Ermak Travel Guide

 

The World at your fingertips 

 

 

 

House of the Neptune Mosaic (Casa di Nettuno e Amfitrite) (Herculaneum)

House of the Neptune Mosaic (Casa di Nettuno e Amfitrite) (Herculaneum)  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

House of the Neptune Mosaic (Casa di Nettuno e Amfitrite) (Herculaneum)  House of the Neptune Mosaic (Casa di Nettuno e Amfitrite) (Herculaneum)

House of the Neptune Mosaic belonged to a wine merchant. Part of the residential building was given over to a wine store, where there were wooden shelves on which clay amphorae with wine were stored. Volcanic mud has kept the wooden shelves in excellent condition. The house itself got its name due to a beautiful mosaic depicting the ancient Roman gods Neptune and amphitrites in the courtyard of the residential premises. Other ritual artifacts are also preserved here. including the Herm of Hercules and the statue of Jupiter.
 
House of the Neptune Mosaic lie to the North of the Carbonised Furniture House on Cardo IV street. The owner of the house apparently also owned a liquor store (F) that opens directly onto the street. The store has been preserved almost intact and is the best example of a store in the region. The charred and carbonized wooden shelves were still there. On these shelves hung amphorae of wine. Also perfectly preserved are the wooden balustrades of the balcony, posts and partitions with two bars. The store, equipped with care, was abandoned during the eruption so that the items on the counter and the amphorae on the shelves were preserved. Also, beans and peas were found in large jars installed in the masonry counter.

 

 

 

 

House of the Neptune Mosaic (Casa di Nettuno e Amfitrite) (Herculaneum)  House of the Neptune Mosaic (Casa di Nettuno e Amfitrite) (Herculaneum)

The house has a standard layout of entrance hall (a), atrium (b), Tablinum and a small home garden. The entrance hall (a) opens from the East side of Cardo IV street. On its North side is a small room either for servants or for storage (photo below left). The entrance hall leads directly to the large atrium (b) (photo below right), which has a marble impluvium pool in its center. Through a hole in the roof, rainwater flowed into this room. The atrium was decorated with frescoes of the fourth style but most of them were destroyed. Today, only fragments have been preserved.

 

House of the Neptune Mosaic (Casa di Nettuno e Amfitrite) (Herculaneum)  House of the Neptune Mosaic (Casa di Nettuno e Amfitrite) (Herculaneum)

House of the Neptune Mosaic (Casa di Nettuno e Amfitrite) (Herculaneum)  House of the Neptune Mosaic (Casa di Nettuno e Amfitrite) (Herculaneum)

At the far corner of the atrium is a relatively small Tablinum-the owner's office. Some of the decorations of the fourth style are still preserved. The murals consist of red and yellow panels above the lower red border. The room has a small white mosaic floor with a simple black stripe along the borders. The tablinum opens into a beautifully designed courtyard. At the back of it stands a Nymphaea, and the walls are covered with mosaics. In the Northwest corner of the atrium stood the lararium, a domestic temple dedicated to the gods of the house. Two marble slabs were found in it, painted with red lines, one of which preserved the artist's signature: Alexander of Athens painted this.

A short passageway (Andron) to the right of the Tablinum leads to the courtyard garden (e) (pictured above). In the center of the courtyard is a summer triclinium, lined with marble. On the far end wall of the court is a nymphea crowned by the head of Silenus accompanied by two marble theatrical masks.

 

House of the Neptune Mosaic (Casa di Nettuno e Amfitrite) (Herculaneum)  House of the Neptune Mosaic (Casa di Nettuno e Amfitrite) (Herculaneum)

The side and Central niches of the Nymphaeum are decorated with geometric and floral motifs and scenes of hunting with dogs and deer, consisting of glass mosaics. Niches are decorated with images of shells and mother-of-pearl. In the center of the back wall of the garden is a mosaic, after which the house was named, depicting Neptune and Amphitrite. Both figures are surrounded by a decorative pattern. According to legend, Neptune saw Amphitrite dancing with the Nereids on the island of Naxos. The sea God kidnapped her and took her away and married her. On the South side of the courtyard, you can access the largest room of the house, the triclinium (d), which is also accessible from the Southeast corner of the atrium. The triclinium lost much of its fourth-style decoration, which consisted of red panels depicting architectural forms. The office room has a white mosaic floor framed by two simple black stripes.

The upper rooms (currently visible from the street, as the front wall collapsed during the earthquake that accompanied the eruption) were decorated with frescoes in the fourth style, and the floor itself was covered with mosaics. There was also a bronze bed. These rooms were probably the owner's private chambers.

 

 

 

 

 

blog comments powered by Disqus