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Regio IV - Insula II - Caseggiato IV,II,5

Building IV,II,5 was set against the outer north-west wall of the Terme del Faro (IV,II,1). It was excavated in 1940. There are a few remains of Hadrianic opus mixtum. Most masonry belongs to the reign of Antoninus Pius or Marcus Aurelius (opus latericium; a coin of Marcus Aurelius was found). The only entrance was at the north end, from the paved square of the Caseggiato dell'Ercole (IV,II,3). At a later date an entrance was hacked out in the south-west wall. The north end of the building was modified extensively however: an elaborate stairwell was added, and a huge basin serving the baths (10).

The rooms of the building are on either side of a corridor (5). The ground floor may have been an apartment. There are two small, relatively dark rooms on the south-east side (6, 7). These may have been bedrooms (cubicula). On the north-west side are four rooms, along a public passage connecting the paved square and an unpaved square in the south part of the block. The two southern rooms along the passage (1, 2) originally had wide entrances in the facade. Later these were narrowed, and then blocked. In the facade of the two northern rooms windows have been preserved. At the south end of the corridor is a courtyard (4). The north-east entrance of corridor 5 was later blocked by the large room 10. From that time onwards the building could only be reached through openings in the south-west part, or - because these rough openings may be later - from the first floor.

In room 4 a most curious structure was added later. It consists of two small rooms, the northern one very low and with a sloping ceiling.

In rooms 6 and 7 many remains of paintings were found, in room 6 with depictions of griffins and swans, animals accompanying Apollo (perhaps with a reference to Dionysus). They belong to the later second century.

Also in room 6 a cippus with a dedication to Isis and the Genius of the Apartment was found, by Claudius Pompeius Rusticus Diocles, miles frumentarius from the third Gallic legion. The frumentarii were messengers and police-officers, even secret agents.

MIL(es) FR(umentarius) LEG(ionis) III GAL(licae)

See also a photo album from 2008.

Plan of the building. After SO I.


The central corridor, seen from the south-west. Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

Room 6 to the south-east of the corridor, seen from the west.
Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

The curious structure in room 4, seen from the north.
Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

A wall-painting on the Hadrianic back wall of room 7. Note the bricks of another back wall
that was added later in the second century. Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

The paintings on the north-east and south-east wall of room 6, after they had been taken off the wall.
The lower part of the paintings on the latter wall has for the most part disappeared (cf. below).
SAOA neg. nr. B1304.

The paintings on the south-east wall of room 6, before they had been taken off the wall.
SAOA neg. nr. P109.

The paintings on the north-east wall of room 6, before they had been taken off the wall.
The central part is covered, in preparation for the detachment.
SAOA neg. nr. B1136.

The paintings on the north-west wall of room 6.
Photograph: SAOA.

Detail of a griffin.
Photograph: SAOA.

[jthb - 28-Mar-2009]