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22. Boscoreale, Villa rustica nel fondo Pasquale Vitiello.

Excavated 1901 -1902.

 

Location.

The fondo of Mr. Pasquale Vitiello, in contrada Centopiedi al Tirone, comune di Boscoreale.

The location was (in 1903) close to the sanctuary of Valle di Pompei, a little further to the north.

 

Bibliography

Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1903, pp. 64 ff.

Carrington, R. 1931. Studies in the Campanian Villae Rusticae: Journal of Roman Studies, 21, pp. 117 (n.22) and note 3, p. 121, fig. 16, p. 126, 129.

Casale A., Bianco A., Primo contributo alla topografia del suburbio pompeiano: Supplemento al n. 15 di ANTIQUA ottobre-dicembre 1979, 30, p. 36.

Crova, B. 1942. Edilizia e tecnica rurale di Roma antica, Milano, pp. 184ff, fig. 34.

Day, J., 1932. Agriculture in the life of Pompeii: Yale Classical Studies, 3, p.186, tav. B, C, n.22.

Fabbricotti, E., 1976. I bagni nelle prime ville romane: Cronache Pompeiane, 2, pp. 29-111, p. 35, fig. 2.

Garcia y Garcia L., 2017. Scavi Privati nel Territorio di Pompei. Roma: Arbor Sapientiae,

Rostovzev, M., 1973. Storia economica e sociale dell'Impero Romano, Firenze, 5° ediz, p. 34, note 26, n. 22.

 

Plan

 

Boscoreale, Villa rustica in the fondo Vitiello. Plan of villa.
According to Casale & Bianco, “this Villa rustica explored in the fondo Vitiello between 1901 and 1902, in contrada Centopiedi al Tirone, comune di Pompei. Presso il canale Sarno.”
See Casale A., Bianco A., Primo contributo alla topografia del suburbio pompeiano: Supplemento al n. 15 di ANTIQUA ottobre-dicembre 1979, no. 30, p. 36 (and plan in fig. 12.)

Boscoreale, Villa rustica in the fondo Vitiello. Plan of villa.

According to Casale & Bianco, “this Villa rustica explored in the fondo Vitiello between 1901 and 1902, in contrada Centopiedi al Tirone, comune di Pompei. Presso il canale Sarno.”

See Casale A., Bianco A., Primo contributo alla topografia del suburbio pompeiano: Supplemento al n. 15 di ANTIQUA ottobre-dicembre 1979, no. 30, p. 36 (and plan in fig. 12.)

 

According to Fabbricotti,

La villa di Centopiedi ha un unico ambiente decorato con pitture di I e II stile: la maggior parte degli altri locali sono rozzi e senza rivestimento. Nell’ala orientale vi era una stanza da bagno, di modeste dimensioni, con una parete in comune con la cucina.  La vasca da bagno, con cannella piccola, era situata in una nicchia. Questa stanza, senza parete vuote, ne pavimento sospeso era dotata di un riscaldimento ottenuto con una piccola stufa, posta nell’angolo Sud-Est.

 

The villa of Centopiedi had one room decorated with paintings of I and II style: most of the other areas were rough and without decoration.

In the east ala there was a bathroom of modest dimensions, with a common wall with the kitchen.  The bathtub, with small water-pipe/tap, was situated in a niche.

This room, without empty wall spaces, nor suspended floor, was equipped with a heater by using a small stove, placed in the south-east corner.

(and note 17: see NdS, 1903, p.64).

See Fabbricotti, E: Cronache pompeiane 2: 1976, p.33-34, fig 2.

 

Notizie degli Scavi, 1903, p.65

 

BOSCOREALE — Villa rustica found in contrada Centopiedi, Tirone.

 

Mr. Carlo Rossi, subject to ministerial authorization, had carried out excavations at the farm of Mr. Pasquale Vitiello, in contrada Centopiedi at Tirone, comune di Boscoreale, from October 31, 1901 to January 18, 1902.

 

The location was close to the place where now stands the sanctuary of Valle di Pompei, a little further to the north. Erupted material from Mount Vesuvius in the year 79 came here too and buried in part the building that Mr. Rossi had found. The floor of one of the rooms was at 5.40 m. below the earth floor level, and the material of the 79 eruption formed a layer of slightly more than four metres (three metres of lapilli, more than a metre of ash and mud).  So, when the rain of erupting materials ceased, considering that the building would have been found in a much better condition of preservation than it is now, you may think that there was a part of it left exposed in the open.

 

The excavated building was a villa, not beautiful nor lavish, but furnished with the necessary comforts, and probably used by a man of means who wished to closely monitor his farm, rather than to escape all the reasons of usefulness to luxury and fashion.

 

Mr. Rossi, perhaps because of his lack of finds found, did not finish the exploration of the whole building. 

In the part uncovered few appeared of any note; it seems there was some alteration in the original arrangement of the rooms, perhaps in order to make them even more rustic, if it still allows me to call it, the villa.

Evidently the owner was not one of those, of which Varrone complained about, for whom the villa was increasingly moving away from the purposes of agriculture

to show off all the delights of a rich home, nor of those which, according to Pliny, it was not possible to think of a villa without a library, museum, aviary, ponds full of fish etc.

 

Boscoreale, Villa rustica nel fondo Pasquale Vitiello. Plan in NdS 1903.
See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1903, p.65.

Boscoreale, Villa rustica nel fondo Pasquale Vitiello. Plan in NdS 1903.

See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1903, p.65

 

The building was of ancient construction, decorated in the first and second style, and contained many rooms; the excavation had not been finished, so the house does not now appear in its entirety on its plan.  The major part of the rooms were basic and without decoration of paintings on the walls, nor was it clear of what use the rooms would have had.

 

To the east was noted a bathroom; (no.1 on the plan) modest in size, in a niche was a bathtub covered with slabs of white marble with a rather small pipe for water; the room was of course a calidarium, because in private houses it was not common to have the luxury also of a frigidarium; but it was not built with the most modern standards, it did not have empty walls or floor with suspensurae. The heating was obtained with a type of small oven placed in the south-east corner. And even this small oven was of a later construction to the decoration of the room; covering and damaging the painted zoccolo that ran all around the inside. This zoccolo was perhaps the most important thing found.

 

Under the tub, two painted dolphins were shown, on the other two sides of the room were seen scenes from the palestra (gym). 

 

Near to the tub, In the centre, was a herm of a bearded divinity, probably Hercules, on whose left side was a palm with fluttering ribbons.  To the left were two naked and bearded boxers, meeting opposite each other armed with boxing gloves: The boxing gloves have the shape of two spools and hide the hands entirely.

 

On the extreme right a beardless athlete, nude and erect, with his raised right hand he poured oil from an alabastron, his left hand was gathered in a manner so as to form a natural recipient for the liquid. These athletes reproduced with sufficient accuracy the well-known statue of which the two principal replicas were at Dresden and Monaco.  Indeed a painting from Herculaneum (Helbig, Wandgemälde, 1507) records this same theme.  As for the two boxers, the fact was noted, that they were shown bearded, while athletes usually appear beardless; however without leaving from Pompeii we find another bearded athlete, in the building of baths and gymnasium, at Reg. VIII.2.23. (see Notizie degli Scavi, 1889, p.116).

 

Seen on the narrowest wall, were scenes of two naked boxers that turned one against the other, with the arms raised for attacking, one of them was bearded, and had a red band around his head with long flying ribbons;  the other is missing his head, both of them, as well, were lacking the extreme parts of the arms, however they couldn’t see each other if they were armed with a similar boxing gloves to that of the other couple.

 

Behind the second was a large amphora, of the panathenaic type. Following to the left, was another naked athlete's figure, with red band around the hair, face turned in profile to the left. It seemed that he had suffered the worse in the contest, holding his hand to his forehead, while blood flowed from his mouth in abundance. In front of him was a large amphora. The style was mediocre; the nudes were of a very incorrect design, and their complexion was grossly implausible.

 

The room 2 on the plan, was a barrel-vaulted cubiculum with walls decorated in First style, red and yellow panels, etc, and cornices not raised with stucco, but only painted.

 

The other room 3 on the plan, had a Second style wall decoration, large columns, with rich frieze and fascia of ivy leaves between one column and the other, similar to the wall of the House of the Labyrinth, reproduced in table III of the album of Mau, Geschichte der Decorativen Wandmalerei. (see also VI.11.9/10).

 

These paintings, as they could not be kept in situ where they were found without serious expense which was considered too high for their importance, the Ministry allowed the owner to detach them, and these were generously donated to the National Museum of Naples, where they are now preserved.

 

The objects found were scant or of no value. Found were a preference of agricultural tools, kitchen items and rough terracotta pots. This proved even more, that the villa was inhabited mainly by farmers. Other objects included a bronze candelabra, resting on three lions’ legs and with an engraving of three cupids’ heads; a fragment of rough terracotta plate, with the mark C.P.I ; five terracotta lamps, three of them with the mark H, very common in pompeian (CIL. X, 8052, 11), and two with the mark X (CIL. X, 8052, 30); three tiles with the following initials in black; LVC; a fragment of pottery with the mark:

COLOS

L. TITI

 

and in the lower part, graffitied:

CILL.

 

The stamp was new, see. CO. L.T.  (CIL XV, 5673) and

L. TITI

COPO   (CIL XV, 5679).

 

(signed R. Paribeni)

 

Notizie degli Scavi 1921

 

In Notizie degli Scavi 1921, p.426, Matteo Della Corte added:

 

I would like to take this occasion to make a significant addition to the report of 1903, p.64 and following pages, concerning the first excavation performed by Mr. Rossi-Filangieri in contrada Tirone: Boscoreale. Among the items provenanced from that excavation, was an artistic hemispherical bronze strainer, (colatoio di bronzo), which, other than being wonderful for the perfection of its richly perforated meanderings, it was particularly important for the preservation of the name of the pompeian artist that made it.

 

In fig.6, one can see the inscription traced along the rim with a hammered point -

PERTVDIT POMPEIS FELICIO

 

From a handle of a wine amphora, the following mark in small raised letters was seen:

C·MVSSI

C 0//////S S

 

Boscoreale, Villa rustica nel fondo Pasquale Vitiello. Bronze drainer with PERTVDIT POMPEIS FELICIO on the rim.
See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1921, p.425, fig. 6.

Boscoreale, Villa rustica nel fondo Pasquale Vitiello. Bronze strainer with PERTVDIT POMPEIS FELICIO on the rim.

See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1921, p.425, fig. 6.

 

 

 

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Ultimo aggiornamento - Last updated: 15-Dec-2019 20:57