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House of the Gladiators
Location: Regio V
The House of the Gladiators is located on Via di
Nola, about halfway between Via Stabiana and the Nola Gate. The
house was first excavated in 1899 and is close to the borders of the
excavated city. The House of the Gladiators was built as a private
mansion in the first century BC. However, later during the reign of
Emperor Augustus or Claudius, the House of Gladiators was
transformed into a hostel for families of gladiators. It is
estimated that between fifteen and twenty people lived in the house
at any time.
About a hundred different graffiti made by
gladiators were found on the peristyle columns. Graffiti testifies
to the weapon they used and the style of battle: Essedarii,
Thracians, Murmilons, Horsemen. Also the inscriptions said about
their battles, victories and masters. Archaeological and
paleographic analysis of graffiti dates them between the rule of
Augustus and 62 years.
The House of the Gladiators became
famous for its collapse. This emphasized the fragility of the
Pompeii archaeological park and the inability to discover new areas
of the city. Repair and support of the excavated buildings should be
the goal of the administration of the archaeological museum.
Perhaps the gladiators' relocation to quadriporticus behind the
Great Theater may have been caused by damage to their mansion during
the earthquake of 62 AD, or because necessary larger building.
Corridor (a) opens on the north side of Via di Nola. A series of
steps leads from a raised path to open directly onto a large
peristyle or inner garden (b). Both the facade and the entrance
corridor preserve the remains of gypsum, with traces of their
original fresco decoration. The peristyle was surrounded by columns
from all four sides and had twenty-four columns supporting the inner
edges of the roof. The pillars were plastered over the brickwork.