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Pompeii

Pompeii (pŏmpā´, Ital. pōmpĕ´ē), ancient city of S Italy, a port near Naples and at the foot of Mt. Vesuvius. Possibly an old Oscan settlement, it was a Samnite city for centuries before it passed under Roman rule at the time of Lucius Cornelius Sulla (1st cent. BC). Pompeii was not only a flourishing port but a prosperous and cosmopolitan resort with many villas. An earthquake in AD 63 did much damage, and an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79 (which was described by Pliny the Younger) buried Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and Stabiae, under cinders and ashes that preserved the ruins of the city with magnificent completeness—down to the fresh colors of the wall paintings.

The long-forgotten site of the city was rediscovered in 1748 and has been sporadically excavated since that time. The habits and manners of life in Roman times have been revealed in great detail at Pompeii by the plan of the streets and footpaths, the statue-decorated public buildings, and the simple shops and homes of the artisans. The houses and villas have yielded rare and beautiful examples of Roman art. Among the most famous are the house of the Vetti, the villa of the Mysteries, and, in the suburbs of Pompeii, the villa of the Boscoreale.

See A. W. Van Buren, A Companion to the Study of Pompeii and Herculaneum (1933); M. Brion, Pompeii and Herculaneum (tr. 1960); A. Maiuri, Pompeian Wall Paintings (1960); D. Taylor, Pompeii and Vesuvius (1969); M. Grant, Cities of Vesuvius (1971); W. Jongman, The Economy and Society of Pompeii (1988); P. Zanker, Pompeii: Public and Private Life (tr. 1999); J. Berry, The Complete Pompeii (2007); M. Beard, The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found (2009); E. de Albentis, Secrets of Pompeii: Everyday Life in Ancient Rome (2009).

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Pompeii

Pompeii Ancient Roman city in se Italy, buried by a pyroclastic volcanic eruption in ad 79. Pompeii was founded in the 8th century bc, and ruled by Greeks, Etruscans and others before conquered by Rome in 89 bc. The eruption of Mount Vesuvius was so sudden and violent that c.2000 people were killed and the city was covered in volcanic ash, preserving ordinary houses intact until excavation began in the 18th century.

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Pompeii

Pompeii an ancient city in western Italy, south-east of Naples. The city was buried by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 ad in which Pliny the Elder was killed; excavations of the site began in 1748, revealing well-preserved remains of buildings, mosaics, furniture, and the personal possessions of the city's inhabitants.

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Pompeii

PompeiiAgnus Dei, clayey, Pompeii

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Pompeii

POMPEII

POMPEII , city in Campania, Southern Italy. There is enough epigraphic evidence, mostly graffiti, to show that Jews lived in Pompeii as well as in the neighboring cities of Herculanum and Stabia, before its destruction in the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 c.e. It seems that most Jews arrived in Pompeii after 70 c.e. This assumption is corroborated by their humble status as freedmen, slaves, servants, or prostitutes. They bear traditional Jewish names such as Iesus, Ionas, Maria, and Martha. However there were also more affluent Jews like a certain Fabius Eupor, who bears the title princes libertinorum, or a certain Youdaikos, a wine merchant. It seems, according to epigraphic evidence, that the Jews took an active part in the municipal life of the city.

One of the houses excavated, called by the excavators "Casa degli ebrei" (N. 6, Reg. viii, Ins. 6), exhibits wall paintings, which depicts the Judgment of Solomon. However it is possible that this painting in fact depicts a tale from Ancient Egypt, mediated by Hellenistic Alexandrine Art, and not a biblical episode. As the painting clearly caricatures the subjects, depicting them as pygmies, the owner was not Jew.

An interesting graffito (Reg. ix, Ins. i, n. 26) read "Sodom Gomor." It is possible that it was written during the eruption of Vesuvius. Another graffito bears the word Cherem in Latin, which may correspond either to ḥerem (ban) or kerem (vineyard).

bibliography:

C. Giordano and I. Kahn, Gli Ebrei in Pompeii, in Ercolano e nelle citta della campania Felix (1965); Review by A.M. Rabello, in- Labeo, 13 (1967), 127); J. Daoust, in: bts 126 (1970); Review by A.M. Rabello, in: rmi 37 (1971), 329. add. bibliography: A. Baldi, L'anatema e la croce, Ebrei e Cristiani in Pompei antica (1983); M. Della Corte, "Fabius Eupor, princes libertinorum e gli elementi giudaici in Pompei," in: Atti dell'Accademia Pontiana, n.s., 3 (1950), 347–53; J. Goodnick Westenholz, Images of Inspiration, The Old Testament in Early Christian Art (2000), 92–93; D. Noy, Jewish Inscriptions of Western Europe, 1 (1993).

[Alfredo Mordechai Rabello /

Samuele Rocca (2nd ed.)]

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