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Regio VII

Brothel

 

Pompeii’s Lupanare (this names derives from “lupa” that in Latin means prostitute) is a small two floor building: five small rooms downstairs, sort of five cells with stone beds and small windows where prostitutes usually used to meet their clients; five environments more spacious upstairs, connected by an hanging balcony an two latrines, one for each floor. Outside two wooden doors protected from indiscreet looks.

Downstairs the walls are adorned by some paintings figuring different erotic positions (the different “performances”, each with its price) and by graffiti: from these graffiti, about two hundred, eighty names of prostitutes and clients have been identified. The rooms upstairs don’t present erotic paintings not even graffiti; perhaps the destination was different.

 

It’s the only Lupanare in Pompeii, but we must remember that only the 2/3 of the ancient city have been discovered. This doesn’t mean that it was the only place in which the sexual commerce was practised. It was, however, the only place in which the sexual commerce was practised in “notorious and indiscriminate” way as it’s defined by the Roman right: it means without the possibility to choose their clients. In fact in Pompeii there were other forms of prostitution but that according to the Roman right it was nor prostitution: for the staff, masculine and female, of the thermal baths and of the taverns it was common practice to have sexual commerce with the clients. But for the law this was not prostitution because it wasn’t “notorious and indiscriminate”.

 

 

Suburban Baths | Temple of Apollo

Weights and Measures Office | Forum Olitorium

Temple of Jupiter | Macellum

Sacello Larum pubblicorum | Temple of Vespasian

Building of Eumachia | Stabian Baths

House of Sirico | Brothel

Pistrinum of Modesto | Temple of Fortuna Augusta

Forum Baths | Via delle Terme

Via della Fortuna | Vicolo del Lupanare

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