Monday, June 15, 2020

House of Sallust: An example of a Roman domus converted to a hospitium (grand hotel) in Pompeii

Watercolor of an altar in the House of Sallust with a painting of the myth of Actaeon and Diana, 1886, by Josef Theodor Hansen
Although I'm researching the House of the Surgeon and the House of the Silver Wedding, I came across so much material on the House of Sallust and its Wikipedia page was so marginal, I spent most of the morning adding much more information about it to Wikipedia. 

Late 19th century painter Josef Theodor Hansen produced a beautiful 1886 watercolor of the altar on the back wall of the Gynaeconitis (Courtyard with women's quarters) of the House of Sallust depicting a painting of the goddess Diana bathing and Actaeon, an unfortunate hunter who had seen her bathing and was transformed into a stag with horns, being chased by his own hounds, Europa, Helle, and Phrixus.    This painting gave the house its original name, House of Actaeon.   It later received its modern name from an election notice placed on the facade, recommending Gaius Sallustius for office. 

A marvelous bronze sculpture of Hercules subduing the Hind of Ceryneia was also found in the atrium of the House.  The structure, originally a Samnite atrium-style house thought to have been constructed in the 4th century BCE, was later converted to a hospitium, the Roman equivalent of a grand hotel.

Hopefully, I'll be able to find more information about the artifacts recovered there and add it to the article.  I have added a picture of a marvelous bronze sculpture of Hercules subduing the Hind of Ceryneia that was found in the atrium of the house to the image gallery on the page.

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