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La Victoire de Samothrace, Unknown, 190 BC

House of Julia Felix


1st c. AD

The house of Julia Felix is our third and final house on the tour.

The name means Julia the Fortunate.

The owner was extremely rich and offered part of her house to rent, probably to cover the cost of reparations after the earthquake of 62 AD.

A sign outside reads : "To let, in the estate of Julia Felix... elegant baths for respectable people, shops with upper rooms, and apartments... The lease will expire at the end of the five years."

The property was massive, occupying the entire block.

It had an open-air swimming pool, thermal baths, a tavern, a restaurant, gardens, waterfalls... and it was just round the corner from the amphitheatre.

Its amenities would have attracted wealthy Pompeians.

Like all atriums, the opening in the ceiling would provide light and ventilation for the entire house and a basin would catch drinkable rainwater.

The walls were typically painted red and yellow.

They were also decorated with scenes from the Forum - children hiding behind columns, men playing board games, bartering and admiring statues...

There is even a student being whipped with his pants down!