Detailed statistical data have been combined in this article and provide how wall paintings and central mythological scenes, and with them a new luxurious taste, developed in Pompeian houses during the late Republic and early Empire. This development suggests there was a change in the social structure of the town. A new class gained influence, at the latest after the earthquake of AD 62, which led to a number of new families profiting from the reconstruction work. A new taste of luxury wall decorations with central mythological scenes spread out all over Pompeii, however most significant in the representative buildings of the rich inhabitants, who exhibited demonstratively their wealth. The rise of the ‘nouveaux riches’ is also reflected in a small number of new themes for paintings, which are repea t ed permanently and monotonously. The mythological figures are now interchangeable, and erotic situations and naked attractive persons are the central feature, rather than the actual mythological narrative.
Article in volume 85, 2010, pages 179-192
The other articles in volume 85, 2010
Alexander Fantalkin and Oren Tal
Gert-Jan Burgers and Jitte Waagen
Natalie L.C. Stevens
Eric M. Moormann