Emerald Green Glass Dish in the form of a boat, possible for condiments (from Pompeii) from Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum

View a slideshow of artifacts offering a visual guide and intimate examination of Ancient Roman life interrupted by the devastation of natural disaster.


History Meme | 1/6 Badass Women | Eumachia

Underneath the fossilised mud and ash at Pompeii, the lives of Roman women have been uncovered. Many of these women did not fit the mould of the dutiful Roman matron or priestess.

Perhaps the most famous woman with a sizeable amount of influence to be discovered out of Pompeii was an upper class priestess named Eumachia. Eumachia was a member of an old Pompeian family who earned their wealth as brick makers. She garnered additional affluence when she married a man who had his own big bank account as the owner of some vineyards on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. Eumachia was quite the woman about Pompeii. Aside from being a wife and mother, she was a public priestess to the cult of Venus (Venus was the patron goddess of Pompeii). And she was the patroness of the fullers' guild. Fullers were dry cleaners of a sort. They laundered the tunics and togas of the town, as well as prepared wool to turn into fine fabrics. It was one of Pompeii's most principal industries. Being the patroness of this trade would have been quite notable for Eumachia and her family.

When, in A.D. 62, a massive earthquake damaged or destroyed large parts of the city, Eumachia paid for the construction of a large building in the forum (the major economic and civic centre of a Roman city). Archaeological evidence suggests that this building was most likely home base for the fullers. Thus, as a show of gratitude, the fullers commissioned a statue of Eumachia’s likeness in her honour complete with a complimentary inscription. This public show of appreciation would have proven significant for the likes of a Roman woman.

Eumachia’s schedule must have been bursting at the seams. On top of her public duties as priestess and her business dealings with the fullers, she also found time to be involved in local politics. The construction of her considerable building in Pompeii’s forum was timed perfectly (if not coincidentally) with her son’s campaign for public office. The generosity of this multifaceted woman would have unquestionably been beneficial to her son’s election. Eumachia was obviously a dedicated mother, a shrewd businesswoman with a giving heart, and had the funding to back it all up. And to further showcase the wealth of her family, Eumachia had a massive marble sepulcher, or tomb, constructed on one of the more affluent streets of the dead in Pompeii, at the Nucerian Gate. Unfortunately, all of Eumachia’s money and influence could not protect her from Mother Nature, and she succumbed, with nearly all other citizens (of every class) of Pompeii, when Mount Vesuvius blew its top on that fateful August morning. (x)


A plaster cast body in Pompeii.

~vacation photos woooo~


Tripod found in Pompei, featuring ithyphallic satyrs

1st century A.D.


Naples, National Archaeological Museum


The study that follows, edits the ithyphallic element





Pompeii ruins



A loaf of bread made in the first century AD, which was discovered at Pompeii, preserved for centuries in the volcanic ashes of Mount Vesuvius. The markings visible on the top are made from a Roman bread stamp, which bakeries were required to use in order to mark the source of the loaves, and to prevent fraud. (via Ridiculously Interesting)

(sigh) I’ve seen these before, but this one’s particularly beautiful.

I feel like I’m supposed to be marveling over the fact that this is a loaf of bread that’s been preserved for thousands of years, and don’t get me wrong, that’s hella cool.  But honestly, I’m mostly struck by the unexpected news that “bread fraud” was apparently once a serious concern.


Pompeii: What objects did people take as they fled?

But as Vesuvius began emitting black clouds of ash, and the danger became more obvious, most people fled or sought shelter. So what did they reach for in the hours before the fatal eruption? There are many practical items like lamps and lanterns. Even before nightfall, the cities could have been plunged into darkness ahead of the main eruption which came shortly after midnight. Some people had their keys, clearly hopeful that they would be returning home. Hundreds of refugees from Herculaneum had taken shelter in the vaulted arcades at the beach, perhaps hoping to be rescued, clutching their jewellery and money.

Among them was a young girl found with a charm bracelet, constructed of more than 40 charms from all over the Roman empire. She may have hoped it would bring her good luck. The bracelet would have had “no financial value,” says Paul Roberts, “but is a very poignant object, which must have had sentimental value for its owner.”

People took things that had personal meaning - a doctor was found with his medical kit, which included scalpels, forceps, and a needle. “We can never know if this was to safeguard the tools of his trade, or a valiant attempt to help the wounded,” says Roberts.

One woman was found with bags of jewellery, and gold and silver coins - more wealth than found with any other body. Around her neck was a large necklace, or “body chain”, which she must have been particularly attached to, as it was the only piece of jewellery she was wearing.

Along with more precious items, there was a single battered earring and fragments of an armlet - suggesting that she didn’t have time to carefully choose what she took, but may have simply grabbed or tipped her jewels into a bag as she fled.

The possessions of another young woman, found outside Pompeii’s Nola gate, suggest that superstition and faith played their part as the victims tried desperately to escape from the rising heat and falling pumice. The “Porta Nola” girl carried a silver statuette of the Egyptian goddess Isis-Fortuna, protective silver amulets including one in the shape of a phallus which was thought to protect against the evil eye, and rings containing icons associated with luck. It is impossible to know whether she, or any of the victims, grabbed those objects at the last minute, but she had clearly tried to protect herself from bad fortune….

People in Pompeii and Herculaneum were also found with impractical items, says Paul Roberts. Some had bulky silver pots, which would have made it hard to escape with any speed, but would have been seen as a valuable item that they could trade for food or money. 

(via BBC History)


Found in Pompeii, Gold coiled snake bracelet.


Mount Vesuvius

Naples, Italy

May 2007


Dog (Detail)  ”Meleager and Atalanta resting after their exhausting six day hunt that culminated in the slaying of the Calydonian boar”

 from Pompeii

 Naples, Archaeological Museum

by * Karl * on Flickr.



 ”Meleager and Atalanta resting after their exhausting six day hunt that culminated in the slaying of the Calydonian boar”

 from Pompeii

 Naples, Archaeological Museum

by * Karl * on Flickr.


Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius, June 2012. Naples, Italy.