Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Italy Blog #82: Pompeii - Part 3: The Menander Home & Cat's Eye Marble Flooring

The outside garden behind the house
In part 3 of our walk through the unburied ancient Italian city of Pompeii, we  got to see inside the home of a wealthy family. We'll take you inside what is now called the "MENANDER HOUSE." Between the amazing gardens, the perfectly preserved wall paintings and the Cat's Eye Marble Flooring, this was amazing! 
Rob's sketch of the layout of the house

MY SKETCH OF THE HOUSE - As we walked through the Menander house, I (Rob) sketched the layout because it's hard to understand all of the facets of the house from individual photos. It was quite a layout.

Painting of Meander
WHY CALLED MENANDER HOUSE?  - Archaeologists gave that name to this wealthy house because inside was a painting of the 6th Century BC Greek Poet Menander sitting on a stool. They speculate that this painting was done to show that the owner was cultured.

WHOSE HOUSE WAS IT? The house belonged to the Poppei family and was built starting in the 3rd century B.C.

SILVER FOUND IN THE HOUSE - This house is also known as the "house of the silverware" because of the collection of pieces found in a chest in the cellars of the house. There were 118 pieces of silver as well as numerous others made of gold and coins.

Cat's Eye Marble Chip Flooring
OUTSIDE GARDENS - A large square garden was actually in the middle of the house. All of the rooms were built around the garden, which was quite elaborate (in these wealthy houses).
  WHAT IS CAT'S EYE MARBLE CHIP FLOORING? - This decorative marble floor was amazingly intact after all the ash was cleared from the home. It had reflective properties, too. When they cast the concrete for the floors, they embedded marble chips. At night, the torch light reflected off the marble chips. It worked so well inside they embedded polished marble in concrete of the streets.

PAINTED WALLS!  Think about this - 1,938 years later, some of the walls in the Menander house still held onto their yellowish color!  Amazing. 

Painted walls still retain some color!
ILIAD MURAL - The rooms to the left of the entrance contain paintings showing scenes taken from Episodes of the Iliad.

Iliad Mural
ANCIENT BATHROOMS! - Although bathrooms didn't exist in the middle ages (1100 to 1400 A.D. in Italy) because they were phased out (for some stupid reason), they certainly did in ancient Pompeii. The western area of the house is actually occupied by the quarters set aside for use as bathrooms!

OTHER DETAILS - There were designs carved on different ceilings, there were paintings on various walls and there were mosaic tile floors still in many of the rooms.

detailed mosaic floor

Detailed carving on ceiling

Another mosaic floor


Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next