The ancient Roman city of Pompeii was buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 B.C., the ruins offer an unparalleled window into the quotidian life of classical antiquity.

The city, of Oscan origin, was dominated by several different populations; after the Social War (91-88 B.C.), Pompeii was elevated to the rank of colony, with the name Cornelia Venera Pompeiana. In 62 A.D. Pompei was partially destroyed by an earthquake, and as its reconstruction was still ongoing, on August 24, 79 A.D. the eruption of Vesuvius covered the city and its suburban villas with a thick layer of stones, ashes and lapilli (thick, glassy lava).

Since the discovery of the buried city in the 18th Century, scholars have excavated countless ruins that bear witness to the city architectural importance.

In Pompeii the main forum and public buildings – such as the Capitolium, a temple dedicated to the divine triad of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva; the Basilica or tribunal court; and the public baths, comprised of the triangular forum with two theatres (the larger of Greek origin but modeled on Roman tastes). Other public buildings of note here include the well-preserved Stabian Baths.
Due to its healthy climate and pleasant scenery, Pompeii was a holiday resort for rich Romans. It is now famous for its civic buildings lining the streets that are still intact today. Some of these include the Surgeon’s House, as well as those of the Faun and the Chaste Lovers, which are exceptional examples of the epoch’s architecture. Another remarkable construction is the House of Mysteries, which derives its name from the murals depicting the initiation rites (i.e., the mysteries) of the Dionysian cult.