Pompeii Ruins

The house of the dancing Faun in Pompeii

Walking in the streets of Pompeii we have had way to watch around and get an idea of a typical domus of Pompeii: rectangular plant, no window, entrance hall with impluvium and compluvium, peristyle with garden and many frescoes. Each of these ones introduces its peculiarities, each with a particular detail,a little testimony, that it gives us a little piece of history….

One of the most beautiful and rich domus of Pompeii is for sure the House of the Faun.


[cml_media_alt id='4962']Mosaico ingresso[/cml_media_alt]

Mosaico ingresso

As soon as you get into the house, you meet a mosaic with the written HAVE in multicolor mosaic patterns. Sure this wanted to be a cordial greeting to the host who came from the entrance, but, much more probably, it was a way to show the culture of the owner of the house – in that period, in fact, in Pompeii they still spoke the oscan language, for which being able to know and speak the Latin implied a very high cultural extraction. It is not the only indication to such purpose that we find in the house of the Faun. Also the choice of having many wide spaces, pillars and entrance halls, and little spaces inhabited by the slaves says much on the will of the owner to show the own wealth. His identity is not exactly known, but according to the inscriptions found on a frame where probably there was a statue, seems features of a pertaining to the family of the Satrii or the Cassii.

The structure of the House of the Faun

[cml_media_alt id='4964']Planimetria di Pompei - a Nord-Ovest la Regio VI[/cml_media_alt]

Planimetria di Pompei – ad Ovest la Regio VI

Built in II the century and then widened in the century after, this House of the Faun is among the most beautiful but above all widest houses of Pompeii. Its surface cover 2970 sq. meters, occupying therefore great part of the Regio VI of Insula 12. In short, just think that typing on google “House 2970 meters square” you have as result “luxury house for sale”, so you can get an idea of how much could be “important” at that age a house of such dimensions.


Entering the porch made in tuff you arrive in the vestibolo. The pavement is decorated with refining opus sectile, with triangles in marble and limestone stone. Enter the Atrium where the middle is placed the impluvium – that here is made of travertine and Tuff, as it was not usual – in which was found a Dancing Satyr.

Pianta della casa del fauno

[cml_media_alt id='4971']Battle_of_Issus_MAN_Napoli_Inv10020_n03[/cml_media_alt]The building has two gardens with a peristyle and two halls, finely decorated with frescoes in the first style. The pavements are wonderful mosaics, the most famous is the one of the esedra that represents the battle between Dario and Alexander (now guarded at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples).

The mosaic measures m 3.20 x 5.50 and is a masterpiece of about one and a half million pieces and it’s a representation of the hellenic painter Filosseno of Eretria. It mosaic was commissioned because probably the owner was in some way connected to the Macedonians, or, according to other speculations, he just wanted another demonstration of the mejesty of the master of the dwelling.


The dancing Faun

The name of dwelling derives from the little bronze statue found in the center of the impluvium. The statue is the representation of a dancing faun, a divinity of the nature correspondent to the satyr of the Greek culture. The original one is now guarded in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples while here it has been replaced by its exact reproduction. If you walk in the streets of the “new” Pompeii you will see many little shops, the typical “bancarelle”, so full of little statues of that satyr, that it is one of the iconic symbols of the ancient Pompeii, in all the measures and materials: just have to choose!




Fonte immagini: google images







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