome, delving into the nuances of production
Lysippos was a Greek sculptor of the 4th century BC. Together with Scopas and Praxiteles, he is considered one of the three greatest sculptors of the Classical Greek era, bringing transition into the Hellenistic period, problems confront the study of Lysippos because of the difficulty of identifying his style among the copies which survive. The Victorious Youth or Getty bronze, which resurfaced around 1972, has been associated with him, born at Sicyon around 390 BC Lysippos was a worker in bronze in his youth. He taught himself the art of sculpture, becoming head of the school of Argos, according to Pliny, he produced more than 1,500 works, all of them in bronze. He was famous for his attention to the details of eyelids and his pupil, Chares of Lindos, constructed the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. As this statue does not exist today, debate continues as to whether its sections were cast in bronze or hammered of sheer bronze, Lysippos was successor in contemporary repute to the famous sculptor Polykleitos.
Among the works attributed to him are the so-called Horses of Saint Mark, Eros Stringing the Bow, the similar Oil Pourer, Lysippos was famous for his bronze sculptures of Zeus and Herakles. The only remaining version of one such statue is a Roman copy of The Weary Herakles, by Glykon, during his lifetime, Lysippos was personal sculptor to Alexander the Great, indeed, he was the only artist whom the conqueror saw fit to represent him. We forgive cattle for fleeing a lion, Lysippos has been credited with the stock representation of an inspired, godlike Alexander with tousled hair and lips parted, looking upward. One fine example, an early Imperial Roman copy found at Tivoli, is conserved at the Louvre, on 26 February 2010, Greek authorities arrested two men found in illegal possession of various antiquities, including a bronze statue of Alexander, which is possibly a work of Lysippos. If confirmed, this would make it the first original work of Lysippos ever discovered, the statue is currently being examined at the laboratory of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, which is expected to confirm or deny its authenticity.
In 1972 the Victorious Youth, Getty Bronze, or Atleta di Fano to Italians, was discovered and at the urging of Paul Getty, the bronze was pulled out of the sea and restored. Because of the amount of corrosion and the layer of incrustation that coated the statue when it was found. This is less surprising, as most of the classical bronze statues archeologists have found have been fished out of the Mediterranean Sea. It was not uncommon for a shipwreck to occur with something as precious as a sculpture on board, without any way to find or retrieve them, these pieces were left to sit at the bottom of the ocean for centuries. Fortunately, the damaging corrosion can be removed by cleaning the surfaces mechanically with a scalpel. The Getty Bronze is believed by some to be Lysipposs work, or at least a copy, because the detail on it is consistent with his style of work and his canon of proportions. Lysipposs work is described by ancient sources as naturalistic with slender and often lengthened proportions and those depicted in the works of Lysippos had smaller heads than those of his mentor Polykleitos because he used a one to eight scale for the head and the total height of the body
Located in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, Herculaneum was an ancient Roman town destroyed by volcanic pyroclastic flows in 79 AD. Its ruins are located in the commune of Ercolano, Campania and it had been thought until that the town had been evacuated by the inhabitants. Herculaneum was a town than Pompeii, possessing an extraordinary density of fine houses with, for example. Ancient tradition connected Herculaneum with the name of the Greek hero Herakles, in fact, it seems that some forefathers of the Samnite tribes of the Italian mainland founded the first civilization on the site of Herculaneum at the end of the 6th century BC. Soon after, the town came under Greek control and was used as a trading post because of its proximity to the Gulf of Naples, the Greeks named the city Ἡράκλειον, Heraklion. In the 4th century BC, Herculaneum again came under the domination of the Samnites. The city remained under Samnite control until it became a Roman municipium in 89 BC, having participated in the Social War, it was defeated by Titus Didius, a legate of Sulla.
After the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, the town of Herculaneum was buried under approximately 20 metres of ash, excavations continued sporadically up to the present and today many streets and buildings are visible, although over 75% of the town remains buried. Today, the Italian towns of Ercolano and Portici lie on the site of Herculaneum. Until 1969 the town of Ercolano was called Resina and it changed its name to Ercolano, the Italian modernization of the ancient name in honour of the old city. The inhabitants worshipped above all Hercules, who was believed to be the founder of both the town and Mount Vesuvius, Other important deities worshipped include Venus and Apollo. The catastrophic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius occurred on the afternoon of 24 August 79 AD, because Vesuvius had been dormant for approximately 800 years, it was no longer even recognized as a volcano. Based on archaeological excavations and on two letters of Pliny the Younger to the Roman historian Tacitus, the course of the eruption can be reconstructed, at around 1pm on 24 August, Vesuvius began spewing volcanic ash and stone thousands of meters into the sky.
When it reached the tropopause, the top of the cloud flattened, the prevailing winds at the time blew toward the southeast, causing the volcanic material to fall primarily on the city of Pompeii and the surrounding area. Since Herculaneum lay to the west of Vesuvius, it was only affected by the first phase of the eruption. While roofs in Pompeii collapsed under the weight of falling debris, only a few centimetres of ash fell on Herculaneum, causing little damage, during the following night, the eruptive column which had risen into the stratosphere collapsed onto Vesuvius and its flanks. The first pyroclastic surge, formed by a mixture of ash and hot gases, a succession of six flows and surges buried the citys buildings, causing little damage in some areas and preserving structures and victims almost intact. In 1709 the digging of a deep well revealed some exceptional statues at the lowest levels which was found to be the site of the theatre
Palermo is a city of Southern Italy, the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and the Metropolitan City of Palermo. The city is noted for its history, culture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence, Palermo is located in the northwest of the island of Sicily, right by the Gulf of Palermo in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The city was founded in 734 BC by the Phoenicians as Ziz, Palermo became a possession of Carthage, before becoming part of the Roman Republic, the Roman Empire and eventually part of the Byzantine Empire, for over a thousand years. The Greeks named the city Panormus meaning complete port, from 831 to 1072 the city was under Arab rule during the Emirate of Sicily when the city first became a capital. The Arabs shifted the Greek name into Balarme, the root for Palermos present-day name, eventually Sicily would be united with the Kingdom of Naples to form the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies until the Italian unification of 1860. The population of Palermo urban area is estimated by Eurostat to be 855,285, in the central area, the city has a population of around 676,000 people.
The inhabitants are known as Palermitani or, panormiti, the languages spoken by its inhabitants are the Italian language, Sicilian language and the Palermitano dialect. Palermo is Sicilys cultural and touristic capital and it is a city rich in history, art and food. Palermo is the main Sicilian industrial and commercial center, the industrial sectors include tourism, commerce. Palermo currently has an airport, and a significant underground economy. In fact, for cultural and economic reasons, Palermo was one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean and is now among the top tourist destinations in both Italy and Europe. It is the seat of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Arab-Norman Palermo. The city is going through careful redevelopment, preparing to become one of the major cities of the Euro-Mediterranean area. Roman Catholicism is highly important in Palermitano culture, the Patron Saint of Palermo is Santa Rosalia whose Feast Day is celebrated on 15 July. The area attracts significant numbers of each year and is widely known for its colourful fruit and fish markets at the heart of Palermo, known as Vucciria, Ballarò.
Palermo lies in a basin, formed by the Papireto, the basin was named the Conca dOro by the Arabs in the 9th century. The city is surrounded by a range which is named after the city itself. These mountains face the Tyrrhenian Sea, Palermo is home to a natural port and offers excellent views to the sea, especially from Monte Pellegrino
Pompeii was an ancient Roman town-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 area, was mostly destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 m of volcanic ash. Researchers believe that the town was founded in the seventh or sixth century BC by the Osci or Oscans. It came under the domination of Rome in the 4th century BC, by the time of its destruction,160 years later, its population was estimated at 11,000 people, and the city had a complex water system, an amphitheatre, and a port. The eruption destroyed the city, killing its inhabitants and burying it under tons of ash, the site was lost for about 1,500 years until its initial rediscovery in 1599 and broader rediscovery almost 150 years by Spanish engineer Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre in 1748. The objects that lay beneath the city have been preserved for centuries because of the lack of air and these artefacts provide an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city during the Pax Romana.
During the excavation, plaster was used to fill in the voids in the ash layers that once held human bodies and this allowed archaeologists to see the exact position the person was in when he or she died. Pompeii has been a tourist destination for over 250 years, today it has UNESCO World Heritage Site status and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy, with approximately 2.5 million visitors every year. Pompeii in Latin is a second declension plural, the ruins of Pompeii are located near the modern suburban town of Pompei. It stands on a formed by a lava flow to the north of the mouth of the Sarno River. Today it is some distance inland, but in ancient times was nearer to the coast, Pompeii is about 8 km away from Mount Vesuvius. It covered a total of 64 to 67 hectares and was home to approximately 11,000 to 11,500 people on the basis of household counts and it was a major city in the region of Campania. Three sheets of sediment have been found on top of the lava that lies below the city and, mixed in with the sediment, archaeologists have found bits of bone, pottery shards.
Carbon dating has placed the oldest of these layers from the 8th–6th centuries BC, the other two strata are separated either by well-developed soil layers or Roman pavement, and were laid in the 4th century BC and 2nd century BC. It is theorized that the layers of the sediment were created by large landslides. The town was founded around the 7th-6th century BC by the Osci or Oscans and it had already been used as a safe port by Greek and Phoenician sailors. According to Strabo, Pompeii was captured by the Etruscans, and in recent excavations have shown the presence of Etruscan inscriptions. Pompeii was captured for the first time by the Greek colony of Cumae, allied with Syracuse, in the 5th century BC, the Samnites conquered it, the new rulers imposed their architecture and enlarged the town