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Frescoes of Vettius House

Tomb of Vestoria Prisco, Frescoes

The Brothel <<


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Pompeii: The Brothel

External view of one Pompeian Brothel - 26k

    Some of the most fascinating clues about the lives of the ancient peoples who made their lives in Pompeii can be found in the numerous brothels in the city.  It is an indication of the prosperity of the city -- people had money to burn.  Here is one example of the Pompeian  "houses of ill repute".  I chose this one because of its unusual architecture and fine frescoes.

      The architecture and external appearance of the building are to me its most interesting features.  Because of the overhang on the upper level, it looks like it could have been constructed in the Middle Ages instead of during the first century.

A second fresco that was painted inside of the Pompeiian pleasure den- 25k

     The erotic frescoes that line the interior of the building are quite well preserved. The paintings point to the use of the building, but there are more clues in the interior layout.

      As you enter the building you will find yourself in a long rectangular chamber or hallway.  Along each side of the chamber are small cubicles.  Evidently these cubicles are the spaces where the ladies would "conduct their work".  Personally, I think that the working areas were a little on the cramped side.  There certainly was not as much room as the frescoes would lead you to believe.  The rooms are only about 5 feet wide (about 1.3 meters).  There is no way that anyone could have stretched out as the frescoes suggest.  ...unless they were really, really short in the first century! 

Credit for the info on this page:
    Blanchard, Paul. "Blue Guide, Southern Italy; From Rome to Calabria", New York: W. W. Norton & Company Inc., 1982. 

Erotic fresco #1 found inside of the whore house - 15k

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