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8 August 2016


Inspired by a recent visit to Naples, this week’s Post is dedicated to the frescoes of Pompeii. This is Terentius Neo holding a scroll and his wife who has a stylus and writing tablet c.AD60. It was preserved in the infamous eruption of Mount Vesuvius of AD79, found in the Villa di Giulia Felice and is now in the Archeological Museum of Naples. The curator of a recent exhibition at the British Museum says of the double portrait: ‘We assume he is the bakery owner. He wears a white toga, which may mean he is a candidatus for political office. But his wife is the amazing one. She is the one with the reckoning tablet. They are equal, and they are shown equal, standing together, members of a confident, mercantile class. And this was the reality of life for a lot of Roman women. They wouldn’t have been little old ladies sitting at home. They were highly visible in society.’

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