Pompeii, Italy

House of the Citharist

The building, forming a large part of the block, was created in the 1st Century BC joining two houses; it was a huge dwelling, having three entrances, two atriums and three porches. It even had baths, a bakery, a pastry shop, and a tavern!

The house was named after the bronze statue of Apollo the Citharist found here (portraying the god as a young lyre player).

In the main courtyard, equipped with a porch, bronze animal statues along the edge of a semicircular, marble-clad pool, were connected with water pipes so they could spout jets of water. Among them there were a wild boar attacked by two hunting dogs, a lion, a fleeing deer and a snake.

The building was probably owned by members of the Popidii family, former slaves; this hypotesis is supported by the graffiti and political campaign slogans painted on the façade, the election posters found along Via dell’Abbondanza, and portraits found inside the house.