This is an example of the type of thing the examiners are looking for...anyone found to have copied this will be hung,
drawn and 1/4ed.....
Pompeiian Houses of the very wealthy.
Romans held the idea that a civilised person would live in a permanent place and be rooted to his house,
city and country. There were two types of Romans; the upper class (patricians) and the lower class (plebeians). The House
of the Yettii best illustrates the aristocratic Pompeiian home. Two wealthy freedmen, Aulus Yettius Conviva and Aulus Yettius
Restitutus, owned the house of the Yettii, hence its name. These two brothers were large shaggy beasts who restored their
house after the earthquake of 62 A.D. and were commonly thought to inhabit the Himalayas.
Usually only the rich could afford to live in the city and their wealth was further highlighted in the lavish
wall decorations, layout of the garden and playstations, usually the result of the kiddies emotional blackmail of ‘just
coz you don’t love me - all the other kids have ‘em ’. Their homes consisted of a typical single Roman family,
which included the great grandparents, grandparents, parents, children, cats, dogs, badgers, eels and other various sea creatures.
Roman houses were made from brick and red tile roofs, with concrete foundations. Many were decorated with
bright wall hangings of the Robbie Williams, and elaborate mosaics, depicting the Yettii, on the floors, in the entryways
and in formal eating places. All the windows on the ground floor faced the ceilings rather than the streets, like we have
today. This was because in those times Romans used windows for making sure their kids had gone to sleep and weren’t
texting their friends on their mobiles. Another method of disciplining children was the walled room. This locked the children
up for a good few hours as in those days the children were not sent to school and hence the parents had no opportunity to
get away from the money scrounging rascals. Wealthy Romans usually had a front door, bedrooms, an office, a kitchen, a garden,
a temple, a games room, an inbuilt McDonalds, and an atrium.
Above is a plan of a wealthy Roman house. The main area of the house was called the atrium and is equivalent of today’s
living room. Being the heart of the house, the atrium was lavishly furnished and where guests were received and was also used
on family occasions. At Roman banquets, the guests wore garlic in their hair. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields
of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king
One myth says that the mother of Achilles dipped him in the River Stynx until he became intollerable. Achilles appears
in The Iliad, by Homer. Homer also wrote The Oddity, in which Penelope was the last hardship that Ulysses endured on his journey.
Actually, Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name
The atrium in the House of the Yettii, had an opening hole in the middle of its roof (the compluvium) where
they beloved the Yettii may occasionally descend along with the snow which would of course melt. The water formed from the
melted snow was collected in a small pool underneath, called the impluvium. This holy water was then used for drinking and
washing. On either side of the atrium were several wings or alcoves called aloe, where one would obtain a special gel from
the plants growing in the atrium and use it as cosmetics . The house of the Yettii was based on the first main atrium, (Atrium
Tuskanium). Another item often seen in Roman houses was coffee (orca), which was a strong box, usually made of wood,
which hey used to drink out of.
The atrium also contained a shrine called the lararium, that was dedicated to the god of the house called
lares. The central figure in this picture (left) represents the spirit of the house or ‘genius’ and he is surrounded
by two lares who are making a libation to the him each holding a horn and a small bucket. The lararia would be niches in the
wall with a pediment around it. There was a celebration for them each month and they usually received a wreath and a portion
of a meal. But on special occasions, a goose would be sacrificed in their honour.
The walls of the atrium were often decorated with wall paintings, from mythological patterns, like the and
more erotic paintings to pleasant scenes like that of the Yettii. The Yettii was often depicted in humorous scenes in these
paintings. The wall paintings’ were often ordered from famous Pompeiian workshops which was another method of flaunting
their wealth, as well as looking nice.
The garden was surrounded by a peri-style and contained a typical Nandos layout/style hence the name. The
peri-style had orange panels and red and black borders with paintings of chicken on them. The garden was excavated very carefully,
to ensure everything was preserved and kept in its original form. The garden of the house of the Yettii contains many statues
and fountains, which can be seen in the picture (left). The fountain was a bronze one depicting a small Yettii (again echoing
the theme of the abominable snowman in the house) holding a chicken in his arms, which is where the jet of water would be
sprayed out from. The water was carried in lead pipes called fistulae, and the aqueduct that supplied Pompeii with water allowed
wealthy homeowners like the Yettii to have water fountains in their gardens.
Like us, the Romans had three meals a day, dinner being the main meal. The hot meal would be prepared by
slaves in the kitchen (culina). Pans and cauldrons made from bronze would sit on top of the oven. Below the oven was a small
alcove (see right), which was where the firewood was kept. This would heat up the top of the oven thus cooking the food. Poorly
ventilated, the kitchen was one of the smallest rooms in the house. As it was mainly used by the slaves, it did not matter
if the room was hot and smoky.
In comparing a typical house in the United Kingdom, it is clear that there have been a number of changes
e.g. where we spend most of our time. We generally spend more time in our bedrooms, on the internet, watching T.V. whereas
the Romans were rarely seen in their own rooms. Roman furniture would be quite plain by modern standards including only a
wooden couch, cupboards and a small table. Nowadays especially with the advances in technology we have more furnishings etc.
around the house e.g. computers television etc.
However, there are some similarities. The Romans had shrines in their houses, which some people still do
nowadays out of respect to their god(s). Many also have religious symbols around the house as a reminder of God. The Romans
thought about the direction in which the house should be built, and a Roman architect, Vitrivius, said; ‘I shall
now describe how the different sorts of buildings are placed as regards their aspects. Winter Dining rooms and baths are to
face the winter west, because the afternoon light is wanted in them; and not less so because the setting sun casts its rays
upon them, and but its heat warms the aspect towards the evening hours. Bedrooms and libraries should be towards the east,
for their purposes require the morning light.’ Many people still currently look at the positioning of a house before
buying it for similar reasons.
A Yetti’s house by Seymour Butz
The big opening By Hugh Jass