When Was The City Of Pompeii Built

The city of Pompeii boasts a complex, long history and is closely linked to the Roman Empire. Established in the 6th century BCE, the city grew to become a flourishing maritime port and Roman resort town. Located on Italy’s west coast, Pompeii was destroyed and engulfed in ash following the eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius – one of the most catastrophic volcanic eruptions in recorded history. Despite the eruption occurring in 79 CE, the acropolis, the city centre and many of the villas in Pompeii remain remarkably well preserved.

At the time of eruption, archaeologists estimate that the city of Pompeii had been occupied for approximately 600-650 years. The city’s origin is shrouded in legend and mythology, with the surrounding area and slopes of the volcano housing a number of settlements prior to Pompeii’s establishment. Pompeii was a prosperous centre for the area, and archaeological evidence suggests the presence of a large market around central piazza. Here, many merchants and traders conducted their business, such as pottery, tools and agricultural products.

As with other ancient settlements, the physical environment played a key role in how the citizens of Pompeii lived and interacted. When it was founded, the city was located in the centre of a semi-arid region and relied upon rainfall to support its agricultural activities. Evidence suggests that around the mid-fourth century BCE, the landscape had become significantly greener and was dominated by vineyards, olive groves and fruit-trees. Political and economic stability between the fourth and first century BCE also contributed to the city’s prosperity, and it is believed that a number of Roman aristocratic families had moved to the area by the time of the eruption.

Pompeii have become renowned for its well-preserved ruins, but without its strong foundation, the city would not remain standing today. The city was built on a Roman grid plan, with a main cardo marking the city’s long axis, and the major streets intersecting it in the manner of a classic Roman grid plan. Vital infrastructure including temples, forums and public baths were carefully planned around the central axis of the city. In addition, graffiti, paintings and open-air theatres demonstrate how the citizens of Pompeii interacted with one another.

Archaeologists continue to uncover more information about the city’s origin, with the knowledge gained allowing future generations to learn more about the ancient civilisation that had occupied the area prior to the eruption. While the eruptions were certainly destructive, they have also enabled us to view more of Pompeii than was ever thought possible.

Highlighted Architectural Features

Pompeii was not only known for its cultural vibrancy and commerce, but also for its remarkable architectural features. One well preserved example is the House of the Faun, which denotes a number of notable characteristics of Pompeii’s architecture. Built in the second century BCE, the building is one of the city’s largest, and was designed in a horseshoe shape, enabling abundant natural light to enter the space. The atrium, or courtyard, featured a pool, garden and portico. The short walls that supported benches around the atrium were decorated with vibrant mosaic artwork, while the side walls boasted doors leading to public reception rooms and private bedrooms. Since the atrium was located in the centre of the house, it played a significant role in the daily life of the family.

A number of city walls and fortifications were also built to protect Pompeii, with a third century BCE wall of rectangular blocks still visible. These stone blocks enabled Pompeii to achieve a more grandiose status, while also significantly reducing the possibility of it being invaded. This was particularly important given the city’s close proximity to the sea, and its strategic importance as a trading port.

In addition, the citizens of Pompeii built bridges and aqueducts to carry fresh water into the city and transport goods around it. The city’s Amphitheatre was constructed during the 2nd century BCE, and is still one of the best preserved in Italy. The immense structure included many seating tiers, and is touted as one of Pompeii’s most prominent pieces of architecture.

Religious Structures and Historic Temples

Ancient religion was a major part of the Roman lifestyle and had a significant impact on society and life in Pompeii. Like much of the Roman Empire, the two main deities were Apollo, who was associated with light and understanding, and Jupiter, the god of thunder and lightning. However, in Pompeii, the two were seen as separate entities, with Apollo being the patron deity of the area. Around his temple, the Pompeians would construct the city’s basilicas and Forum, linking Apollo’s temple with the political and juridical system in place in the city.

The Temple of Jupiter was situated close to the Forum, and was the main regional sanctuary for Jupiter. The temple was built in the fourth century BCE and underwent a number of renovations over time, although it remained largely intact until the volcanic eruption. A number of other temples were located near the Forum, including a Temple of Venus, Temple of Fortun,a and Temple of Apollo.

Prior to the eruption, Pompeii also boasted two basilicas, including one dedicated to Apollo, and the other dedicated to an unknown deity. The Apollo Basilica was founded in the third century BCE, although archaeological evidence suggests that it had been established for use for some time before this. The other basilica, located on the east side of the Forum, was a space used for hearings and legal proceedings.

Cultural Institutes and Institutions

Pompeii was at the heart of the Roman Empire and numerous cultural and artistic centres and buildings have been uncovered since the excavation in the 18th and 19th centuries. Two of the most prominent institutions are the last remaining ancient lupanar, which is an old brothel located on the south side of the city, and the Lupanare di Stabia, a painting house that was discovered between 1863 and 1864. Other cultural institutions in and around the city include libraries, public theatres, public baths and other public buildings, suggesting that the citizens of Pompeii had a strong interest in the arts.

The most notable library was the Library of Pompaean Law, a large library built in the first century BCE in the scale of a modern library. Library of Pompaean Law has a collection of 269 volumes, which are believed to have been written by contemporary Roman legal scholars. The library included a wide range of texts on the Roman Republic and its laws, and is an important source for the study of Roman law.

Statues and Artwork

One of the most impressive characteristics of Pompeii is the vast array of artwork and statues left intact by the eruption. One of the most well-known pieces of artwork is the large bronze statue of Apollo, said to have been commissioned in the first century BCE by pub the Roman Republic. The statue has been preserved to remarkable condition and stands as a reminder of the Roman’s appreciation of the arts.

Various sculptures, paintings, and mosaics are scattered throughout the city, beautifully illustrating scenes of everyday life. Wall paintings of intricate landscapes and publically shared sexual content were also remarkably well preserved at various public house sites. Other artefacts such as coins, jewellery, tools and pottery offer insights into how the citizens of Pompeii lived and interacted, allowing us to gain a unique understanding of their culture and social customs.

Overall, the historical value of Pompeii is undeniable and can be seen through its carefully preserved ruins, archaeological

Herman Shaw is a passionate traveler and avid photographer who has seen many of the world's most awe-inspiring monuments. He has developed expertise in various aspects of world architecture and culture which he enjoys sharing with his readers. With deep historical knowledge and insight, Herman's writing brings life to these remarkable artifacts and highlights their importance in the grand scheme of human history.

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