Italia (Pleiades)


Pompeii (Pleiades)

Location Description

An ancient city of Campania destroyed by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79, Pompeii was named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.


Region I


Insula II



A small garden with pools to the rear of a domestic property, in addition to one peristyle garden with decorative elements.

Garden Description

A. At the rear of the house was a very small garden entered from the tablinum. Excavated in 1872, much of the garden was occupied by two small raised pools, according to Mau. Attached to the west wall was a masonry pool 0.58 m deep on the inside and 0.73 m high on the outside. The other pool was to the south and there was a garden painting on the rear wall.

B. The peristyle garden to the east of the atrium was excavated in 1873. It had a portico on the north and west supported by two pillars, one at the northwest corner and the other in the middle of the north side. A gutter sloped towards the southeast corner as it went around the east, north, and west edges of the garden. A shrine-like structure was built against the east wall with the marble veneered façade above the level of the floor of the niche. The niche contained a marble statuette of Venus, her left arm supported by a statuette (1.04 m high; Mus Naz. inv. no. 109 608; Ruesch no. 1325). The wall behind the statue was painted to represent blue drapery and the ceiling had a shell-like fluting. Two small marble statuettes of toads (Mus. Nac. inv. no. 109 609, 109 610) found in the garden and probably the one of two doves (Mus. Naz. inv. no. 120 407) found in the tablinum decorated the flowerbeds. There was also a marble head of a man identified as Agrippa, found cemented in a cup (total height 0.285 m; Mus. Nac. inv. no. 109 611; Reusch no. 1081). The marble statuette of Hercules wrapped in a lion skin (0.70 m high; Mus. Nac. inv. no. 109 677) found in the atrium was probably a garden decoration. The large room on the north had a fine view of the garden and the east and south walls of the garden were decorated with garden paintings. These were separated by narrow panels with a painting of a candelabrum, according to Mau, and each painting featured a fence with an amphora upon it. Behind this there was a thicket with birds. On either side of the amphora there was an ibis, and a pheasant in the center. Fiorelli mentioned observing animals in the paintings. Jashemski notes that no trace of the paintings remained when she examined the site; she has never seen a pheasant represented in any garden paintings.


  • Boyce, G.K. 1937. Corpus of the Lararia of Pompeii, p. 22 (worldcat)
  • De Franciscis, A. 1951. Il ritratto romano a Pompei, p. 25 and figs. 10-11 (worldcat)
  • Dwyer, E.J. 2010. Pompeii's living statues: ancient Roman lives stolen from death, p. 124, 127 (worldcat)
  • Fiorelli, G. 1875. Descrizione di Pompei, p. 44 (worldcat)
  • GiornSc, n.s., 1874-1877, 3, cols. 46-47, 48, 55
  • Grimal, P. 1969. Les jardins romaines, p. 445, no.1
  • Jashemski, W.F. 1979, Garden of Pompeii: Herculaneum and the villas destroyed by Vesuvius, pp. 124-125 (worldcat)
  • Jashemski, W.F. 1993, Gardens of Pompeii: Herculaneum and the villas destroyed by Vesuvius. Vol. II, Appendices, pp. 23-24, 313 (worldcat)
  • Mau, A. 1873. BdI, pp. 233-235
  • Mau, A. 1874. BdI, pp.265-266
  • Niccolini, F. Le case ed i monumenti di Pompeii, Naples, Vol. II, p. 76
  • Niccolini, F. Le case ed i monumenti di Pompeii, Naples, Vol. III, p. 6, plate no.14
  • Reinach, S. 1904. Répertoire de la Statuaire Grecque et Romaine, p. 378 (worldcat)
  • Sogliano, A. 1879. Le pitture murali campane scoverte negli anni 1867-79, p. 223, no. 691
  • Sogliano, A. 1883. Notizie degli Scavi, p. 310
  • Viola, L. 1879. Gli scavi di Pompei dal 1873 al 1878, pp. 12, 76, no.1, p. 77, nos. 5, 12, p.79, nos. 45, 46 (worldcat)
  • Warscher, T. 1937-1957. Codex Topographicus Pompeianus, no. 32 (worldcat)

Pleiades ID




Excavation Dates

Excavated 1869.


Wilhelmina Jashemski (https://lib.guides.umd.edu/c.php?g=326514&p=2193250)

Publication date

21 Apr 2021