The Casa del Torello di Bronzo (V 1,7) in Pompeii : Investigating a residential house and its complex water system

University dissertation from Stockholm : Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Stockholm University

Abstract: The goal of the thesis is to present the thorough documentation and analysis of a private dwelling in Pompeii, the Casa del Torello di Bronzo (V 1,7), the largest and most dominating dwelling in insula V 1. Its system of water use and distribution was particularly outstanding.  The work is part of the on-going study of the entire insula, carried out by the Swedish Pompeii Project. The present work is composed of two major parts. The first contains systematic synthetic descriptions and the more analytical texts. The second, the Gazetteer, is a catalogue containing detailed descriptions of walls, decorations, features and the plumbing system. The analysis is where it seemed appropriate and possible complemented by comparisons with other houses. The study is thus primary research aimed at enlarging our knowledge on the private Pompeian dwellings. By studying a complete Pompeian house, many different topics and subjects must be covered, ranging from questions concerning the furnishing of the sidewalk in front of the house to those concerning iconographic issues of wall paintings; from questions concerning the epigraphy of the graffiti to the building history of the house.The thorough examination and comparative study of the architecture and its development are based mainly on the building material used and how the different materials relate to each other, thus constructing a chronology.  Further chronological indications are furnished through the wall decorations and pavement and their relation to the built structure.  The decorations, an important topic for themselves, are thus vital also for signalling change and its chronological setting.The archaeological visit of the house led to the discovery of the most well-preserved feature of the house, its complex water system. The system for the distribution of water by means of distribution boxes and lead pipes is probably the most well preserved and most complex known to us from the Roman world. The decorative arrangements of the fountains, embellishing different parts of the house, is studied, regarding both how they relate to each other and how they underline different methods of decorating vistas and spaces.

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