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The House of the Citharist
Location: Regio I, Insula 4
Area: 2318 sq meters
Rooms: + 50
The House of the Citharist is located in the Regio I quarter in
the Insula 4. The house was named after the statue of Apollo
Citharist, found in the lower peristyle. Today a copy stands on the
original place, and the original is kept in the National
Archaeological Museum of Naples.
The House of the Citharist is a badly damaged residential houses along
two major Pompeii streets, Via dell' Abbondanza and Via Stabiana. It is easy to
recognize the the general outline of the Roman residence, but most of
structure above the first floor was destroyed. Frescoes plaster was
destroyed during eruption. Archaeological works in the 19th and early
20th century finished the job. After these buildings were exposed many
colors, plaster and other components of the residents were weathered by
the natural elements.
Barbaric archaeological work in the 19th and early 20th century,
completed the destruction of the building. The House of the
Citharist was originally dug up between 1853 and 1861 and finally
dug up in 1868, 1872 and 1929. The House of Citharist, like many
other rich houses in Pompeii, was originally built as a few private
houses. Only later the owner bought the neighboring houses and
joined them into one big mansion.
A wide entrance on the south side of the atrium opens onto the
first of the three peristyles (c) (that is, the inner courtyards).
The insula generally descends from north to south and the house of
the Citharist is built on several levels to compensate for the
slope. This first peristyle, being the most northern, is therefore
at the highest level. Peristyle, a colonnade on all four sides, has
a central rectangular garden. The columns supporting the colonnade
consist of brickwork covered with plaster.
Several steps on
the south side of the upper peristyle lead to the middle of the
three peristyles (g) (in the photo above left). The area around this
middle peristyle was probably the most luxurious part of the house.
In the center of the peristyle there is a rectangular garden with a
large pisina (pool), near which a bronze group was found in which
the boar was attacked by dogs. A copy of the group stands in the
same place, and the original statue such as the statue of Apollo
Citharist can be seen in the National Archaeological Museum of
Naples. Also on the display is a copy of a bronze snake found in the
peristyle. On the south side of the middle peristyle, which shares
with the lower peristyle, there were seven large windows that could
be closed with wooden shutters to separate the two areas.
middle peristyle is surrounded on all four sides by Corinthian
columns made of plaster brickwork. Between the columns hung a series
of stone plates depicting fauns and other demigods.