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ago a peasant found, on ploughing a field, a spiral-shaped finger-ring of gold, which he sold to a man for five shillings. The latter in turn offered it to the Royal Museum of Northern Antiquities at Copenhagen, and, to his surprise, was informed that the ring being "Danefæ," or an antiquarian object found on Danish soil, could not be the object of sale, and was, by law, the property of the crown-i.e., the museum. Moreover, although its weight in gold would be paid, it could not be paid to the holder, but only to the finder, as the sale was illegal. Finders and purchaser had to settle the matter afterwards between them. The metal value paid was 195., with 3s. 6d. reward to the finder for the discovery.
A Recent Uisit to Pompeii.
BY PROFESSOR FREDERICK HALBHERR.
HE excavations of the last few months have been carried on at the southern extremity of the city, viz., in the suburban quarter of the Porta Stabiana, and at some houses of the second Island of the Eighth Region, situated to the south of the Forum, where the so-called Via della Scuola crosses the Vicolo dei Teatri.
Already last year, on the left of the road leading from the Porta Stabiana, was found the beginning of a series of sepulchral monuments, two of which are now completely excavated; while a third cannot for the present be cleared of the superincumbent earth, on account of its proximity to some modern dwelling-houses. These two funereal monuments are in the form of a high-backed semicircular seat, like the tombs of the priestess Mamia, and of the duumvir
A. Veius, on the road to Herculaneum. They were erected, as we learn from their respective inscriptions, by decree of the decurions, and at the public expense, the one to a certain Marcus Tullius, Marci filius; the other, to one Marcus Alleius Minius, Quinti filius. During the last few weeks a hole has been made in the pavements of both
tombs, but without finding the place of burial, or any trace of funereal deposits, which will now be sought for in the small area at the back.
On the right side of the road, on which hitherto no tombs have been found, there is a low wall of fine opus reticulatum, and buried in the soil before this were found the objects lately described in the "Foreign Notes" of the Antiquary, viz., the trunk of a tree, four cavities formed by human corpses, showing on the mould-taken by means of the Fiorelli process-painful contortions in the mouth and members of the body, and the lion's head in tufa, with pierced and open mouth, evidently used as a waterspout, or gargoyle.
The excavations in the Eighth Region have during the last few days thrown light upon the houses numbered 16 to 21 of the second Insula, Via III. and Via IV., where the remarkable discovery has been made of a building five stories high. Houses of any great height are not common at Pompeii, and none so high as this has been found before, though houses several stories high have indeed been found in this very quarter of the city, which looks towards Stabiæ, and enjoys a fine sea view. It is well known that ancient Pompeii was built on a platform or ridge of prehistoric lava, which finished by slanting abruptly down to the seashore. Consequently, the houses built at a later period of the city's history, after the old circuit-walls on this side had been destroyed, were built several stories high, the upper ones being entered from the higher level, and the others from the basement at the lower level. The upper story of this five-storied house was profusely decorated with mural paintings of various kinds. The principal room or hall presents in the middle of the wall, which has fortunately remained entire, a half-ruined and much faded painting of the myth of Bellerophon. The hero is represented nude, holding with one hand the bridle of a horse ready to start on a journey, while he receives a letter and order from King Proetus, who is seated on a throne before him. To the right and left of this principal picture are two paintings of an architectural character, having figures in the centre. That on the left represents a door of some building, with standing in it
the figure of a man, richly clothed, who is on the point of entering, having in his hand a papyrus roll, probably a teacher, savant, or philosopher. The picture on the right hand also shows a man entering another door, holding in his hand a cantharos, and having his brow crowned with laurel, in the act of going to perform a sacrifice. The other
walls are decorated in a simple manner with statuesque figures of women, each on a pedestal, represented on a black ground. In other rooms are seen gracefully-twining vine-branches, on which are perched birds, lizards, and other animals, all on a black ground.
Two covered porticoes (cryptoportici) pass under these rooms just described, and lead by a steep descent to the floor below. While, however, the upper story appears to have been a private dwelling-house, the part below seems to have contained a bathing establishment in the hands of the proprietor, to which the public would be admitted by payment. One of the galleries gives it an exit direct on the Via della Scuola, the other connects it with the house above and the Via dei Teatri. In this second story, just below the level of the higher part of the city, can be seen the calidarium and the frigidarium, the latter in perfect preservation. There are three steps by which the water was entered. The surrounding walls of this apartment are painted in their upper portion red, and in their lower portion blue. On the former can be seen ornaments of an architectural character, with some figured scenes. Some further excavations, however, will have to be made, and some of the upper walls, which have been broken through, will have to be reconstructed on the old lines before a full examination can take place. One picture, however, must be mentioned, though of not perfect style, which occupies the centre of the right wall. Here we see a nymph, semi-nude, riding over the waves on a seahorse. The ornamental band which divides the red from the blue surface is formed of scenes of a caricaturist or comic character, representing dwarfs and pigmies in combat with various animals. The scenery is that of the Nile country. One dwarf is in the act of throwing a large stone at an Egyptian ibis. Another is endeavouring to save the life of a woman,
who has fallen into the river; but while drawing her to the bank he is himself seized by a crocodile. Hereupon he is represented fastening himself with a rope to another dwarf behind him, who is seen straining every nerve to prevent his comrade from being drawn down by the weight into the water. The ceiling of the frigidarium was formed of a vault, of which now only a few pieces remain. It was decorated both with stucco and with painting. The stucco ornaments represent graceful figures of animals, fishes, centaurs, marine monsters with nymphs, an amorino with the club of Hercules, Hermæ of Apollo, and of Mercury, the latter with a cock, etc., etc. The calidarium was adorned only in stucco. . Only one lunette of the vault has been preserved, in which are seen two genii, or winged fantastic figures, with between them a cantharos, and another of a gladiator or gymnast coming fresh from the palæstra, and in the act of wiping off the dust from his right arm with a strigil.
Adjoining this house, another, which has been numbered 16 on the Via della Scuola, has been excavated during the last few days. It consists of a wide vestibule, leading to a spacious atrium, with white mosaic pavement bordered with black, of which the impluvium is in a very ruined condition. The vestibulum is flanked by two small recesses, one probably used by the porter, close to which is seen a small corridor, with traces of a staircase (now destroyed) leading to an upper story. atrium is surrounded by seven rooms, three on the right, and four on the left, one of the latter serving as the lararium, containing a chapel, of which the lower part alone is preserved entire. The upper portion, adorned with small columns, appears to have been divided into two compartments, one above the other. Here, on the pavement amidst the ashes and lapilli, were found a number of small common lamps, a fine mask of terracotta in the shape of an anthemion, and a coin. From the atrium we pass into a small peristyle, not yet cleared out, which gave a view of the beautiful country before Stabia and of the sea. Indeed, most of the houses hereabout have very large openings for windows, that the inhabitants might enjoy the view of the gulf. On the left other rooms are entered, of which one had its walls
incrusted with marble, a rare occurrence in Pompeii. A border of square tesseræ of variegated marble, and above it an ornamental band of flowers cut out of pieces of porphyry serpentine and giallo-antico, may still be seen adhering to the wall.
Amongst the small objects found during the most recent excavations are eleven vessels of bronze, rectangular at the base, but with the mouth wider, and provided with two handles, which are believed to be crucibles. Some fragments of inscriptions recently disinterred, which appear to refer to a priestess of Venus, are now being studied by Professor Sogliano of Naples.
A plan and descriptions of the five-storied house, containing the public bath, will shortly be published by Dr. Mau, of the German Institute in Rome, to whom Pompeii already owes so much illustration. The three floors beneath the therma seem to have been used as stores for merchandise or shops, and were evidently entered from the lower level on the seashore.
Paid him in June 1611 24th December 1612
1613 Paid him more by Ruth for me Junij 1613... 255. Thomas the yonger his sonne after the rate of 2d. a day & dyett 28th September 1613 Thomas Lem the elder 1 Novembris 1613 by Ruth Reve for me
Masons Octobris 1611. Bargained with Crowe of Bromsgrove a free mason the 7th October 1611 that he and his sonne shuld hewe 3 tones Asheler & mouldinge at the rate of 115. the weeke for both of them they finding themselves meate, drink & lodging & tooles & that they must contynue winter and sommer at that rate. And to contynue in the work without going out or changinge during the time I shall sett them to work & pay that wages. Md Crowe Md to Crowe.. because St. Luke was holyday & for that 22d. was abated of a whole week 20s. 2d. To Crowe upon St. Andrewes day the last of November 1611 for 5 weeks work for him & his boye 55s. and so even till then what time I discharged him till my Sheriff work ended 555.
Paid Willm Tomson the bundling Mason
To Chaunce for his bootes
For his Coate, Cognizance Hatt band feather & Cognisance of silver
For his Chest
Deliv'd Chance 24th Marche 1611 as part of his wages
For drawing the upright of the fore part of my house at London to Carter of St. Giles Lane by Charing Crosse Paid John Chance more as part of his wages the 22d July 1612 ... Ballard for making 2 Mason's
June 1617 Thomas Lem the elder ...
sonne Lem ... £5 March 1618
45. 6s. 6d. £13
Paid to Willm Sadler for lading the poole and 6d. a day bourding himself 12 Sep 1613
55. Sett Reve on work in the lane above Angells on this side Woller's heath the 17th August 1612 to digg rough stone for foundation & seller & paid him 6d. the day & meat & drink & lodging & paid him this week 65 Paid Reve the next following for 3 daies for the other 3 he spent idelly at Ale 45. Paid the 5th of September 1612 to these workmen day laborers to uncover & digg stone in the Quarry above Angells in the lane in Kier after 6d. the day
Septembris 1615 Taylor the wayman... cariadg of 25 peaces of square timber out of my park to Kier Court after the rate of 125. a lode ... 255. Januarij 1615 David Baldpate... sawing 400 after ye rate of 18d. for the hundred. Junij 1616 Paid George Greene laborer the 17th June after 7d. the daye at his owne diett for raisinge stone & tempering claye to make tile for more than half a yeares work ... Novembris 1617 Paid to Ballard for felling and squaring 10 Oks in the Upper Riddinges ... Sir Edward Pytts died in 1618, aged 77. In his will, dated December 28, 1617, he leaves £2,000 to his son and heir and executor, Sir James Pytts, to finish his house "according to the platte remayning in Chaunce's handes drawn by my dictation and the same to be performed with in seaven yeares next followinge the date of these presents or in lesse time." On page 5 is written
James Pytts 1618. An Dom 1618 April 16 Md That John Chaunce of Sheeply in the P'ish of Bromsgrove and Countie of Wigorn' Mason hath covenanted to work with