Thursday, June 28, 2012

Peristyles in Pompeii


            In Pompeii we were able to see all the ruins. The city had been buried under ash from the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius in the year 79 A.D. Since the homes were perfectly conserved we could see the entire layout. After going through a couple of the houses I noticed a common trend. Many had atrium and peristyles with the atrium being the smaller opening at the front of the house and the peristyle, which is a columned porch with a garden inside.  The walls are usually embellished with decorative paintings and frescos. The rich were usually the ones who could afford the extravagant peristyliums. Simon Ellis reflected on the significance and said, “ the disappearance of the Roman peristyle house marks the end of the ancient world and its way of life.” The courtyard could range from simple to decadent. It could include flower, shrubs, fountains, fishponds, benches, and sculptures. The one in the picture shows an over grown garden in the center which would have not have been the case. In ancient times the gardens were some of their prized places, where they were able to show off their wealth. This was definitely one of my favorite places I visited!

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