House of Menander

 House of Menander Pompeii



Location: Regio I

Insula 10

Area: 1825 square meters
Rooms: +40


House of Menander Pompeii  House of Menander Pompeii

House of Menander is one of the most outstanding and well preserved houses in Pompeii. Unlike many other buildings in Pompeii House of Menander kept its roof that allowed protection of inner decor of the walls and floors of the building including colorful frescoes and mosaics. House of Menander in large semi-basement, archaeologists found a large collection of more than a hundred silver objects and a large number of coins. The atrium or the living room was painted with hunting scenes and landscapes. The walls of the house of Menander depicted scenes of the fall of Troy. The house got its name from the image of the Ancient Greek poet and playwright Menander, which was preserved in one of the niches in the peristyle of this house. Some have suggested that the picture does not really depict Menander, but the owner of the house or another person reading the works of Menander.


House of Menander Pompeii

House of Menander Pompeii House of Menander Pompeii House of Menander Pompeii  House of Menander Pompeii  House of Menander Pompeii

The archaeologist Della Corte believed that the owner of Menander’s house was Quintus Popius Sabin because of the inscription in the hallway of the house where a certain “Quintus” was mentioned. Other graffiti in the house mentioned Sabina. The ring found in the servant's quarter suggests that the property belonged to Quint Poppius, possibly a relative of Poppa Sabina, the second wife of Emperor Nero. Menander’s house may have belonged to a local magistrate. Warm Mediterranean climate of Pompeii attracted many Romans, who invested in country villas around the city. It is possible that the owner during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD was a rich tourist, not a local resident.


About a dozen bodies were found in the House of Menander. Three bodies (two men and one woman) in room M, and 10 more bodies were found in the corridor. Judging by the fact that lamp, pickaxes and shovels were found with many bodies, these citizens were not engaged in working in the fields. Most likely these were poor citizens who tried to find the treasures of wealthy citizens after they left their mansions. Here they were overtaken by death in the morning. Today, their remains are stored under glass.

House of Menander  House of Menander

Bodies and lamp people carried


Like many other rich houses, the House of Menandra was uniting several houses. Owners broke the walls between these houses, connecting several buildings into a single whole. The entrance opens from the south side of Vicolo dell Menandro Street, surrounded by stone armchairs, possibly designed to cater for the customers and guests of the owner. A fairly simple facade is partially covered by few remaining areas of painted plaster, especially on the west side of the entrance. The corridor (a) is decorated with frescoes in the fourth style with large black panels over the lower black decorative frieze. Black panels contain small images of animals and birds. The upper zone is painted white with decorative borders.