An overview of the villa of the mysteries

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An overview of the villa of the mysteries

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Overview[ edit ] Although covered with metres of ash and other volcanic material, the villa sustained only minor damage in the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, and the majority of its walls, ceilings, and most particularly its frescoes survived largely undamaged.

Since its excavation the roofing and other parts of the house have been maintained as necessary. The Villa is named for the paintings in one room of the residence. This space may have been a tricliniumand is decorated with very fine frescoesbelieved to be painted in the early-middle 1st century.

One of the defining features that help identify this as a Bacchian-related mural is the depiction of maenadsthe female followers of Bacchus. These devotees are often depicted dancing with swirling drapery and were found first on Greek pottery, many of which were made before the cult spread to Italy.

An overview of the villa of the mysteries

Though often believed to be a triclinium, the room with the frescoes could have also been a cubiculum of the matriarch, which would indicate that the matriarch was a member of the cult. A wine-press was discovered when the Villa was excavated and has been restored in its original location.

It was not uncommon for the homes of the very wealthy to include areas for the production of wine, olive oil, or other agricultural products, especially since many elite Romans owned farmland or orchards in the immediate vicinity of their villas. The Villa may be easily accessed from Pompeii, lying some metres northwest of the town walls, separated from it by a road with funerary monuments on either side.

The Villa of the Mysteries was a suburban villa Latin: The ownership of the Villa is unknown, as is the case with many private homes in the city of Pompeii. However, certain artifacts give tantalizing clues. A bronze seal found in the villa names L. Istacidius Zosimus, a freedman of the powerful Istacidii family.

Scholars have proposed him as the owner of the Villa or overseer of reconstruction after the earthquake of The presence of a statue of Liviawife of Augustushas caused some historians to instead declare her to have been the owner.

As in other areas of Pompeii and Herculaneuma number of bodies were found in this villa, and plaster-of-Paris casts were made of them. Interpretation of the Frescoes[ edit ] There are many different interpretations of the frescoes, but they are commonly believed to depict a religious rite.

An overview of the villa of the mysteries

Another common theory is that the frescoes depict a bride initiating into the Bacchian Mysteries in preparation for marriage. In this hypothesis, the elaborate costume worn by the main figure is believed to be wedding apparel.

Women and satyrs are featured prominently.

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Because of the widely accepted theory of the mural depicting an initiation from the cult of Bacchussome think that the room with the frescoes was used to conduct rituals and celebrations related to the god. On the other side of the throne the young initiate is shown in a purple robe and myrtle crown, holding a sprig of laurel and a tray of cakes.

She appears to have been transformed into a serving girl, but may be bringing an offering to the god or goddess. At one side a sileni a horse element is playing a lyre.

Silenus was the tutor and companion of Bacchus. To their right, the initiate is in a panic. This is the last time we see her for a few scenes; when she appears again, she has changed.

Some scholars think katabasis has occurred.Overwater villas in blue lagoon of an island. Overwater villas in blue lagoon of a tropical island.

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DIONYSUS (Dionysos) - Greek God of Wine & Festivity (Roman Bacchus) Just do the math yourself.
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Villa of the Mysteries - Wikipedia

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