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House of Paquius Proculus

 House of Paquius Proculus Pompeii

 

 

 

Location: Regio I, Insula 7

Area: 809 square meters
Rooms: 14

 

 

 

House of Paquius Proculus  House of Paquius Proculus

House of Paquius Proculus belonged to Paquius Proculus, a former baker who used fame and influence to eventually become the duumviri or a mayor of the whole city of Pompeii. However current opinion stands that the house didn't actually belong to Paquius proculus. This error was due to a graffiti found on the facade of the building during archaeological excavation. Writing advertised Paquius Proculus. Later during the excavations it became clear that although Paquius Proculus could be the friend of the owner of this house, he most likely did not own the house because there were inscriptions in the house itself indicated that Terentius Neo was the owner of this house.

 

A fresco above is probably that of Paquius Proculus and most likely his wife on the left. The mural depicts a couple of middle-class Pompeyans, who are probably husband and wife. The man in the mural wears a toga, a sign of a Roman citizen; and holds rotous (scroll). This is apparently a symbol of the fact that he was involved in public or cultural affairs. The woman on this portrait holds a stylus and a waxen tables that were used to write. It is somewhat unusual for the time period for a woman to be literate and be open about it. It seems that a future mayor wanted to hit as many social groups as he could.

 

There is a suspicion, based on the physical features of the couple, that they are Samnites (former enemies of the Roman Republic). This may explain their desire, show the status that they have achieved in Roman society.

 

House of Paquius Proculus PompeiiPaquius Proculus is an interesting and an enigmatic figure in the history of the city. It seems that he might have been a Christian. One of the clues that might suggest that he belonged to this forbidden religion are destroyed pagan symbols in his bakery. Some were torn off while in places symbols of penis were covered in plaster. Additionally where was a sign in his bakery that looked like a Christian cross (picture on the left). During excavation of his private residence archeologists did discover the Sator Square at a doorjamb at his house. It is possible that this could be an indication of religious affiliation of this prominent figure of Pompeii.

 

 

 

Sator is a polydrom, that is, it can be read in both directions. These letters were found in the house that led some to speculate that the owner of the house was in fact Christian. You can read more about Christianity in Pompeii here.

House of Paquius Proculus  House of Paquius Proculus

SATOR
(From serere = sow) sow, seeder; Founder, grandparent (usually divine); author
Arepo
Unknown word, most likely, a proper name, or coined, or, perhaps, of Egyptian origin. Nowhere was used
Tenet
(From Ténéré = hold) holds, holds; comprehends; possesses; masters; saves
OPERA
(Noun) work, care; help, service, effort / concern; (From opus): work, business.
Rotas
(From the noun Rota) wheel

It would seem silly, but it is enough to transfer the letters and we have a Christian cross with the words "Pater Noster" or Our Father and the letters Alpha and Omega. The beginning and end of the Greek alphabet.

 

House of Paquius Proculus  House of Paquius Proculus