Tuesday, March 28, 2017

EMPEROR NERO'S TOILET

The latrine inside Villa Poppaea, an opulent Roman villa owned by the Emperor Nero in the Roman town of Oplontis, is fairly large, there would have been room for several seats around the U-shaped space.
It's the classic Greco-Roman design as seen at Ephesus and elsewhere — a fairly deep waste channel against a wall, a raised seating surface (apparently of wood or otherwise not surviving today), and a low water channel for washing flowing past the users' feet. 
Europeans didn't have toilet paper until recently. The Romans, at least the higher classes and certainly Nero, used a tersorium, a sponge mounted on a stick. The sponge could be dipped into a water channel running in front of the row of communal toilets in the latrine, and rinsed off in that channel after use. If there was no channel of running water, a bucket of salt water or vinegar water would be used.

Monday, March 27, 2017

VERGINI NEIGHBOURHOOD

“Vergini is rich of history, of heart. It was an area of cemeteries and convents, a very spiritual location from ancient times.” 
SMMAVE stands for Santa Maria della Misericordia ai Vergini, the 16th-Century church it was originally formed to restore. Maria Corbi, an art historian, and her co-founders, artists Christian Leperino and Massimo Tartaglione, solved wiring and plumbing issues, shovelled rubbish and tackled mountains of paperwork alongside the actual restoration. 
Fortunately, the three friends weren’t completely on their own – they were supported by volunteers from the neighbourhood, along with art and architecture students. Together, they cleaned, researched, documented and repaired. After two years of work, the church reopened in 2016 as a centre for contemporary and performance art.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

VENUS IN A GOLD BIKINI

Statuettes of Venus as well as painted statuettes found at Pompeii attest to the importance of her cult in the city. Statuettes were painted in utilitarian gardens, as well as pleasure gardens indicating the reputation of Venus as a guardian of the garden.  
In the house of Venus in Bikini a grand marble statue of Venus was discovered on a base in the atrium behind the impluvium. The statue was originally painted, but all that remains by way of decoration is traces of red paint on her lips and the gilded gold bikini, and other flourishes of gold. 
Venus’ arm is resting on a statue of Priapus while Eros looks up at her from her feet, and she crouches to adjust her sandal. Her gold bikini is an ornate decoration that makes this statue of Venus unique.