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House of Julia Felix
Location: Regio II
Julia Felix or Julia "The Fortunate One" was a rich Roman woman who
owned this splendid residence that took the whole block of Pompeii. Julia Felix
was lucky enough to be born in a rich and influential family. Along with
her famous name she inherited a large fortune.
At the time of its
construction Mansion of Julia Felix was well furnished and beautifully decorated. Various
statues around the house gave the residence its stylish appearance.
However the villa was badly damaged in an earthquake of 62 AD just a
decade before the final destruction of Pompeii. Inventive and smart
women quickly used her private property to rent out to the locals those
houses and business were completely destroyed by this natural disaster.
She quickly increased her fortunate through extra income to become a
prominent public figure in Pompeii.
Graffiti on the facade of House of Julia Felix states:
To let, for the term of ﬁve years, from the thirteenth day of
next August to the thirteenth day of the sixth August thereafter,
the Venus bath, ﬁtted up for the best people, shops, rooms over
shops, and second-story apartments in the property owned by Julia
Felix, daughter of Spurius.
Her residence was first discovered in
1755, but it was completely explored only in the 20th century.
Unfortunately, no one knew that the voids preserved the forms of the
dead people, so no one poured plaster into the voids in the
territory of this beautiful villa. We don't know how many people
perished on that day or whether Julia Felix was among them.
Archaeologists discovered an interesting heating system underneath its
floors. Heated water would flow underneath the residents of the
thus conducting heat inside rooms of the villa during colder winter
months. Additionally they discovered a nymphaem or a grotto of nymphs
with a water stair fountain. It was probably a favorite place for Julia
to relax and escape loud street of busy urban life. In the corner of the
garden of the House of Julia Felix there were baths for Julia
herself and her guests. Judging by the inscription mentioned above,
this bath had the romantic name of Baths of Venus.