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EVERYDAY LIFE – baths, water supply, sanitation

VIEWS: 332 PAGES: 37

          Student work
Add to your notes about the people of Pompeii
AND Herculaneum.

When you are asked to assess the contribution
of skeletal remains as sources, include
information about the health and causes of
death of the people examined by Dr Estelle
Lazer and Dr Sara Bisel especially.

The skeletal remains from Pompeii and Herculaneum have been examined to establish age,
sex, height, signs of disease and general health features such as dental health. Dr Estelle Lazer
has specialised in the examination of skeletal remains of Pompeii and Dr Sara Bisel has examined
139 skeletons from the boat chambers of Herculaneum. Two hundred and ninety six skeletons have
been excavated from the beachfront since 1982 and have yielded considerable information about the
health of the population.

Science now contributes to more thorough use of the skeletal sources. X rays and DNA analysis are
available to anthropologists

  Dr Lazer X-rayed the remains of a woman,
  found with 74 other victims in the Villa at
  Opolontis near Pompeii. The remains were
  enclosed in a resin caste and were those of a
  mature adult woman. Her teeth were intact
  with some decay. She had broken a bone at
  some time

                                           Investigation of skeletal remains is an on-going process
                                           in view of new technologies. The disarticulated skulls
                                           and body bones shown in the image below provide some
                                           evidence of causes of death including the wave of heat
                                           which accompanied the surges. Some skeletal remains
                                           are burned as a result.

a) the sex and age distribution of the bodies from both Pompeii and Herculaneum is not biased
towards the aged. All ages were caught into the surges but young bones are not as durable as adult
bones and so less have been found. The bones are used to establish health and social features of the
population of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The bone below is from the arm of a young woman of
Herculaneum. Because of the marks on the bone Bisel concludes she lifted heavy weights and was
probably a slave.

b) The general health of the population is based on the bone heights and strengths. The female
skeletons are naturally shorter than the male, with an average height of 155cm versus 168 cm.
These are solid heights and suggest that the people of the two towns had a satisfactory diet and
good health during bone growth i.e. as children. The general diet of the people of Herculaneum has
also been considered by Dr Bisel. On the basis of minerals present in the bones, she concludes that
most people in Herculaneum had not relied on mammals or birds for protein, but probably ate
vegetables and seafood to gain protein.

c) There is little evidence of dental work such as fillings. However, adult skeletons do show wear
and decay but this is not due to unsuitable diet as there was little sugar in the diet (Bisel) and this,
combined with the fluoride in seafood, should have provided protection against decay. However,
teeth in some skeletons do show considerable wear, sometimes down to the gumline, and this is
attributed to the grit in bread as a result of the milling of flour. The lack of dental work and the
high build up of plaque implies that the people of Pompeii and Herculaneum had bad breath and
                                               cavity problems.

                                             In the image at left Sara Bisel points to ridges in the teeth
                                             of a skull from Herculaneum. These ridges are a result of
                                             variable diet when young and Bisel deduces that this is
                                             probably a slave since the stable and adequate diet of the
                                             majority of skeletons has not caused a similar pitting of
                                             the teeth.

d) Evidence of diseases is more difficult to determine because the remains are skeletal and not
bodies. However, some deductions have been made on the basis of skeletal evidence. a)Pitting of
the bones of the skull is an indication of poor sanitation during growing years; this pitting is
minimal in Pompeii and Herculaneum, implying that sanitation and health were good in young
children. b) On the other hand, 43 adult female skulls out of 360 Pompeiian skulls examined, show
signs of obesity, diabetes and headaches. This is consistent with post menopause in women. Bisel
did not find as many signs of age related diseases in her study - only four skeletons in the initial
study showed signs of arthritis.

d) Respiratory problems: Only two skeletons show signs of Tuberculosis which may have been
contracted through contact with sheep or goat cheese, or eating partially cooked internal organs of
sacrificial animals. However, 11% of skeletons of Herculaneum showed signs of respiratory
problems associated with pollution in the town. This is probably related to the burning of oil
lamps and wood heating in poorly ventilated confined spaces.

f) Although there is evidence of fractures amongst the skeletons, the proportion is considered to be
normal at about 23% of the population. There is also little evidence of medical and dental
intervention. However, the remains of instruments in the House of the Surgeon indicate that medical
intervention was possible. Surgical tools were uncovered at 27 locations in Pompeii, including tools
for manipulating fractured bones.

f) Sara Bisel also checked the skeletal remains for traces of lead, linked to the lead pipes and lead
make-up of women, in view of a belief that Romans suffered from lead poisoning. Bisel did not find
this to be the case, despite some significant lead intake in some individuals.

g) The occupations of the people have also been determined through skeletal evidence. Dr Bisel on
the video clip, analyses the occupation of the young woman found with the wealthy child and
concludes that the woman was a slave rather than related to the child, because of the signs of wear
due to hard work. Bisel detected a number of young slaves whose bones suggest they had been
doing heavy work. Luigi Capasso, another investigator of skeletal remains, believes that a high
proportion of children were engaged in heavy manual work, but his interpretation may be
influenced by his own concern with child labour in the twentieth century.

REVISION: Use the information from the powerpoint on the CD to revise the causes of death of
the people of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

CLOTHING and HEALTH. 30 marks
Source 1: Inscription:
Aulus Clodius Flaccus, son of Aulus, of the Menenian tribe, duumvir for the administration of
justice three times, quinquennial, military tribune by popular demand. While duumvir for the first
time: at the Games of Apollo in the forum - a procession, bulls, bull fighters, their quick footed
helpers, three pairs of stage fighters, boxers in bands and Greek style boxers. Also games with
every musical entertainment, pantomime and Pylades and he gave 10.000 sesterces to the public
funds. While duumvir for the second time (quinquennial); at the games of Apollo in the forum - a
procession, bulls, bullfighters and their helpers, and boxers fighting in bands. On the next day in the
amphitheatre by himself; 30 pairs of athletes and five pairs of gladiators, and with his colleague, 35
pairs of gladiators and a hunt with bulls, bullfighters, boars, bears and other hunt variations. While
duumvir for the third time, with his colleague, games by a foremost troupe with extra musical

1) what was a duumvir and a quinquennial? 1 mark.

2) Why did Aulus Clodius Flaccus pay for so many games in the Forum and the amphitheatre? 1

3) What information about the events of the games is contained in this inscription? 2 marks

4) With reference to this source and a range of other sources, discuss the types of leisure activities
available to the people of Pompeii and Herculaneum. 6 marks.

Source 2: Objects from Pompeii and

                                                                             Tableware from House of
Olive oil press                                   Cooking pots

Question 5) These objects form a sequence of activities associated with food and dining. Using
these sources and evidence from other sources, describe this sequence. 10 marks.

Source 3 Fresco and statue showing clothing.
                                    Left: The baker
                                    Terentius Neo and his

                                    Right: The man on the
                                    right is Lucius
                                    Mammius Maximus of
                                    Herculaneum. He was
                                    an Augustalis i.e. one of
                                    an elite group of men
                                    who maintained the
                                    worship of Roman
                                    Emperors who were
                                    deified after their death

6) How representative of the clothing worn by the citizens and freedmen of Pompeii and
Herculaneum, are the above sources? In your answer make references to evidence from other
sources as well as the sources provided above. 5 marks.

Source 4: skeletal remains from Herculaneum and Pompeii
                                             Left: remains of a woman from Pompeii

                                             Above: Skeletal remains from Herculaneum

Question 7: Assess the contribution of skeletal remains to knowledge and understanding of the
health, lifestyle and causes of death of the people found at Pompeii and Herculaneum. 5 marks.

Everyday life: BATHS, WATER
Baths (thermae)
Both Pompeii and Herculaneum contained public baths, a feature of Roman and romanised
towns. The thermae opened at midday by which time the heating system under the floors and
through terracotta flues, had been working for some time. The water for the baths came from the
Augustan aqueduct. The maps below show the location of the main baths of both towns and contain
hot spots for the names of the baths. In Pompeii the two main baths were the Forum baths and the
Stabian Baths. Make a note of these names and explain why these names have been given to each of
the baths. In Herculaneum the two main baths were the Forum or Urban baths and the Suburban or
Marine baths. Make a note of these names and explain why these names have been given to each of
                                                              the baths.

                                                           Entry costs to the baths were low
                                                           enabling people of all classes to
                                                           attend. Men and women had separate
                                                           sections in the larger baths while in
                                                           smaller baths there were separate
                                                           bathing times for men and women.
                                                           Public baths were places for exercise,
                                                           business and relaxation as well as for
                                                           health. The baths had a similar
                                                           structure and there was a
                                                           conventional bathing routine.
                                                           Cleansing utensils called strigels
                                                           have also been found in the remains.

                                                            The powerpoint on the CD contains
                                                            the main * structural features*
                                                            decorative features and * activities of
                                                     the baths. The maps show the location of
                                                     the main baths of each town. In your notes,
                                                     identify the similarity in the layouts of the
                                                     baths except that the Suburban baths of
                                                     Herculaneum does not contain a women's

  • The thermal Baths were an important part of Roman life, and it was a
    Roman custom to visit the baths daily, both for reasons of cleanliness
    and to conduct business or meet friends. Upper class men spent
    considerable time here not only to bathe but also to socialise and
    conduct business.
  • Poorer townspeople took their daily baths here as their homes did not
    have baths.
  • Both men and women visited the baths
  • The location and layout of the baths reflects these functional features.

Location and layout
The baths are located in accessible parts of the two towns- in your notes
name the two major baths in each town and identify the location of each.
  • They are divided into sections for the men and the women (except for
     the suburban baths of Herculaneum)
  • They include five parts:
              • The waiting room or change room (apodyterium)
              • the cold bath ( frigidarium )
              • the tepid bath (Tepidarium )
              • the hot bath ( caldarium )
              • The palaestra
  • Baths could also include a large swimming pool (piscina) and luxurious
     vaulted rooms in which to relax.
  • The floors were decorated in mosaics and marble and the walls and
     ceilings with stucco paintings.


Thermae (hot baths)
  • Frigidarium (cold water room)
  • Caldarium (hot steam room)
  • Tepidarium (warm water room)
  • Apodytarium (dressing room)
  • Laconicum (dry heat room)
  •   Piscina (pools) – outdoor pools

THE two main BATHS OF
POMPEII: Forum baths and the Stabian
CD: Click on the hotspots in the men's baths to locate the waiting room, frigidarium,
tepidarium and caldarium and palaestra. ( Forum baths -numbersB 1,2,3,5,6,7)

The Forum Baths appear to have been built soon after Pompeii became a
Roman colony. There are separate areas for men and women, the men's
baths being far more elaborate and spacious. The main entrance is on the via delle
Terme. The baths were for visitors from outside the city and were smaller than the Stabian
baths The forum baths were built in the early period of Romanisation after Sulla’s attack,
paid from public funds. They have all the features of Roman baths – separate areas for
men and women, three bath areas and dressing areas. Each room was heated, and the
walls were decorated.

CD: Click on the hotspots on the DVD for images of some of the features of the Stabian baths:
2,3,4,5,10,11,13(heating ends), palaestra. Click on the main entrance hot spot for an artist's
impression of the baths within the city of Pompeii.

The MEN’S entrance was on the Via dell’Abbondanza.
  • These are the largest and oldest of the baths, built as soon as the
     Romans entered Pompeii.
  • These baths had been damaged in the earthquake of 62 so only the
     women’s section was in use at the time of the eruption.
  • The complex is build around a large peristyle with tuff columns of the
     Samnite period covered with plaster during the Imperial age.
  • The eastern part contains the men’s bathing area, the women’s
     sections and a heating plant in the middle.
  • An innovation of the Imperial age was gymnasium equipment and a
     swimming pool on the western side of the palaestra.

HERCULANEUM- urban baths and suburban
Hot spots are over the Apodyterium, tepidarium and caldarium in the women's baths, and the
apodyterium (2 views) tepidarium and caldarium in the men's baths, and the Palaestra has two hot

Small baths. No separate areas for men and women

                A visit to the baths
The entry area.       Baths were meeting
places for friends, politics and business.
The baths combined health, social
activities and lobbying. The baths had
vaulted entry areas and the men’s entry
area and change room was elegant.

Apodyterium: The waiting room was
finely decorated. In the urban baths at
Herculaneum the floor was marble with
white marble benches. Stucco decorations
covered the walls. In the change room
(apodyterium), clothes were left on shelves

The palaestra: The men entered the
exercise area first (palaestra) where they
could swim in the piscinum (large pool),
play a game of bowls or work up a sweat at
wrestling or running. Attendants then
scraped the dirt and sand using strigils,
and gave a massage.
Before entering the caldarium, the men
acclimatised themselves to heat by using
the tepidarium.

The baths: Having exercised, a man was ready for the baths. The hot bath was used first,
 then the cold. The tepidarium was an intermediate bath used to become acclimatised to
             heat before the hot bath, and to cool down before the cold bath.

1. Caldarium (hot room) of
the Forum Baths: The bather
first entered the hot room,
heated to 40 degrees Celsius.

The hot bath is a rectangular
marble lined tub.

The room contained a cold
water basin for bathers to
drink. Because the floor was
hot, clogs were worn. Some
bathers used the hot pool,
others sat in the steam

2. Tepedarium.
This was a moderately hot
room in which the bathers
became used to heat before
entering the Caldarium, and
cooled down after the
Caldiarum. Bathers could
have a massage of oil and
scrap dead skin off with a

3. Frigidarium- forum baths

Finally the bather cooled
down completely with a cold
The frigidarium was a round
room with a domed ceiling
and a circular cold bath

                              Other features of the baths.

1. ribbed ceilings Grooves in the ceiling allowed condensation to be channelled to the
                                                                 walls, rather than
                                                                 drip onto bathers

2. underfloor heating system: Under-floor
heating in the caldarium, and air ducts built
into the walls, meant the whole room was
full of steam when in use.. Cold water was
piped into the basin at the centre so that
bathers could cool off when they wanted

3. frescoed walls and ceiling decorations –
below, the decorations of the Stabian

                                     4. mosaic floors

                                     Left: mosaic of triton from the women’s change
                                     room in the urban (central, forum) baths of

Water supply and Sanitation
A summary of the Water supply system.

1.Water was piped from springs in hills through the Serenium Aqueduct to supply the towns.

2.In Pompeii water was fed into the main tank, a brick building near the Vesuvius gate standing at
the highest points in the town and near the Forum Baths.

3.From there three large pipes carried it to different neighbourhoods: to the baths, to the water
towers or columns feeding the public fountains and regulating pressure, and to private houses.

4.The sloping terrain created considerable water pressure, which was regulated in columnar water
towers up to nineteen feet tall. Fourteen of these secondary tanks have been found – they are easily
identified, sometimes standing at crossroads and near fountains, and supplied the immediate vicinity
with fresh water.

5.The water channels fed into lead pipes under the pavements to all parts of the town including to
larger houses and to fountains at regular intervals along the streets

6.Many houses were connected directly to the system and had running water – in the houses of the
more affluent there are decorative basins (nymphaea) and fountains and even some private baths

Aqueduct Serenium

   •   Until the time of Augustus, Pompeii depended
       for its water on rain water cisterns and a
       considerable number of street wells, some of
       which were dug through the lava to springs
       thirty metres deep.
   •   At the time of Augustus, construction of the
       aqueduct of Serino definitively brought the
       solution to the problem of regular water supply
       for Pompeii. A branch from the Serino aqueduct
       carried water to the castellum.
   •   Herculaneum did not have the same water
       supply problems as Pompeii in the period before
       the aqueduct because it was possible to dig
       wells 9 to 10 m deep to find water.

 Under Augustus a new aqueduct was constructed,
taking water from Serino (26 kilometres in land) to the
harbour and fleet at Misenum, and the people of
Pompeii had the Emperor to thank personally for authorising the diversion of part of the supply to
the town.

Rainwater was also collected in the houses as it
drained down the waterspouts or fell directly through
an opening in the atrium roof, called compluvium into
a shallow pool directly underneath it, the impluvium.
It was then stored in a cistern underground, and was
drawn up by buckets through the well.

Water distribution from
the aqueduct branch: VITRUVIUS comment
The main castellum, the Castellum Aqua in Pompeii, is presumed to have been based on the
principle of delivery described by Vitruvius;

When it [the water] has reached the city, build a reservoir with a distribution tank in three
compartments connected with the reservoir to receive the water, and let the reservoir have three
pipes, one for each of the connecting tanks, so that when the water runs over from the tanks at the
ends, it may run into the one between them. From this central tank, pipes will be laid to all the
basins and fountains; from the second tank, to baths, so that they may yield an annual income to the
state; and from the third, to private houses, so that water for public use will not run short; for
people will be unable to divert it if they have only their own supplies from headquarters. This is the
reason why I have made these divisions, and also in order that individuals who take water into their
houses may by their taxes help to
maintain the conducting of the
water by the contractors.

right: The Castellum of Pompeii.
This building housed the end of
a water channel a settling basin
and the beginning of three
channels which carried the water
into Pompeii.

The castellum of Herculaneum
has not been found.

Water towers – 14 in Pompeii, 3 in Herculaneum
The sloping terrain created considerable water pressure and the water was carried through lead
pipes to lead holding tanks at the top of water towers which regulated the flow - the columnar
water towers are up to nineteen feet tall. Fourteen of these secondary towers have been found –
they are easily identified, sometimes standing at
crossroads and near fountains, and supplied the
immediate vicinity with fresh water

                                                The water channels fed into lead pipes under the
                                                pavements to all parts of the town including to larger
                                                houses and to fountains at regular intervals along the
                                                Only the houses of the wealthiest citizens had indoor
                                                plumbing. Others in this neighbourhood would carry
                                                water from troughs set along the main streets. Water
                                                flowed continuously into these troughs, regulated by
                                                water towers nearby. 42 fountain heads have been
                                                identified in Pompeii and 3 in Herculaneum

lead pipes
The water channels from the castellum and                                                        the
water towers fed into lead pipes under the
pavements to all parts of the town including                                                     to
larger houses and to fountains at regular
intervals along the streets. Hyraulic valves
could regulate flow. Private houses paid a
water tax. Water was used for baths, gardens                                                     and
pools, and water displays, toilets and in
some industries.

Water uses: in public baths, private industry, private
houses – baths, fountains, pools.

Drain pipes carrying water into the street from wall outlets, and those piped under the footpath to
the street.
At Pompeii – drainage problem meant water puddled in streets, flow also contained sewage so
                                                       streets had stepping stones for pedestrians
                                                       Herculaneum: water drained downslope to
                                                       the sea. There was an underground sewage
                                                       channel. So the streets did not need stepping

                                                       Pompeii and Herculaneum were healthy
                                                       places to live because of the clean water
                                                       supply, the public fountains and the baths.

                                                       Public latrines were provided at Pompeii in
                                                       three areas; the forum, at the baths and at the
                                                       palaestra (sports field).

                                                       Most toileting without water (cesspits,
                                                       chamber pots. Most people must have used
                                                       commodes or chamber pots, emptied down
                                                       drain or onto night soil wagons. Or just
thrown out of the window (illegally).
                                              Some private houses in Pompeii and Herculaneum
                                             also had latrines (next to the kitchen) which could be
                                             flushed with household waste water. These were
                                             usually single or double seaters. A large house in
                                             Herculaneum had space for up to six people. A sponge
                                             on a stick was used for cleaning.

                                             Sewer lines- Herculaneum
                                             In Herculaneum, urine and faeces from the public and
                                             private toilets were carried away in the sewer system.
                                             Sewer pipes have been excavated under Cardo III in
                                             Herculaneum. Herculaneum’s streets did not need
stepping stones.

EVERYDAY LIFE 2 20 marks.
Question 1: How typical is source 1 of the baths of Pompeii and Herculaneum? 5 marks.

Question 2: Describe the roles of the baths in everyday life of Pompeii and Herculaneum. 4 marks.

SOURCE 1: the forum baths of Herculaneum

Source 2
When it [the water] has reached the city, build a reservoir with a distribution tank in three
compartments connected with the reservoir to receive the water, and let the reservoir have three
pipes, one for each of the connecting tanks, so that when the water runs over from the tanks at the
ends, it may run into the one between them. From this central tank, pipes will be laid to all the
basins and fountains; from the second tank, to baths, so that they may yield an annual income to the
state; and from the third, to private houses, so that water for public use will not run short; for
people will be unable to divert it if they have only their own supplies from headquarters. This is the
reason why I have made these divisions, and also in order that individuals who take water into their
houses may by their taxes help to maintain the conducting of the water by the contractors.

Question 3: Who was Vitruvius? 1 mark

Question 4: With reference to this source and evidence from a range of other sources, describe the
water supply, sewage systems and drainage provisions of both Pompeii and Herculaneum. 10

          PUBLIC BUILDINGS - introduction
public buildings – basilicas | temples | fora | theatres | palaestra
The syllabus specifies six types of public buildings. You will access one web page for each type of

Complete the specified work for each of the six building types and then complete Source study
exercise 22.

                                    Student work
 1. What is a basilica?

 2. Where was the basilica of Pompeii? and the basilica of Herculaneum

 3. Describe the structure of the basilica of Pompeii. What Greek architectural influences does it

 4. Describe the probable structure of the basilica of Herculaneum.

 5. Outline the activities which occurred in the basilica.

1. the basilicas

The basilica is a law court building located on the south-western edge of the forum. It is a large
spacious building used for law courts and for large gatherings and commercial agreements.

The building is not a typical Roman style basilica with arches as a principal support structure.
Instead, it shows a Greek influence modified for Roman purposes.
                                                                        * It is a rectangular shape
                                                                        with two rows of Ionic
                                                                        columns, 11 metres high. The
                                                                        central area of this type of
                                                                        building is called a nave, and
                                                                        the sides are the aisles.
                                                                        LABEL THIS PLAN AS
                                                                        YOU CHECK OUT THE CD

Inside the large space of the
building is broken by two
rows of Ionic columns 11
metres tall. The Pompeiian
basilica evolved from the
Greek peristyle a building
with an internal courtyard
and peristyle formed by
rows of columns
surrounding it. The
Pompeiian basilica shows
this origin but it was
probably roofed and so its
central rows of columns
supported this roof rather
than marked the edge of an
internal peristyle. The
diagrams on the CD show the two interpretations of the basilica remains. The most widely accepted
version is that the Basilica was roofed because there is evidence of continuous windows in the
upper walls of the side aisles,

* It was decorated in the First style with false Ionic Half columns to break up the relief. This type of
decoration, an imitation of marble slabs in Italian stucco, also shows the Greek influence in the
building as the Romans copied Greek marble decoration within a Roman fresco medium.

                                                    At the other end of the basilica there is a
                                                    basement room and above it a first floor
                                                    podium open on the side facing the basilica
                                                    nave and with four Corinthian columns.
                                                    Although this platform podium has been
                                                    considered as a tribunal for large court
                                                    gatherings, the presence of a pedastal for an
                                                    honorary statue immediately in front of it is
                                                    puzzling. An alternative interpretation is that it
                                                    was a tribunal but that the duumviri held
                                                    audiences with smaller groups rather than large

The civic buildings and forum space are still buried and despite evidence from tunnels, there is no
reliable analysis of these buildings. One building has been identified as a basilica but may be a
temple or shrine instead.
However, an inscription does provide some information about the presence of a basilica in
Herculaneum. It refers to the rebuilding of the basilica by the Proconsul Marcus Nonius Balbus and
the erection of a statue of him. The possibility of the building being a basilica is also tentatively
based on a sculpture found here, of a chariot drawn by four horses but conversely, a statue of the
Emperor Vespasian and a large number of bronze and marble statues of emperors points to the
possibility of a temple to the Imperial cult.

2. Temples

                                     Student work
             For each temple identify the location, Greek or Egyptian influences,
             some structural details and statuary.

             Make a note of the college of the Augustals and the Sacrellum on the
             sea front. Note why no large temples have been identified

Ten temples have been excavated at Pompeii, most near the forum. All were damaged by the
earthquake of 62. Some were still in ruins at the time of the eruption of Vesuvius, others had been
rebuilt or restored. The principal temples which are sources of evidence for religious architecture
and beliefs and practices are the Temple of Apollo, the Temple of Fortuna Augustus, the Temple of
Vespasian, the Temple of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, the Temple of Venus and the Temple of Isis.
These temples reflect the breadth of religious beliefs and practices in Pompeii by AD 79 and
include the deities appropriated from Greece and Romanised including Apollo, Venus and
Dionysus; the official Roman state deities Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, and foreign gods such as Isis.
The temples also pay homage to the deified Emperors (the Imperial cult).

1. the Temple of Apollo

The temple to Apollo, god of light and healing, is located next to the forum and was originally
connected to this area by 11 large entrances which were closed after the construction of the Temple
of the Capitoline Triad i.e. the Roman period. The temple was seriously damaged by the earthquake
of AD 62 and was in the process of being rebuilt when the volcanic eruption occurred. The building
was looted during the early excavation period of 1816.

" Because the temple is slightly out of line with the Forum, archaeologists have concluded that the
construction of the temple predated that of the Forum (Grant 89)." Archaeologists also believe that
this temple was devoted not only to Apollo, but also to Diana, the goddess of the hunt, and
Mercury, the god of commerce because of the statue of Artemis (Diana) also in the temple peristyle.

The temple was built in the early sixth century and so its original building which is no longer
extant, was Greek. The temple was reconstructed in larger size by either Etruscan or Greek
controllers of the town, as an obvious sign of their occupation. Both Greeks and Etruscans
                                     supported the worship of Apollo. The current temple is more
                                     Roman than Greek in its central structure which is high off the
                                     ground, a Roman style. The temple area itself combines Greek
                                     and Roman features. The complex is surrounded by a high wall
                                     with doorway entrances Within the temple grounds, there is a
                                     peristyle surrounding the central rectangular area where the
                                     actual temple and alter are located. There are 17 columns on
                                     the long side and 9 on the short side and they are a mixture of
                                     Ionic and Doric styles. The renovation after the earthquake of
                                     AD62 involved covering these columns with stucco and
                                     shaping a Corinthian capital to replace the mixed Doric and
                                     Ionic orders.

                                    A number of statues stood on pedestals outside the portico.
                                    These included the bronze statues of Apollo and Artemis . The
                                    courtyard area was paved with volcanic slabs.

In front of the temple there is an altar of marble dedicated by the two duumviri and two aediles after
80BC and evidence of the role of significant politicians in public buildings of Roman towns. Next
to the altar there is a white marble Ionic column with a sundial. An inscription on the shaft
identifies the donor as the dumviri Lucius Sepunius Sandilianus and Marcus Erennius Epidianus.
"Lucius Sepunius Sandilanus the son of Lucius, and Marcus Hereenius Epidanus the son of Aulus,
dumviri with judicial authority caused to be erected at their own expense".

The temple itself is elevated on a podium. A wide, high staircase at the front leads to a peristyle
around the central shrine area. Near the back wall there is a pedestal for a statue of Apollo but this
has not been found. The inner walls of the shrine are decorated in first style. The central shrine
building is Roman rather than the cella style of Greek temples.

Although it has Greek origins, the cult of Apollo was strongly entrenched in Pompeii. This can be
attributed to the support of the Emperor Augustus who regarded Apollo as one of his patrons. The
sundial and a new wall were funded by the duumvir in the early part of Augustus' reign and each
year Apolline Games took place largely in the Forum. After the Earthquake of 62 A.D. ,
considerable steps had been made to try to repair the damage to the building, including the
replacement of the buildings Ionic columns with Corinthian ones (Grant 92).

2. the Temple of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva.
This is a Roman temple honouring Roman deities and so emerged in Pompeii after Sulla's defeat of
the town. Jupiter, according to Roman mythology, was the supreme god and protector of the state.
The goddess Juno, queen of the gods and protector of women, , and Minerva, goddess of wisdom
and patroness of craftsmen were also honoured in the temple forming a triad called the Capitoline
triad. Since Pompeii had become a Roman colony, this became the dominant centre of publicly
acknowledged religious life in Pompeii and was the site for an annual official sacrifice of a bull to
the Triad. The temple was built during the second century BC before Sulla's conquest but was
expanded at the end of this century adding to the Romanisation process within the town and was
transformed into a Capitolium or temple dedicated to the sacred triad of Jupiter, Juno and Minervo.
A new altar was also added at a later date not for sacrifice but, it is believed, as the base for a statue
of Augustus.

The Temple to Jupiter in Pompeii was located at the north-western end of the Forum. It is
deliberately impressive with a high base accessed by a great staircase, and with two arches flanking
the building. There is no colonnade at this end of the forum so that the Temple stands out. Access is
via two sets of steps on either side of the front of the podium leading to the broad set of steps to the
top of the temple base. At the top of the steps there was a deep, columned porch indicated by the
remains of some tall fluted columns. The Temple cella is large and was originally painted in first
style to give the impression of marble. This later changed to second style decoration with more
                                              architectural features framing the marble-style blocks.
                                              The floor had a black and white mosaic design. A large
                                              head of Jupiter was found here.

                                         The building was seriously damaged by the earthquake
                                         of 62 A.D. and this is shown in the relief from the house
                                         of the banker Jucundus. At the moment of the eruption of
                                         79 A.D., it had not yet been restored. Some
                                         archaeologists see this failure to restore such an
                                         important temple within the seventeen years as an
                                         indication that the wealthier elite of Pompeii had left the
                                         city since they were the potential patrons of such
rebuilding. However, recent examination of the remains has revised this view as the temple was in

the process of being restored when the eruption occurred. The arches on either side have been
tentatively attributed to Augustus and Germanicus

3. The temple of the
Genius Augustus or
Temple of Vespasian
During the time of Augustus, the first Princeps
who established the Imperial system which
replaced the Republic, Augustus cultivated a
cult of the Emperor outside of Rome itself,
and in Pompeii this cult is incorporated into
the Temple of the Genius Augustus, the
Temple to Fortuna Augusta and to shrines in
the Macellum and Eumachia. The genius of
the Emperor means his divine aspect, to the
Temple of the Genius of Augustus is a temple playing homage to the Emperor as a deity. While the
temple began as a place honouring Augustus dedicated by a public priestess, Mamia, at some time
its focus changed to honour the Genius of Vespasian who had died just before the eruption. This
identification is related to a statue of Vespasian found in the back of the temple.

The temple, located between the precinct of the Lares and the Eumachia in the Forum, is very
simple; it consists of a forecourt, an altar, and then the small temple with staircases on either side.
The altar with shield, oak wreath and image of bull sacrifice is definitely associated with the
Imperial cult. Part of the outer wall enclosure remains and shows the decoration of blind windows
created in the brickwork.

4. The Temple of the Fortuna
In Pompeii, the Temple of Fortuna
Augusta seems to have been one of the
most important buildings to the imperial
cult. It was built inn the first century BC
close to the Forum opposite to the forum
baths and was restored following the
earthquake of AD64. The goddess Fortuna
was originally an agricultural deity and
represents abundance. She was later
associated with Tyche, the Greek goddess
of good luck (Grant 96). In turn, this
temple associates the Emperor (Augustus) with the goddess and was probably tended by a religious
college of freedmen called Augustales.

The temple was funded by Pompeiian politician Marcus Tullius. The building stands on a high
podium that jutted out slightly into the street. It was constructed with expensive white marble, had
an integrated altar, and had four side niches designed to hold statues of the imperial family.

5. The temple to Venus - Venus Pompeiana

The Temple to Venus was located on the south-west side of the city, between the Marine Gate and
the basilica. This temple was built shortly after Pompeii became a Roman colony in 80 B.C., when
the town was formally renamed Colonia Cornelia Veneria Pompeianorum , and when Venus was
officially made the town's new patron goddess. The temple is evidence of the combination of
religion and politics.

The temple was constructed largely in honour of military commander L. Cornelius Sulla, whose
veterans had settled in Pompeii and who saw Venus as his patron deity The Temple to Venus
directly to competed with the older Temple of Apollo and thereby to symbolize the new political
regime in the city (Zanker 64-65).

Half a century later, In the age of Augustus, the worship of Venus, like that of Apollo, was
significantly renewed, as the emperor claimed descent from the goddess. Plans were made to
significantly enlarge the Sullan temple, turning it into a magnificent marble temple with double
colonnades and a broad terrace. However, the Earthquake of 62 A.D. hit before this transformation
had been completed, and the temple was so badly damaged that the decision was made to tear down
the building and to completely rebuild it. This project had only barely been started by the time of
the eruption of Mount Vesuvius (Grant 92) so the temple remains are scanty.

6.Temple of Isis
The cult of Isis was one of the most successful mystery cults in the Roman world and flourished in
Pompeii as well as Herculaneum. The Temple of Isis is located near the theatre and triangular
forum and was surrounded by high walls, with the entrance placed so that it ensured privacy while
ceremonies occurred.

                                                     The building consists of a large rectangular
                                                     space marked off by walls, within which is the
                                                     cella of the god raised up on a pedestal and
                                                     standing in a large niche. Nearby is a smaller
                                                     temple situated in the peristyle and used for the
                                                     preservation of the Nile water considered to be
                                                     holy by the members of the cult. Adjacent to
                                                     the temple there is also a space to
                                                     accommodate the priests' houses and for the
                                                     meetings of the followers. The structure is not
                                                     wholly Roman in appearance and this is
                                                     accentuated by the hieroglyphic inscriptions.

This temple is the only temple to have been completely restored after the earthquake of AD 62. An
inscription identifies the funding to have been donated by the family of a freedman in the name of
their six-year-old son, N Popidius Celsinus. The Isis cult was very popular among slaves and

The wealth of the cult in Pompeii is also evident from the treasure found with the corpses of its
priests, killed by the volcano while trying to flee. When Vesuvius erupted, the priests of Isis
grabbed the ceremonial objects from the temple, a statue of the goddess, a silver urn and other ritual
vessels. They still had them with them when their skeletons were uncovered during the excavations.

These objects and the paintings, decorations, furnishings and shrines are now in the Museum of

Worshippers of Isis met at the temple twice a
day for special services: at dawn to celebrate
the rising of the sun, symbolising the rebirth
of Osiris, and in the early afternoon for the
ceremony of the water, where Nile water was
blessed as the source of all life. The cult was
tended by a professional body of male priests,
but women could also hold high positions.
Nearly a third of worshippers' names in cult
inscriptions are female, and wall-paintings in
Pompeii and Herculaneum clearly show
women participating in the ceremonies. The
fresco at right from Herculaneum shows the
ceremony in progress.

Herculaneum temples?
No large temples have been excavated in the small proportion of Herculaneum excavated to date
but a shrine of the Augustales including a section devoted to Hercules, provides evidence of the
Imperial Cult, and there are two small temples in the area called the Sacrellum on the sea front

The college of the Augustales: The building is located on the decumanus maximus opposite the
arched entrance presumed to be a part of the as yet unexcavated forum of the town. The Augustales
were a college of priests of Augustus who maintained the Imperial cult in individual Roman towns.
In Herculaneum they met in a shrine space, a large room with an enclosed niche which probably
held a statue of Augustus (or, as in the Temple of the Genius of Augustus in Pompeii, this may have
been replaced by a statue of Vespasian who had just died in AD79. both Marcus Nonius Bablbus
who had rebuilt the basilica, and Lucius Mammius Maximus who donated the Herculaneum market,
were members of this college.

The Herculaneum college also
incorporated recognition of Herakles
as a Roman god. Frescoes on facing
walls depict Neptune and his wife
Salacia balancing a depiction of
Herakles (Greek -Hercules) and
Herakles with Juno and Minerva the
state gods.

The Sacrellum or Sacred area

This occupies the other end of the seacoast terrace to the Suburban baths. It consists of he remains
of two buildings which are small temples. The first is a temple to Venus with a marble altar. Its
fluted and plastered stone columns are now in a pile and its vaulted cell has the remains of frescoes
with garden scenes and a rudder which is the symbol of Minerva. The second temple is larger and is
dedicated to four deities whose archaic-style reliefs were fixed to the podium of the altar; Minerva,
Vulcan, Mercury and Neptune. The entry (pronaos) was paved with marble slaves with columns of
the same marble and large Corinthian capitals. The cella was paved with yellow marble tiles.

    Venus                   four

3. Fora

                                     Student work
 The three fora listed on this page vary in detail, size and usefulness as sources.

 Keep this variation in mind as you make notes about each one.

 Write up a discussion using your notes, as an exercise in preparation for a question on the
 usefulness of building remains such as the fora and the limitations of remains.

                           1. the Triangular forum of Pompeii
                                  2. the Forum of Pompeii

                               3. the Forum of Herculaneum

 A forum is an large public area of a town containing open spaces for meetings and the main
            public buildings including religious, political and economic buildings.

The Roman Architect, Vetruvius, specified that the Roman fora should be different from the Greek
Agora and be rigidly proportioned for appearance and ease of business and gladiatorial shows. His
aim was to maintain a strong Roman architectural quality. However, in Pompeii the earliest forum,
the Triangular Forum, was renovated in Roman times in a continuation of a Greek cultural
influence, and even the main Forum remained open rather than assuming the Roman style of a
combination of buildings and open spaces within the forum proper.

The Triangular forum.
The diagram shows the triangular forum
next to the theatres and small palaestra.
The Forum is porticoed around three
sides, has a view through the columns on
the fourth side overlooking the Sarno
river, and contains a small 6th Century
Greek style temple. The very small
Samnite Palaestra is on the east side of the
theatre next to the Triangular forum

This was the earliest forum of Pompeii
and contains the remains of a sixth
century temple in Greek style. It is
located overlooking the River Sarno. Its
entrance is a propylaea of Ionic columns
with a portico of 95 Doric columns
around its open space except on the
south side overlooking the river. These
structures had been deliberately retained
and rebuilt after the damage of the
AD62 earthquake.

Entrance - Ionic Columned entrance

The main forum of Pompeii
This was an area of about 620 square metres paved in limestone and surrounded on three sides by a
two storey colonnade fronting the public buildings. As a result, the only visible building from the
forum itself, was on the north side, the Temple of Jupiter,Juno and Minerva flanked by two
triumphal arches.

Plan of the forum

1. The open space: The forum is the open space in the image above. Originally it was paved with
limestone but this had either been removed because of the earthquake damage of 62BC in
preparation for renovation of the area, or it was looted in the long period after the eruption. Along
the edge, there are traces of the original columns which held up the roof of the portico, a verandah-
like structure on three sides of the open space. In the foreground on either side of the temple
remains, you can just see the arches.

Around the edge of the open space were a large number, about forty, of statues of gods, Emperors
and distinguished citizens. Only the pedestals remain. The open space was not accessible for
vehicular traffic - there were stone blocks at the forum end of streets leading to this civic centre.

2. The buildings around the outside of the forum were a mixture of religious, economic and political

Economic: the Macellum was the chief market building with shopping booths, an open space in
which there was a fish market, and an exedra (room in open space) devoted to the divine Augustus
and his family. The Building of Eumachia was the showroom for the fullers who were the cloth
makers, dyers and cloth traders. It had been donated by a priestess, Eumachia and a statue of this
woman stood in a niche behind statues of the Imperial family members. The Basilica, while
essentially a building for law courts, was also a place where economic exchanges and deals could
be made. The Mensa Ponderaria, a table of weights and measures was beside the wall of the temple
of Apollo. A building, thought to be a warehouse, was in the northwest of the Forum.

Religious: The main temple in the north of the open space was the Temple of Jupiter, now
considered to be the temple of the Capitoline three (Jupiter, Juno and Minerva). The temple of
Apollo, a similar structure, was on the west of the forum. On the eastern side the Sanctuary of the
city Lares opened into the portico and was dedicated to the protective deities of the home. Next to it
was the Temple of Vespasian alternatively called the Temple of the Genius of Augustus (i.e. the
spirit of the deified Augustus) in honour of the deified Emperor.

Political/ Government: In the south of the forum was a series of three smaller buildings thought to
be government offices. One was the office of the two lesser magistrates, the aediles who were
elected annually and were in charge of maintaining the public buildings, streets, water supply,
sanitation, markets and baths of the city. The central one was the office of the chief magistrates, the
duoviri who were also elected annually. They had judicial powers and presided over the city council
and over elections. The third building was the concilium, the building for the city council of
approximately one hundred men called Decurions who were elected from the most distinguished
citizens, for life. Nearby was the comitium, an enclosed open air space which was the voting office
or electoral meeting area. As it is small it is thought to be a voting office area.

The forum of Herculaneum is still buried under Resina. The Decumanus Maximus was the main
road leading to it and this has been uncovered for some of its length. A massive arched entrance has
been uncovered with some columns nearby and some tunnels revealing further columns which have
                                                      been tentatively labelled a basilica, but the
                                                      main political, economic and religious
                                                      building concentration usually found near the
                                                      open space of the forum has not been
                                                      uncovered and the tunnel evidence is
                                                      variously interpreted as a basilica and a

               Two theatres have been excavated at Pompeii and one at Herculaneum.

                                    Student work
1. What is the difference between the two theatres
of Pompeii? 5

2. What problems are associated with analysis of
the theatre at Herculaneum? 2

3. How do the theatres of Pompeii and
Herculaneum provide evidence for social status,
political practices and entertainment preferenes. 8


Towards the end of the Samnite era in the second
century BC, there was a perceptible trend in Pompeii of promoting Greek culture and Greek
lifestyle. This was evident in the decorations of the homes, and in the public monuments, but
particularly in the construction of the large theatre.

The site for the large theatre was a slope on which there was already an ancient temple with Greek
features. This slope enabled the architects to shape the theatre as a Greek structure with the seating
inserted into the slope except for the upper levels which are supported by massive brickwork. The

theatre was restored later at the expense of the freedman Marcus Artorius Primus and two
inscriptions identify his work. Although the theatre was designed as an open air structure it did have
                                                               the capacity to have an awning if

                                                               This large theatre probably held about
                                                               5000 people. Entry was free but
                                                               seating was assigned according to
                                                               social class with the upper class in the
                                                               front rows (called the imea cavea)
                                                               and the women at the back. The
                                                               magistrates who financed the public
                                                               performances sat on raised platforms
                                                               above the stage area reached by
                                                               separate staircases.

Mosaics depicting actors preparing for drama performances have been found in private houses as
well as actor's masks related to Greek and Roman comedies and tragedies. The performance of
tragedies, comedies and farces took place in the large theatre as part of religious festivities or to
celebrate an achievement such as the dedication of a monument. Mosaics and paintings show scenes
from plays as well as actors backstage with costumes and masks. The mosaic below actors
preparing for their performance backstage. Their masks lie on a stand on the floor. The mosaic of
the House of the faun shows theatre masks. However the scenes portrayed in house frescoes and
mosaics do not necessarily reflect the type of Greek tragedies and comedies actually performed at
Pompeii where it was more likely that farces and pantomimes predominated.

The Odeon:

The small theatre is an Odeon or Covered theatre which was more like a concert hall and was
used for concerts, lectures and poetry readings. An inscription records the building: " By decree of
the decurions, Caius Quintus Valgus son of Caius and Marcus Porcius son of Marcus, duumvir, put
out to tender the construction of the roofed theatre and tested it themselves." These duumviri are the
same men who sponsored the construction of the amphitheatre and donated a new altar to the
temple of Apollo. The building imitates the larger theatre in the seating arrangements with the front
rows for the upper class. It also contained raised boxes for honoured guests or those who had
financed the entertainment. The Odeon had a capacity of about 1000 people.

The Odeon is connected to the large theatre by a porticoed corner. It was built after 80BC however,
and so is the first building sponsored by Romanised ruling class imposed by Sulla. It is a
freestanding structure, not build into a hillside in Greek style.

Herculaneum also contained a theatre which remains under Resina but has been extensively looted
in the past. This theatre could hold 2500 people and was a free standing Roman style rather than the
Pompeian Greek style built into a hill slope. The official Lucius Annius Mammianus Rusus built
the theatre and its orchestra. An Inscription from the theatre of Herculaneum: Lucius Annius
Mammianus Rufus, son of Lucius, duuvir, quinquennial, the theatre, the orchestra from his own

                                    Student work
Revise your work on leisure activities- public buildings - at this point by rereading the notes here on
the Pompeiian palaestra including a mention of the Samnite Palaestra

An exercise area is called a Palaestra and was a feature of all Roman towns. The baths included a
small exercise area, but in Pompeii there was a large public exercise ground, over one hectare in
size which totally occupied the south eastern boundary of the town. The space was closed to
wheeled traffic and was previously occupied by housing.

The Palaestra was built, at public rather than private expense, during the reign of Augustus and was
built in response to an Augustan wish to provide the College Juventum (young people) with a
grounds where they could train and meet and become fit. The grounds were used for sports such as
running, discus, wrestling and swimming. This formed part of the Augustan plan to promote the
values of the state.

The Palaestra is a rectangle 141 by 107 metres in size with three porticoed sides and three e
monumental entrances on the fourth side. The floor under the porticos was earthen as the athletes
trained barefoot. The Palaestra included an altar for rites associated with the Imperial cult. In the
middle of the Palaestra there was a very large swimming pool lined with waterproof cement. At its
deepest point it is 2.6 metres deep. The water came from the castellum water tower via a lead pipe
and the flow was continuous. The overflow flushed out a large latrine in the eastern section.

The site was well appointed with plane trees, a fountain and a special area for prize giving.

                                                     Pompeii also contained an earlier and much
                                                     smaller Palaestra identified as the Samnite
                                                     palaestra and located next to the Triangular

                                                     The Herculaneum Palaestra occupied a whole

insula and had a swimming pool in the shape of a cross. It was surrounded by trees and included a
porticoed series of rooms shown on the left in the image below (much of the Palaestra is still
unexcavated but tunnels into the area enable its shape to be determined. Competitive games were
financed by wealthy citizens such as Nonius Balbus. Opposite the porticoed entrance to the
complex is a formal area for prize giving. The diagram below is an impression of the probable
appearance of this palaestra.

PUBLIC BUILDINGS - amphitheatres Student work
You have already
made notes on the
entertainment of
the arena.

Print an image of
the exterior and the
interior and label
these with as much
information about
the structure as you

The most popular forms of entertainment were the bloodsports held in the amphitheatre, the largest
building in Pompeii, which seated between 13 000 and 20 000 people. Local magistrates had
already begun to give gladiatorial and beast shows in the municipalities of Italy under the Republic,
and under the Empire all major cities of the west acquired amphitheatres. Putting on the shows was
expected of the various magistracies and was a way in which politicians increased their public
standing and so their chances for election to higher posts. Consequently, aediles are frequent
financers of these spectacles.

The Pompeiian amphitheatre is the oldest known balding designed for gladiatorial games and was
built about 70BC by two officials at their own expense, .the two quinquennial duumviri (Q. Valgus
and M. Porcius) identified in two travertine inscriptions (stone inscriptions) found in the corridor
below the lowest tier of steps. The southeast corner of the town was a suitable site close to two main
town gates. The Pompeian amphitheatre was an oval arena with 35 rows of seats. Its exterior
consists of two tiers of arches with a large circular walkway between the two tiers. Access to the
theatre was up two massive double flight staircases supported by six arches.

                                                 The arena was well patronised since there were
                                                 numerous public holidays in the Roman Calendar.
                                                 (click here for a fresco of a brawl at the
                                                 amphitheatre) . The interior of the arena consisted
                                                 of a large oval arena ground surrounded by the 35
                                                 rows of seats divided into three concentric rows
                                                 called the lower, middle, and top terrace and each
                                                 separated from the other by a parapet. In addition
                                                 the auditorium was divided into segments and
                                                 inscriptions naming the magistrates who had
                                                 donated the seats at their own expense appeared on
                                                 the parapet of the arena alongside the wedges. The
                                                 lower seats were reserved for the elite.

The arena could be shaded in the eastern terraces by a velarium and on the western side by canopies
attached to poles.

Reliefs, inscriptions, mosaics and wall paintings from Rome and objects from Pompeii provide
information about the different types of bloodsports performed in the amphitheatre. These included
gladiators pitted against gladiators (mosaic below) , gladiators against wild animals imported from
distant parts of the Empire, wild animals against domestic animals and criminals against wild
animals. There was a barracks for gladiators( the theatre quadrangle) ,and the remains of at least 60
killed in the eruption have been identified. (A woman wearing expensive jewellery died with the
gladiators possibly taking shelter rather than a prostitute). Equipment used by the gladiators was
also found in or near the barracks (originally the small Samnite Palaestra near the theatre), including
greaves, helmets and daggers. Troupes of gladiators were maintained by sponsors; "the
gladiatorial troupe of Aulus Suettius Certus will fight at Pompeii on 31 May. There will be a
hunt and awnings. Good luck to all neronian games."

 SOURCE STUDY 14 - the public areas of Pompeii - 20 marks

 Question 1: How do inscriptions from public buildings of Pompeii and Herculaneum contribute
 to an understanding of the politics, religion and society of a Roman provincial town? In your
 answer refer to inscriptions from at least three specific buildings. 5 marks.

 Question 2: Assess the importance of temples as religious places in Pompeii and Herculaneum.
 In your answer refer to at least five temples. 5 marks.

 Question 3: How do the public buildings and spaces of the fora of Pompeii and Herculaneum
 support the understanding that these are impressive and important centres of the towns? 5 marks.

 Question 4: Discuss the range of public entertainment available to the people of Pompeii and
 Herculaneum. In your answer refer to specific public buildings. 5 marks.


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