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Regio III - Insula X - Caseggiato degli Aurighi (III,X,1)

The Building of the Charioteers borders on the south side on the Cardo degli Aurighi (Street of the Charioteers), on the west side on the Via Tecta (a road spanned by large arches), on the east side on the Sacello delle Tre Navate (Shrine of the Three Naves, III,II,12), and on the north side on the Terme dei Sette Sapienti (Baths of the Seven Sages, III,X,2). It forms an entity with the latter building and the Caseggiato del Serapide (Building of Serapis, III,X,1) further to the north. It was the last of these three buildings to be erected, during the first years of the reign of Antoninus Pius (c. 140 AD), thirteen to fourteen years after the construction of block III,X had begun, at the north end.



Plan of the building. After SO I.

The rooms are arranged around courtyard 11, with high arches. In a later period basins were added at the north end, and rooms 10 and 10a at the south end. To the north, west and east of the courtyard are long corridors. On the south wall of the north corridor are two paintings of charioteers from the Antonine period. In their hands are a crown and a palm-branch, symbols of victory. Staircases 16, 17 and 23 led to apartments on the upper floors. Rooms 26-33 constitute a ground floor apartment. It has paintings of good quality from the Antonine period. We see red and black lines on white and yellow backgrounds. In room 32 are a miniature landscape and a depiction of perhaps Scylla. In room 30 are miniature landscapes and still-lives, and depictions of Amorini playing with the weapons of Mars. In room 28 is a painting of a deer-hunt and a depiction of a panther. Several graffiti, one mentioning the host Licinius, suggest that for some time these rooms were a hotel. The north corner of the apartment is taken up by a large communal latrine (34). More paintings can be seen on the secondary walls of room 10: orange bands, red lines and birds on a white background. In rooms 8 and 9 are more paintings from a later period, perhaps the third century (animals, garlands). To the east of the courtyard were originally two large halls, presumably for commercial purposes. Some dividing walls were added later. To the south of the courtyard was a double porticus. Here too dividing walls were added later.


Photographs



The facade on the Cardo degli Aurighi, seen from the east.
Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.



The Via Tecta degli Aurighi.
Photograph: Melissa Sellers.



The east half of the couryard, from the west.
Photograph: Laura Maish - Bill Storage.



The upper part of an aedicula in the courtyard.
Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.



The corridor at the north end of the building, seen from the west.
Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.



The painting of charioteers in the corridor to the north of the courtyard.
Photograph: Stephan Mols.



Detail of the painting of charioteers.
Photograph: Laura Maish - Bill Storage.



Painting in room 10.
Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.



Painting in room 10, south wall.
Photograph: Eric Taylor.



Room 28, south wall, right.
The paintings in this room are typical for the Antonine period. White panels are separated by
very wide bands. Small landscapes etc. without a complete frame "float" on the white panels.
Photograph: Stephan Mols.



Room 28, south wall, right. Detail of the previous photograph: a deer-hunt.
Photograph: Stephan Mols.



Room 28, detail of painting.
Photograph: Eric Taylor.



Room 28, detail of painting: a panther.
Photograph: Eric Taylor.



Room 30, north wall, left.
Photograph: Eric Taylor.



Room 30, south wall, centre: amorini playing with the weapons of Mars.
Photograph: Eric Taylor.



Room 30, west wall.
Photograph: Eric Taylor.



Room 30, west wall, detail of previous photograph: a miniature landscape.
Photograph: Eric Taylor.



Room 30, west wall: a still-life.
Photograph: Eric Taylor.



Room 9, paintings. On the upper part of the wall a superimposed layer has fallen down,
revealing the original plaster. Note the marks of a pick-axe.
These holes in the original plaster were made for the adhesion of the new layer.
Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.



Latrine 34. Photograph: Laura Maish - Bill Storage.

[jthb - 4-Mar-2007]