ChapterPDF Available

Campaigning for Votes in Ancient Pompeii: Contextualizing Electoral Programmata: Presenting and Perceiving Monumental Inscriptions in Antiquity and the MiddleAges

Eeva-Maria Viitanen and Laura Nissin
Campaigning for Votes in Ancient Pompeii:
Contextualizing Electoral Programmata
1 Introduction
Analyzing inscriptions in their spatial contexts has become a very welcome trend in
Classics in recent years. The contents of inscriptions have been studied and discussed
in great detail, but little attention has been paid to the question what the find context
could mean for the interpretation of the text and its significance.¹ However, it some-
times still seems that the texts themselves are more interesting to scholars than their
contextualization. Is it enough for instance, to take one group of inscriptions defined
by their content and place them on a map of a site? Does this add a genuine new
level of context into the interpretation? What about all the other inscriptions found
at the site? Where are they located compared to this particular group? Are different
kinds of texts commonly found in similar places? What are the exact locations where
the inscriptions were placed? A broader approach to contextualization is necessary
if the texts are to be understood in their contexts. Distribution of a single group of
texts needs to be compared to distributions of others and the detailed elements of
the individual archaeological context need to be taken into consideration. It is under-
standable why this kind of work is still quite rare: there are hardly any easily usable
data sets available and finding the relevant data for a variety of analytical elements
requires a lot of time and effort.
The main aim of the project “Inscribed Texts in their Spatial Contexts in Roman
Italy² was to combine philological and archaeological expertise in order to analyze
both the content of the texts and the archaeology of their contexts. Texts painted,
scratched or written with coal or chalk on the façades of the city blocks of Pompeii
were one of the main topics. The main question was why the texts were written where
they were found. The hypothesis was that these wall inscriptions were related to places
where people moved or hung out for periods of time. The main task was to place the
Laura Nissin has worked on the collection and mapping of the textual data and Eeva-Maria Viitanen
has been responsible for the archaeological data and the analyses. Language revision was conduct-
ed by Mrs. Sirkku Viitanen-Vanamo.
1E.g. Sakai 1993, Benefiel 2010, Baird/Taylor 2011, Sears/Keegan/Laurence 2013.
2University of Helsinki 2011–2013, directed by Dr Kalle Korhonen and funded by the University of
DOI 10.1515/9783110534597-006, © 2017 Eeva Viitanen, Laura Nissin, published by De Gruyter.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International
License. Unauthenticated
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
118 Eeva-Maria Viitanen and Laura Nissin
texts on a map of Pompeii as accurately as possible and study their surroundings in
detail. On which parts of the façades were the texts written? To what kind of houses
were they connected? What were the streets in front of the façades like? What kind of
activities could be connected to the streetscape in the immediate vicinity of the texts?
A combination of a citywide perspective to the analysis of micro-topography is nec-
essary as none of the approaches proposed sufficiently answers our questions. The
aim of this paper is to analyze the electoral programmata, painted notices promoting
candidates in the local elections, in their spatial, social and chronological contexts in
order to reach a better understanding of the reasons for using them in the electoral
2 Pompeian Electoral Programmata
The electoral programmata are usually quite short notices painted on the wall plas-
ters covering the façades of the city blocks; sometimes they can be found also on
whitewashed stone or brick surfaces.³ There are some 2.500 certain programmata
from Pompeii including the ones found in most recent excavations and published
outside the volume IV of the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum. They are fairly for-
mulaic texts promoting candidates in the local elections; usually they contain the
name of the candidate, the office and rarely information of the person(s) asking for
support for the candidate. The notice set up by fruit-vendors and Helvius Vestalis to
support Marcus Holconius Priscus’s campaign for getting elected as duumvir is a good
example: M(arcum) Holconium / Priscum IIvir(um) i(ure) d(icundo) / pomari universi
/ cum Helvio Vestale rog(ant). Political slogans or qualities of the candidates are not
very common, but, for example, the notices set up by pickpockets, sleepers and drink-
ers could have been intended to mock the candidate rather than to promote him.
Most of the notices are dated to the last decades of Pompeii, from the 50s to 79 CE.
Some earlier texts have been preserved usually painted on whitewashed walls and
some of these probably date back all the way to 1st century BCE. The texts have been
used to study the political life, prosopography and many other aspects of the Pom-
3Chiavia 2002; Varone/Stefani 2009 for photographs of the programmata.
4Chiavia 2002, 48.
5CIL IV 202. Other examples in Wallace 2005, xii–xvi.
6CIL IV 575 (dormientes universi cum), 576 (furunculi rog(ant), 581 (seribibi universi rogant). The can-
didate is Cerrinius Vatia and the notices are located by consecutive doors (VII 2,40–41, VII 2,41–42
and VII 2,43–44), along a street with plenty of notices.
7Chiavia 2002, 114–141.
8Sakai 1993, Chiavia 2002, 122–126.
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
Campaigning for Votes in Ancient Pompeii 119
peian elite, but relatively little has been said about the contexts where the texts were
Relatively little is known of what was the process of setting up the notices, but
it is generally accepted that someone had to pay for the process. The common text
formula—“we ask you to vote candidate xy for office”—suggests that third parties, not
the candidates themselves, were responsible for setting up the notices. The notices
were painted by professionals, scriptores, and their work had to be compensated. The
relationship between the candidates and the supporters has been discussed at length
particularly from the point of view of how democratic the elections were and how
much the supporters could influence their results.¹
The distribution of the electoral notices has been plotted on maps in earlier
studies. James Franklin presented distribution maps for individual candidates already
in the 1970s in his study of Pompeian political life, but only a few of the maps from
his notes were ultimately published.¹¹ The most significant study of the programmata
is Henrik Mouritsen’s doctoral dissertation from 1988.¹² He prepared a standardized
map of the distribution of all the notices and thus established a general distribution
pattern for the first time. The standardization was based on calculating the number
of texts per façade meter.¹³ Consequently, Mouritsen was the first who was able to
compare the distribution of the individual candidate’s notices to a general pattern.
The distributions of individual candidate’s notices were used to locate the houses of
the candidates and to analyze their strategies for promotion based on the location of
their homes.¹
Mouritsen’s conclusions concerning the notices and their significance in the
campaigns were not very encouraging for starting a new analysis. According to his
interpretation, the notices were ritual in character, not really part of an active, demo-
cratic campaign—after all, the elite controlled the whole election process.¹ Mouritsen
thought that everyone had the right to paint notices on the walls of the city blocks.¹
He also questioned the validity of the distribution pattern based on comparison of
the Pompeian excavation history and the frequency of the notices. The areas in the
western part of the city were excavated earlier and featured less notices than the sec-
tions excavated later.¹ Particularly the last point is significant from the point of view
9E.g. Castrén 1975, Gigante 1979, Franklin 1980, Mouritsen 1988, Chiavia 2002.
10Mouritsen 1988, 44–69, Mouritsen 1999, Chiavia 2002, 227–258, Biundo 2003.
11Franklin 1975, Franklin 1980. His unpublished materials could be consulted in the library of the
American Academy in Rome.
12Mouritsen 1988.
13Mouritsen 1988, fig. 3.
14Mouritsen 1988, figs. 5–8.
15Mouritsen 1988, 44–56.
16Mouritsen 1988, 59.
17Mouritsen 1988, 49–50, figs. 3–4.
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
120 Eeva-Maria Viitanen and Laura Nissin
of representability: what does the observed distribution represent? Is it roughly what
the ancient Pompeiians really saw or merely a reflection of changing excavation docu-
Despite the seemingly thorough discussion of the distribution, Mouritsen’s anal-
ysis does leave space for new studies. Firstly, Mouritsen’s distribution pattern was
presented as lines along the façades, which imply indirectly that every spot on the
façades was equally important and available for painting electoral notices. However,
old photographs demonstrate clearly that clusters of notices and lengths of empty
wall could be found even on the same façade.¹ The standardized line along the façade
wall indicates density, but does not represent the complexity of the distribution very
well. Secondly, Mouritsen used only one comparative data set, excavation history, to
evaluate the reliability of the distribution pattern. The development of documenta-
tion methods is an important factor in all Pompeian archaeology,¹ but different data
sets could have been used to test the results of the comparison. Thirdly, Mouritsen did
not analyze the contexts of the notices beyond the city block and façade. Studying
whether the notices were found on the walls of a private house or a shop is significant
when considering the conclusion on who could and would paint notices and how the
locations were selected.
3 Different Data Sets
Pompeii is perhaps the most well-known Roman city, but collecting a reliable and
representative data set on almost any aspect of its archaeology or history is challeng-
ing. Only a few sources covering the entire city have been available in the past and
the results of the recent wave of fieldwork and related studies are only beginning
to emerge. Compiling a data set consisting of textual and archaeological evidence
is a labor-intensive task. Five of the nine modern administrative regions of Pompeii
(I, V, VI, VII, IX) were included in this study. The reason for this choice was related
to resources of the project as well as to the availability of data: the eastern part of
Pompeii (regions III and IV) is mostly unexcavated and little data is available on the
housing units behind the façades. Regions II and VIII in the south-eastern and south-
western parts of the city feature relatively few electoral notices compared to the other
areas and were also left out.
The texts were collected from a full-text online database,² but their exact find
locations had to be collected by hand from the printed corpus and counterchecked
18Varone/Stefani 2009.
19Allison 2004.
20Epigraphik-Datenbank Clauss – Slaby: (last ac-
cessed: 20.5.2016).
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
Campaigning for Votes in Ancient Pompeii 121
with other data. Of the slightly more than 2.500 known notices 1.975 are located in the
study area and 1.500 of them can be located accurately and with relative certainty.
Only these 1.500 texts have been used in the following distribution maps. Mouritsen,
for example, plotted all notices in his work without regard to how accurately or cer-
tainly their locations were known. The uncertain locations are usually found within
the main distribution pattern and do not suggest significant anomalies.
The archaeological data was collected from a variety of recent studies concentrat-
ing on the central elements of the Pompeian streetscape. These elements are usually
quite concrete and include public fountains, crossroad shrines and benches, which
indicate activities by the local inhabitants.²¹ From the studies concerning streets
and traffic on them, it was possible to outline the most frequently used routes for
carriages.²² Shops and bars attracted people into the streets where they are found.
Plotting them on a map was also an important part of the process.²³ Bars could also
be perceived to create rowdiness and unrest on the streets² and another perhaps
unwanted element often connected with them are prostitute’s cribs and the purpose-
built brothel in the central part of Pompeii.²
The types of housing units are very important in the analysis and they were
divided into four groups according to their size, ground plan (presence of atrium, per-
istyle, commercial and/or productive spaces) and decorative elements. Small shops
and workshops usually also contained living quarters, but the houses included in the
three other groups indicate that their owners were able and willing to invest in the
comfort of living even when the property contained a shop or a workshop² (table 1).
4 Exploring Distributions: Loci Celeberrimi
By plotting the 1.500 accurately placed electoral notices on a map, it becomes evident
that the main streets starting from the gates in the perimeter walls of Pompeii are the
most popular areas for painting notices (fig. 1). The main emphasis is on the central
part of the city with fewer texts towards the edges. If the posters wanted visibility for
their notices, the main streets are logical places for them. Romans had a clear idea
21Public fountains: Jansen 2002; crossroad shrines: Van Andringa 2000; benches: Hartnett 2008.
22Poehler 2006, Kaiser 2011, Weilguni 2011.
23Shop doors based on visual inspection of topographical maps and photographs in Pompeii in Pic-
tures: (last accessed: 20.5.2016); bars:
Ellis 2004, Ellis 2006.
24Wallace-Hadrill 1995, Laurence 2007, 81–101.
25McGinn 2002, Guzzo/Scarano Ussani 2009.
26More details in Viitanen/Nissinen/Korhonen 2013. See also Flohr 2012 for atrium houses and
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
122 Eeva-Maria Viitanen and Laura Nissin
of where to find the ‘busiest places’, loci celeberrimi,² for distributing information,
propaganda and opinions. It obviously also worked in Pompeii.
Looking at the distribution more carefully indicates that not every location in the
center of the city was equally good for placing notices. Availability of space seems to
be an obvious explanation: the notices could be quite large and space for painting
them could be regarded as a good thing. The descriptions of the find locations, old
photographs and drawings, however, make it clear that sufficient space was not an
issue. Some 1.100 of the notices were found right next to a doorway or between two
adjacent doorways. Only about one hundred were located at a considerable distance
from a doorway. Empty wall space without doors is available only in the side streets
and their distribution is almost reverse to the distribution of the notices. Space had
obviously very little to do with where the texts were painted, but a door was an impor-
tant factor.
The obvious places for painting notices were the façades along the main streets. The
elements indicating street activity outlined in the previous section attracted people
and helped to create an audience for the messages. The distribution of the street
activities is almost identical to the distribution of the electoral notices (fig. 2). This
reinforces the idea that they were, indeed, placed in the most visible and frequented
27E.g. Newsome 2011.
Fig. 1: The distribution of electoral notices in Pompeii. Walls without doors are indicated with red line
© Eeva-Maria Viitanen.
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
Campaigning for Votes in Ancient Pompeii 123
The closest fit for the distribution pattern of the electoral notices is the probable
routes used for wheeled traffic (fig. 2). There are two exceptions to this general trend.
One of them is the west-east oriented street in the middle of region IX leading into the
unexcavated area. Traffic routes there cannot be reconstructed, but recent geophysi-
cal surveys suggest, that this street continues directly eastwards all the way to the
city wall and was probably a major traffic route in the area (fig. 2).² This probably
explains the frequency of notices in the western part of the street. The second excep-
tion is streets in region I in the southern part of Pompeii close to the gate. The streets
with most notices are closed for wheeled traffic, but feature many elements of street
activity which helped create an important walking route used in that part of the city
and probably explains the large number of electoral notices on the walls.
The main distribution pattern is clearly not the result of a random choice of walls.
The posters had a good idea where the largest audiences could be reached, i.e., what
the loci celeberrimi of Pompeii were. It seems also likely that the distribution repre-
sents the actual situation in the last phase of the city and is not the result of chang-
ing excavation and documentation methods as suggested by Mouritsen.² The docu-
mentation in the early days of the excavation was not up to modern standards and
28Anniboletti/Befani/Boila 2009.
29Mouritsen 1988, 49–50, figs. 3–4.
Fig. 2: The distribution of street activities in Pompeii. Empty symbols indicate uncertain cases.
Routes for wheeled traffic are marked in grey lines along the streets. Anomalous streets with no
wheeled traffic, but many electoral notices are circled with black © Eeva-Maria Viitanen.
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
124 Eeva-Maria Viitanen and Laura Nissin
many texts, particularly graffiti, certainly disappeared before they were recorded.³
However, the electoral notices tend to be large, easier to note and less likely to be
ignored than graffiti. There are more uncertain find locations in the old excavation
areas in the western part of the town, but their suggested locations are still easily
within the main distribution pattern. Some notices are surely missing, but the pattern
represents probably quite well what could have been seen in Pompeii in 79 CE.
5 Electoral Notices and Private Houses
The presence of doors proved to be an important aspect in placing notices on the
façades of the city blocks. There are close to one thousand doors in the study area
and most of them lead into small combinations of shops, workshops and apartments
that are commonly located on the main streets (fig. 2). The rest of the doors belong
to modest dwellings and large or very large private houses (table 1). The entrances of
most dwellings open onto the busiest streets, just like the shops and workshops (fig.
3). Shops, bars and other commercial establishments attracted people and it could be
expected that most of the electoral notices were connected to them. In addition, the
majority of the doors lead to shops and workshops and if visibility and audience were
wanted, then the walls next to shop doors would probably be the places to post elec-
toral notices. However, on average two notices were painted for each large dwelling in
comparison to one for each shop-workshop.
Plotting the notices by the type of housing unit demonstrates the trends (fig. 3).
The doorways to different types of housing units are located in different parts of the
city blocks. Most doorways open onto the busiest street(s) around the city blocks as
noted above.
Corner properties are usually used for commercial units such as bars and shops-
workshops and this is shown quite clearly in the distribution. The doors to private
houses were in the central part of the façade and they were the most often used loca-
tions. On the secondary streets the walls around the doors of shops and bars are used
more commonly than those around the doors of small and modest private houses. It is
also quite striking to note the lack of electoral notices in the forum area and near other
public buildings—some can be found on the façades of the shops and bars of the
Stabian and Forum baths.³¹ Apart from the commercial properties connected to the
bath buildings, the only public space with a fairly large number of electoral notices is
30The situation in region VI was discussed in a poster by R.R. Benefiel presented at the XVIII AIAC
Conference in Merida, Spain, in May 2013.
31Some uncertain locations are reported in the portico on the south side of the forum as well as on
the south and east façades of the Building of Eumachia.
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
Campaigning for Votes in Ancient Pompeii 125
the palaestra and particularly its north wall.³² Otherwise private contexts were clearly
sought after.
Two data sets, independent of and yet related to the notices, have now been estab-
lished and the distributions of street activity and entrances to houses match closely
the distribution of the electoral notices. Consequently, in addition to concluding that
electoral notices were most frequently placed along main streets, it is now possible
to characterize the preferred locations more precisely: firstly, the street should prefe-
rably be suitable for wheeled traffic and also feature plenty of other kinds of activi-
ties, secondly, there had to be a lot of doorways, and thirdly, the doors should prefe-
rably lead into one of the larger dwellings in the city. Furthermore, electoral notices
were generally not painted on public buildings. The close association of electoral
notices, private property and large dwellings, makes one of Mouritsen’s conclusi-
ons, that anyone could paint notices on any wall in Pompeii, seem rather doubtful.
In the private contexts, the façades were integral parts of the houses and the house
owners maintained also the sidewalks in front of their houses.³³ The large houses
were probably owned by the Pompeian elite and it seems unlikely that anyone could
have painted anything without permission on the façade walls of some of the largest
and most prestigious houses in the city. The distribution pattern is not the result of
32Cf. Mouritsen 1988, fig. 3.
33Saliou 1999.
Fig. 3: Entrances to private dwellings and locations of electoral notices plotted by house type ©
Eeva-Maria Viitanen.
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
126 Eeva-Maria Viitanen and Laura Nissin
a random selection of location, but based on knowledge of the most visible places in
the city. It is likely that careful planning and probably also negotiation with owners
of the properties were needed to place the notices in the most sought-after locations.
6 Campaigning for Offices
Somewhat surprisingly, the distributions of notices for different offices were not dis-
cussed in previous studies. Elections were arranged annually and the candidates
were running mainly for two offices: aedilis and duumvir. An aedile was the junior
magistrate and his work consisted mostly of management of city maintenance and
public buildings. The duumviri were mainly responsible for the administration of
justice. Every five years duumviri iure dicundo quinquennales were elected to conduct
the census of the population and the revision of the list of members of the ordo of
Pompeii. Quinquennales was the most prestigious office, but they were also respon-
sible for the duties of the ordinary duumviri who were not elected in those years. The
people’s assembly, the comitium, elected the magistrates. After serving as aedile, the
magistrate could become member of the ordo decurionum, which was the city’s legis-
lative body and made the decisions that the magistrates implemented.³
In the 1.500 notices used in this study, 128 give the names of the candidates: 52
for aedile (870 notices) and 30 for duumvir (324 notices). The names of only nine can-
didates for quinquennalis are known (34 notices). There is some overlap as some of
the persons were candidates for more than one office. The office is not mentioned in
connection with 56 names (278 notices). The figures match the assumption that most
candidates ran for aedile in order to get accepted to the ordo decurionum. There are
fewer candidates for duumvir as the candidature required having served as aedile and
the pool for candidates was therefore smaller. Candidates for quinquennalis could be
derived from an even smaller group of mature and experienced men.³
Dating the elections and candidates is a complicated task and is usually based on
other evidence mentioning names and events that can be dated. Most of the recorded
notices belong to the last decade of Pompeii, between 69 and 79 CE.³ The only can-
didates dated with the accuracy of a year are those of 79 CE. 79 can usually be dated
to a five-year or longer period of time rather than one specific year. A rough chrono-
logical division to four periods can be made: 79 CE, 75–79 CE, 70–75 CE and 69–79 CE.
When these attributes—name, office and date—are used as filters of the original 1.500
notices, then roughly half of them (852) can be used.
34Mouritsen 1988, 28–30, Chiavia 2002, 35–46.
35Mouritsen 1988, 43–44.
36Mouritsen 1988, 32–37 and passim in chapters with lists of magistrates and evidence for their dat-
ing, Chiavia 2002, 126–141.
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
Campaigning for Votes in Ancient Pompeii 127
Most of these notices, 550 in total, roughly one third of all notices used in this
study, were posted by the 24 candidates for aedileship between 69 and 79 CE. Usually
only one candidate is named, but it was also possible to campaign together with can-
didates for other offices and joint notices are known (roughly 10% of the named and
dated notices). The distribution for aedile follows the main pattern neatly, which is to
be expected as they form the majority of the notices (fig. 4).
Fig.4: The distribution of notices for aedile in 69–79 CE © Eeva-Maria Viitanen.
Fig.5: The distribution of notices for duumvir in 69–79 CE © Eeva-Maria Viitanen.
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
128 Eeva-Maria Viitanen and Laura Nissin
There are twelve candidates for duumvir between 69 and 79 CE and almost 220 notices
were painted for their campaigns (fig. 5). Although the main pattern can still be recog-
nized, their distribution is strongly placed in the eastern part of Pompeii. The pattern
is the same for both offices in all the five periods: there were more candidates for
aedile advertising in all the areas and the fewer candidates for duumviri posted mostly
in the eastern part.
It is also interesting to note that the candidates for the two offices rarely adver-
tised in the same locations. Only a few locations in all periods were used for promot-
ing candidates for both offices and these tend to occur in the most frequently used
locations. The same applies to candidates within one period: if more than one candi-
date was advertised in one location they usually had a joint campaign. Even the most
popular locations were not used regularly in every election: they were probably not
open for everyone. There is also a slight tendency towards posting more candidates
and even rivals on bars and shops versus private houses—these locations were appar-
ently open for all candidates. In the general distribution notices were placed on large
private houses twice as often as on shops and bars, but in this group the relationship
is roughly 1:1.
Based on the evidence of the distribution, the strong connection to private
houses, the different patterns for different offices as well as for candidates, it seems
clear that the candidates or supporters could not freely choose just any wall to post
electoral notices, but either one or both parties had to be connected to the house
owners socially or politically. The wall space was used most often only for one candi-
date and the notices were often not painted over even after the elections. It is possible
to imagine that the house owners wanted to display the names of their political and/
or social associates on their façade, regardless whether their candidates lost or won
the election. Bar and shop owners were apparently more open to allowing a variety of
candidates running in the same elections to use their walls. It is also possible to think
that whoever paid for the notices also paid the house owners for the privilege of using
their walls, but even in this case there seems to have been a clear limit on how many
and what kinds of candidates were allowed on one house façade in each election.
The notices for the last election in 79 CE represent a large proportion of the study
material (240). They offer the only opportunity to analyze candidates in the same
elections (fig. 6).
There were four candidates for aedile and two for duumvir. The duumvir candi-
dates, Gavius Rufus and Holconius Priscus, joined forces with Cuspius Pansa and
Popidius Secundus, who ran together for aedile. Their notices are concentrated in the
central part of Pompeii from west to east. The other aedile pair, Helvius Sabinus and
Samellius Modestus, who apparently received no help from candidates to the other
office, advertised more in the northern and southern parts of town. The competing
aedile and/or duumvir candidates advertised 14 times in the same locations and half
of them are situated along the south main street. Only one of these notices is on the
façade of a private house; in all other cases they are on the façades of shops or bars.
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
Campaigning for Votes in Ancient Pompeii 129
The notices for the individual duumvir candidates can be found mostly in the eastern
part of Pompeii as in the other elections, but all the joint notices are located in the
western part of the city. The opposing candidates maintained their distance within
the usual patterns for advertising for each office.
It is difficult to know what lies behind the varying geographical distribution for
the different offices. There are always more candidates for aedile than for duumvir
and it is possible to imagine that the junior magistrates felt they had to advertise their
candidacy more than the more experienced duumviri. But the numbers or the need to
advertise more do not explain why the duumviri advertised mostly in the eastern part
of town. The candidates and their supporters were maybe better connected in their
respective areas, but there could also be more prestige connected to the central part
of town possibly due to better visibility.
7 Candidates, Supporters and Houses: Ownership or
The previous analyses have concentrated on combined distributions of electoral
notices, whereas in the two last sections distributions of individual candidates shall
be analyzed. The number of notices for some 30 candidates is sufficiently high to
allow a study of their distribution—they include representatives for all the periods and
offices. The candidates were usually within the distribution patterns for the different
Fig. 6: The distribution of notices for the election of 79 CE © Eeva-Maria Viitanen.
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
130 Eeva-Maria Viitanen and Laura Nissin
offices, but individual strategies can also be discerned as anomalies to the distribu-
tions of the larger groups. Reasons for these strategies are difficult to understand, but
it is possible, for instance, that the candidates directed their campaign towards their
own neighborhood. Knowing where the candidates lived would be necessary to estab-
lish the neighborhoods, but although electoral notices have frequently been used to
connect houses to candidates, the results remain uncertain.³
Two elements in the contents of the notices have been used to attribute houses
to owners: names of those who support candidates themselves (rogatores) and of
those who are recommended to vote for certain candidates.³ Such elements occur in
some 385 accurately placed notices in the study area. The supporters form a majority
as only 48 recommendations have been recorded. The candidates are supported by
diverse groups of people: there are individuals on their own, groups of individuals up
to three persons in size as well as professional and other groups (such as bakers or
neighbors) on their own and together with other groups or individuals. In most cases,
only one supporter per location (194 out of 274 locations, 71%) can be found, but
even as many as nine different supporters can be found on one façade.³ The general
distribution of supported notices is similar to the main pattern, but there is an even
stronger tendency to place them in the most central locations—particularly those of
various groups (fig. 7).
37Della Corte 1965. See also Mouritsen 1988, 18–19, 61 and Allison 2001 for criticism.
38Mouritsen 1988, 160–178, Chiavia 2002, 188–226, 328–368.
39Two supporters in 54 locations (20%, three in 18 locations (6%), four in five locations (2%) and 5,
6 and 9 supports in one location.
Fig. 7: The distribution of notices with supporters and recommendations © Eeva-Maria Viitanen.
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
Campaigning for Votes in Ancient Pompeii 131
The important question concerning the supporters is their relationship to the location
where their names appear. The assumption has been that they are either owners or
tenants of the property on which the notice is painted. The recommendations have
been regarded as the most reliable evidence for ownership of the premises. Neigh-
bors (vicini) are the most important supporter group with a spatial connection—they
are supposed to have posted their notices close to their own houses and consequently
also the houses of the candidates. The candidates were persons with considerable
economic means and consequently have usually been connected to the largest dwell-
ings in the vicinity of the notices they supported, the notices supported by their
neighbor and/or recommendations directed to them (table 2; fig. 8). However, there
are some significant problems: Why are there so commonly many supporters on one
wall? What is the connection between the groups and the houses? How close do the
neighbors live? Is there any other kind of evidence of the house occupants?
The case of house I 7,1 is revealing. It is a finely appointed large dwelling with its
main entrance onto one of the busiest streets in Pompeii. The notices on its façade
include one with Paquius Proculus as rogator and another where Paquius is suppor-
ted by his neighbors.¹ Paquius Proculus does not appear as a supporter anywhere
else. The attribution of the house to Paquius seems obvious, but other rogatores also
40See above note 38.
41CIL IV 7210 and 7197 respectively.
Fig. 8: Evidence used for house attributions of selected candidates and other persons. Numbers
refer to data presented in table 2 © Eeva-Maria Viitanen.
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
132 Eeva-Maria Viitanen and Laura Nissin
occur: Amandio with his family/friends (sua), Fabius, Primanus and ordo supporting
four other candidates.² In addition, an electoral notice in the entrance hall promotes
Cuspius Pansa along with a possible honorary painted text for Cuspius.³ Moreover,
a candidate for aedile of an unknown date, Lollius Rufus, is mentioned in a graffito
inside the house and other person names occur in the other graffiti in the house as
well. The other supporters could be interpreted as clientes or associates of the owner
as they seem unlikely to be tenants—the house and its frontage feature no commercial
spaces. From these kinds of lists of supporters the person perceived as the most pres-
tigious one has usually been selected as the house owner.
The case of the house of the Caecilii Iucundi (V 1,23/26) is also interesting, even
though none of the family members was a candidate in the elections. The house
can be relatively safely attributed to the family based on the archive of the banker
Caecilius Iucundus found there. Family members appear in a recommendation
placed across the street (VI 14,21) and support candidates in two notices on the house
façade. Inside, there are two electoral notices, one for Numisius Rarus and another
for Appuleius—a notice inside the house is not an indication of ownership of the
candidate. There are also at least two other supporters connected with one of the
shops between the entrances to the house. The recommendation for Iucundus to vote
for Caecilius Capella is placed on the façade between a private house and a workshop
both attributed to Vesonius Primus based on notices supported by him on the façades
of both of these houses. Vesonius appears as a supporter also on the opposite side
of the city block VI 14 (unit 34).¹ If the additional evidence connecting the Caecilii
Iucundi to the other side of the street was unknown, it would be difficult to attribute
ownership to the houses in either city block based on the notices. Moreover, the role
of the supporters from the shop surrounded by the large house remains uncertain—
they could be owners as well as tenants.
42CIL IV 7213, 7205, 7212 and 7203 respectively.
43CIL IV 7200, 7201. Cuspius has been suggested as an alternative owner, but for him there is an-
other house attribution, house IX 1,22, where Cuspius is mentioned in two recommendations.
44CIL IV 8128.
45For example, House of the Menander (I 10,4) has never been attributed to Fulbunguis (CIL IV
7345), Infantio (CIL IV 7348) or Vatinia (CIL IV 7347) who all appear as supporters next to its main
46Karivieri/Forsell 2007.
47CIL IV 3473, 3428 and 3433 respectively.
48CIL IV 3417 and 3416 respectively. There are altogether 37 cases of notices inside houses in the
study area. Usually they are located in the entrance area, but there are also some that are clearly
inside the house.
49CIL IV 3241, 3423. One notice is fragmentary and the third name remains unknown.
50VI 14,20 and VI 14,22; CIL IV 3471, 3477, 3478 and 3480.
51CIL IV 3482.
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
Campaigning for Votes in Ancient Pompeii 133
It is also apparent that one person could appear as a supporter in more than one
location, as in the case of Vesonius Primus above or that of Iulius Polybius. Polybius
set up supporter notices in three different places: two in region VI and one in region
IX.² The houses in region VI were probably bars and hospitia and Iulius Polybius is
accompanied by muliones and Chypare as supporters—they could be explained as
other properties owned by Polybius, but then the presence of the supporters remains
unexplained. The large dwelling in region IX is attributed as Polybius’s house based
on the notices advertising for his candidacies as well as a recommendation for Poly-
bius to vote for Rustius Verus on the façade. In addition, neighbors set up a supporter
notice for Polybius in the next city block.³ Notices for Iulius Polybius also occur in
several places inside the house. However, two other supporters are present on the
house façade: Sextilius and Prunicus. Moreover, neighbors support three other can-
didates on the façade. In addition, Iulius Philippus appears in a graffito in a lara-
rium in the house as well as in a recommendation located across the street. Consid-
ering the evidence for a strong family presence in the house of the Caecilii Iucundi, it
is possible that the two Iulii could both be owners and inhabitants of the house, but it
still remains uncertain who Sextilius and Prunicus were.
In other cases where one name appears in more than one supporter notice or
recommendation, homonymy creates problems when analyzing their locations—it is
not possible to know whether the person is the same in all the cases. However, it can
be said that supporter names appearing in diverse locations outnumber those close to
each other. One person could set up notices in their name in different locations even
quite far away from each other. More than one recommendation per person is rare,
but even these can be in different locations; however, these locations tend to be close
to each other. Connecting the person to the houses where their names appear remains
difficult and uncertain even when there is more than one type of evidence available.
52Locations are: VI 1,3–4 (CIL IV 98), VI 17,3–4 (CIL IV 114), IX 13,1–2 (CIL IV 7942, 7945), IX 13,2–3
(CIL IV 7954). Popidius Ampliatus and Trebius Valens are two other candidates with supporter no-
tices in different parts of the city.
53CIL IV 7925 on house IX 12,7.
54Giordano/Casale 1990, 48 and 50, Giordano 1974, 27 nr. 11, 12 and 14.
55CIL IV 7931 and 7941 respectively. Prunicus is also mentioned in a graffito on the façade (CIL IV
56Trebius Valens (CIL IV 7927) has been attributed a house two blocks east and Gavius Rufus (CIL
IV 7927) in region VII, but Helvius Sabinus (CIL IV 7928) remains without a house attribution. Helvius
Sabinus has neighbor supporters in three locations: I 8,6–7 (CIL IV 7273), IX 3,25 (CIL IV 852), IX 13,1
(CIL IV 7928).
57AE 1977, 219 = AE 1985, 285; recommendation CIL IV 7316 on house I 9,1.
58Cuspius Pansa (CIL IV 1068, 1071 on IX 1,21–22 and IX 1,22–23), Loreius (CIL IV 7517, 7531, 7539,
7733 in regions II and III) and Trebius Valens (CIL IV 7429 on I 12, 3 and 7614, 7618, 7619, 7624 and 7632
in region III). Maybe also Astylus (CIL IV 7464 on I 13,3 and 7794 in region III), Graphicus (CIL IV 7649
and 7650 in region III) and Lutatius (CIL IV 7443 on I 12,5 and 7636 in region III).
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
134 Eeva-Maria Viitanen and Laura Nissin
8 Individual Strategies for Individual Candidates
The above analysis on supporters and houses raises general questions of properties,
ownership, tenancy and households that have not been discussed much in connec-
tion to Pompeii despite the frequent appearance of personal names. Archaeological
evidence has been used to recognize property divisions, but it has to be remem-
bered that one person could own several properties and that some properties could
be rented to tenants. Large houses could be inhabited by an extended family, as was
apparently the case for the Caecilii Iucundi. The writers of graffiti inside the houses
should also be included in the discussion. Tenants and members of the household
could have had permission to use the façades to promote their political agenda—or
then they could have been under the strict control of the owner.
One case study where detailed analysis of property lines has been conducted is
the city block IX 3.¹ Over 50 electoral notices are painted on its façades and they
occur mostly along the busy western and southern street fronts. (fig. 9).
The first property is a small house (IX 3,12), located in the northwestern corner of
the city block, containing domestic quarters, a shop and a workshop. Its west façade
features 13 notices with a recommendation for Ubonius and a supporter notice by
offectores (‘dyers’). The workshop was probably used for dyeing, so the connection
between the group and the house is understandable.² On the north façade, there is
also a notice with neighbors supporting Helvius Sabinus. The second property con-
sists of a large dwelling (IX 3,5/24) and three small shop-workshops (IX 3,3, IX 3,4 and
IX 3,6) and only eight notices belong to its façade. The notices feature Virrus Secun-
dus and Sabinus as well as studiosus et pistor as supporter(s). A wall painting found
inside the house IX 3,5/24 featuring writing equipment and a letter addressed to a
Marcus Lucretius have resulted in an attribution to this man, otherwise unknown in
Pompeian epigraphy. The large bakery (IX 3,1112) in the southwest corner of the city
block features eight notices on its façade with Proculus and neighbors as supporters.
It is possible that the pistor mentioned above could refer to this bakery, but there
are also prominent bakeries on the opposite side of the street in city block VII 2. The
neighbors support Casellius Marcellus who has been attributed to a house across the
street (IX 2,26) and another notice for him supported by neighbors was found towards
the east end of the street (fig. 10). The bakery is followed by a small house (IX 3,13)
59Craver 2010, Ynnilä 2013.
60E.g. Benefiel 2010.
61Ynnilä 2013. Ynnilä and the current authors have all participated in the University of Helsinki
Pompeii Project studying this city block. The notices are: CIL IV 852–853, 857–859, 861–867, 875–
878, 880–881, 3256–3267, 3285–3286, 3288–3289, 3291a–b, 3292–3296, 3647–3648, 3650, 3656, 3664,
3672–3673, 3682–3687.
62The same can be seen with regard to other professional groups: fullones (I 4,7–8; I 6,7–8; VI 14,22;
VI 15,2) and pistores (VII 2,1–2; next door or opposite in I 8,6–7 and IX 3,4–5).
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
Campaigning for Votes in Ancient Pompeii 135
with only one fragmentary notice on its façade. The next property consists of a fairly
large dwelling (IX 3,15) and two shops-workshops (IX 3,14, IX 3,16), the façade of which
features six notices with two supporters: Fabius Celer and an unknown person. The
second vicini notice is located between this and the adjacent property, which covers
the entire southeastern corner. This bakery (IX 3,19–20) and two shop-workshops (IX
3,17, IX 3,18) next to it feature 16 notices with at least six different supporters (one
unknown). Casellius Marcellus gets a recommendation between the two workshops.
On the façade towards east, neighbors support Vettius Caprasius Felix.
Altogether more than 25 candidates were supported. Casellius Marcellus was the
most popular with ten notices on the west and south sides including two neighbor
supporters and one recommendation. Vettius Caprasius Felix and Helvius Sabinus
get fewer notices (four each) and also these were set up on different sides of the city
block. Holconii and Postumii candidates are featured mostly on the west side and
Suettii in the south side. There seems to be no preference of supporting candidates
following the suggested property lines (fig. 9) or even individual houses, but rather
along the sides of the city block facing the busiest streets. If Casellius really did live in
the next block, he could have had the closest connection with the area and the possi-
bility to get supported notices on most walls. He ran for aedile and has a large number
of notices, the distribution of which follows the main aedile pattern. The greatest con-
centration of supporter notices for Casellius are located in the areas adjacent to city
blocks IX 2 and IX 3 perhaps indicating his close relationship with the area (fig. 10).
If the current attributions for the candidate’s houses are accepted, then some
other cases of campaigns in the vicinity of the house could be suggested. Ceius Secun-
dus has his notices for his duumvir campaign almost entirely in region I and most of
them are also supported (n° 4 in table 2 and fig. 8). The few notices promoting Epidius
Sabinus’s campaign for duumvir are also located near the house and most of them
are supported (n° 7 in table 2 and fig. 8). The same applies to Iulius Polybius (n° 10 in
table 2 and fig. 8), Paquius Proculus (n° 14 in table 2 and fig. 8) and Samellius Modes-
tus (n° 19 in table 2 and fig. 8) although not with as many supporters. In these cases it
seems that the home neighborhood was where the most possibilities for gaining sup-
porters and advertisement space were available. For equally many others there does
not seem to be any connection between the distribution of the notices, supporters
and the suggested house of the candidate. Diverse strategies could be employed for
promoting the candidates both locally and in the whole city.
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
136 Eeva-Maria Viitanen and Laura Nissin
Fig. 10: The distribution of notices for Casellius Marcellus © Eeva-Maria Viitanen.
Fig. 9: The distribution of electoral notices on the facades of city block IX 3. Property lines are in red.
Supported notices are marked with green © Expeditio Pompeiana Universitatis Helsingiensis/Maija
Holappa and Eeva-Maria Viitanen.
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
Campaigning for Votes in Ancient Pompeii 137
9 Conclusion
Previous research on the distribution of Pompeian electoral notices has concentrated
on the content of the notices and taken little interest in their contexts. Using the best
evidence available, a variety of data sets and different levels of analysis, new insights
into the electoral campaigns and promoting candidates could be reached. Compari-
son of the general distribution to street activity indicates that the busiest places were
sought for the notices. Their strong connection with large private houses suggests that
painting notices on house façades was not possible without permission. The large
dwellings indicate the importance of the elite in the process, but many small houses
and commercial locations, possibly in the hands of non-elite owners, were part of
the campaigns as well. Comparison of the distribution of the earlier notices, possibly
dating back even a century, with the last phase notices, shows that programmata have
been painted in similar locations for a longer period of time. Analyzing the distri-
bution of the notices for the two main offices, demonstrates differences in preferred
areas for candidates running for aedile and duumvir in the city, repeated at least for
the last decade of Pompeian elections. Few walls—however centrally located—were
used repeatedly for both kinds of candidates in different elections. Evaluation of
reasons for distribution of notices for individual candidates is made difficult by the
poor understanding of the relationship between the candidates, their supporters and
the locations where the notices were set up. If house attributions for candidates sug-
gested by previous research are accepted, individual strategies for campaigns can be
discerned: some based on neighborhood support and some on dispersing the notices
city-wide. However, detailed studies of evidence for properties and households in
Pompeii based on archaeological and epigraphic evidence are needed before these
strategies may be verified. The analyses indicate that much attention was paid to
placing the notices for campaigns of candidates for the local elections in Pompeii.
The distributions were not based on available space or random selection. They were
probably a result of careful thought and negotiation between the candidates, their
supporters and house owners.
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
138 Eeva-Maria Viitanen and Laura Nissin
Table 1: Different house types and their numbers in Pompeii.
Houses Description Number
Group  Small workshop-shop and/or dwelling, no status architecture 
Group  Medium-sized dwellings, atrium or peristyle and/or commercial
Group  Large dwellings, atrium, peristyle and/or commercial area 
Group  Very large dwellings, multiple atria and/or peristyles and/or
commercial area
Other Public buildings, unbuilt plots, etc. 
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
Campaigning for Votes in Ancient Pompeii 139
Table 2: Evidence used for house attributions of selected candidates and other persons. The numbers in the first column refer to locations in fig. 8.
Candidate Campaign Notices Outside Normal Rogatores Rogator Recommendation House Attribution Other
L. Albucius
 yes  () no no V ,i vicini opposite libertus
(L. Caecilius)
 more W  () VII
VII ,– VII
tion on facade
M. Casellius
 more N  () IX
no IX , vicini opposite
L. Ceius
 more S  () no no I , vicini on facade IIvir mostly
Ti. Claudius
IIvir /
yes  () no IX ,– V ,? vicini IX ,d,
uncertain V
,– and
IX 
C. Cuspius
aed.  
 yes  () no IX ,; IX
IX , recommenda-
tions on facade
I , inside
M. Epidius
 central  () no no IX , vicini next door
(P.) Gavius
?  () no no VI , vicini on facade
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
140 Eeva-Maria Viitanen and Laura Nissin
Candidate Campaign Notices Outside Normal Rogatores Rogator Recommendation House Attribution Other
C. Gavius
IIvir 
 yes  () no no VII , vicini IX
 C. Iulius
more W  () VI ,–;
VI ,–;
IX ,–;
IX ,–
IX ,– IX ,– recommenda-
tion, support
on facade
vicini next
 (C. Lollius)
 more E  () VII , no VII , Fuscus support
on facade,
cliens in
Regio III
 M. Lucretius
–, qq
yes  () V ,a no V , support on
 M. Obellius
? no IX , IX
notice inside
inside V
 P. Paquius
 yes  () I , no I , support, vicini
on facade
 L. Popidius
 only E  () VII
,–; I
no I ,–
 L. Popidius
aed.  
 more E  () no no I ,–
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
Campaigning for Votes in Ancient Pompeii 141
Candidate Campaign Notices Outside Normal Rogatores Rogator Recommendation House Attribution Other
 Q. Pos-
qq  
 more S?  () no no VIII , Postumii
support VIII
 Q. Pos-
more SW  () no no VIII , vicini I ,
 M. Pupius
?  () VI , VI , VI ,–
support on
vicinus VI
,–, VI
 A. Rustius
?  () IX ,–;
IX ,–
x 
no IX ,/a support on
 M. Samellius
aed.  
more N  () no no V ,c vicini on facade
 A. Trebius
 yes  () III ,; III
,; III ,
I ,; III , III , recommenda-
tions on facade
vicini IX
 P. Vedius
yes  () IX ,– no VIII
support oppo-
next door
 P. Vedius
IIvir / 
yes  () IX ,– no VIII
support oppo-
next door
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
142 Eeva-Maria Viitanen and Laura Nissin
Candidate Campaign Notices Outside Normal Rogatores Rogator Recommendation House Attribution Other
 A. Vettius
yes  () no no VI ,– vicini VI
,–, IX
,–, IX
 M. Helvius
aed.  
 more E  () no no no vicini I
,–, IX
, and IX
 Caecilii
no V ,– VI , V
archive found
in house
 M. Vesonius
no Vi ,;
VI ,;
VI ,
no VI
support on
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
Campaigning for Votes in Ancient Pompeii 143
Allison, Penelope M. (2001), “Placing Individuals: Pompeian Epigraphy in Context”, in: Journal of
Mediterranean Archaeology 14, 53–74.
Allison, Penelope M. (2004), Pompeian Households: An Analysis of Material Culture, Los Angeles.
Anniboletti, Lara/Befani, Valentina/Boila, Paolo (2009), “Progetto ‘Rileggere Pompei’: per una
nuova forma urbis della città. Le indagini geofisiche nell’area non scavata e l’urbanizzazione
del settore orientale”, in: Fasti Online Documents & Research 148 <
docs/FOLDER-it-2009-148.pdf> (last access: 20.5.2016).
Baird, Jennifer A./Taylor, Claire (eds.) (2011), Ancient Graffiti in Context, New York.
Benefiel, Rebecca R. (2010), “Dialogues of Ancient Graffiti in the House of Castricius Maius in
Pompeii”, in: American Journal of Archaeology 114, 59–101.
Biundo, Raffaella (2003), “La propaganda elettorale a Pompei: la funzione e il valore dei
programmata nell’organizzazione della campagna”, in: Athenaeum 91, 53–116.
Castrén, Paavo (1975), Ordo populusque Pompeianus. Polity and Society in Roman Pompeii (Acta
Instituti Romani Finlandiae 8), Rome.
Chiavia, Catherine (2002), Programmata. Manifesti elettorali nella colonia romana di Pompei, Turin.
Craver, Scott (2010), Patterns of Complexity: An Index and Analysis of Urban Property Investment at
Pompeii, unpubl. PhD Thesis, University of Virginia & McIntire Department of Art.
Della Corte, Matteo (1965), Case ed abitanti di Pompei, Rome.
Ellis, Steven J. R. (2004), “The Distribution of Bars at Pompeii: Archaeological, Spatial and Viewshed
Analyses”, in: Journal of Roman Archaeology 17, 371–384.
Ellis, Steven J. R. (2006), “The Use and Misuse of ‘Legacy Data’ in Identifying a Typology of Retail
Outlets at Pompeii”, in: Internet Archaeology 24 <
index.html> (last access 20.5.2016).
Flohr, Miko (2012), “Working and Living Under One Roof: Workshops in Pompeian Atrium Houses”,
in: Anna Anguissola (ed.), Privata Luxuria – Towards an Archaeology of Intimacy: Pompeii and
Beyond. International Workshop, Center for Advanced Studies, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität
München (24–25 March 2011), Munich, 51–72.
Franklin, James L. (1975), The Chronology and Sequence of Candidacies for the Municipal
Magistracies Attested in the Pompeian Parietal Inscriptions A.D. 71–79, unpubl. PhD Thesis,
Duke University.
Franklin, James L. (1980), Pompeii: The Electoral programmata, Campaigns and Politics, A.D. 71–79,
Gigante, Marcello (1979), Civiltà delle forme letterarie nell’antica Pompei, Naples.
Giordano, Carlo/Casale, Angelandrea (1990), “Iscrizioni pompeiane inedite scoperte tra gli anni
1954–1978”, in: Atti della Accademia Pontaniana n.s. 39, 273–378.
Giordano, Carlo (1974), “Iscrizioni graffite e dipinte nella casa di C. Giulio Polibio”, in: Rendiconti
della Accademia di archeologia, lettere e belle arti 49, 21–28.
Guzzo, Pietro Giovanni/Scarano Ussani, Vincenzo (2009), Ex corpore lucrum facere: la prostituzione
nell’antica Pompei, Rome.
Hartnett, Jeremy (2008), “Si quis hic sederit: Streetside Benches and Urban Society in Pompeii”, in:
American Journal of Archaeology 112, 91–119.
Jansen, Gemma C. M. (2002), Water in de Romeinse stad: Pompeji, Herculaneum, Ostia, Leuven.
Kaiser, Alan (2011), Roman Urban Street Networks, New York.
Karivieri, Arja/Forsell, Renée (2007), “The House of Caecilius Iucundus, V 1,22–27: A Preliminary
Report”, in: Opuscula Romana 31/32, 119–134.
Laurence, Ray (20072), Roman Pompeii, Space and Society, London.
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
144 Eeva-Maria Viitanen and Laura Nissin
McGinn, Thomas A. J. (2002), “Pompeian Brothels and Social History”, in: Thomas McGinn,
Paolo Carafa, Nancy de Grummond, Bettina Bergmann and Tina Najbjerg (eds.), Pompeian
Brothels, Pompeii’s Ancient History, Mirrors and Mysteries, Art and Nature at Oplontis, & the
Herculaneum ‘Basilica’, Portsmouth, 7–46.
Mouritsen, Henrik (1988), Elections, Magistrates and Municipal Élite: Studies in Pompeian
Epigraphy, Rome.
Mouritsen, Henrik (1999), “Electoral Campaigning in Pompeii: A Reconsideration”, in: Athenaeum
87, 515–523.
Newsome, David J. (2011), “Introduction: Making Movement Meaningful”, in: Ray Laurence and David
J. Newsome (eds.), Rome, Ostia and Pompeii: Movement and Space, Oxford, 1–54.
Poehler, Eric E. (2006), “The Circulation of Traffic in Pompeii’s Regio VI”, in: Journal of Roman
Archaeology 19, 53–74.
Sakai, Satoshi (1993), “Topographical Distribution of the so-called programmata antiquissima”, in:
Opuscula Pompeiana 3, 89–104.
Saliou, Catherine (1999), “Les trottoirs de Pompéi: une première approche”, in: BABESCH Bulletin
Antieke Beschaving 74, 161–218.
Sears, Gareth/Keegan, Peter/Laurence, Ray (eds.) (2013), Written Space in the Latin West, 200 BC to
300 AD, London.
Van Andringa, William (2000), “Autels de carrefour, organisation vicinale et rapports de voisinage à
Pompéi”, in: Rivista di Studi Pompeiani 11, 47–86.
Varone, Antonio/Stefani, Grete (2009), Titulorum Pictorum Pompeianorum qui in CIL Vol. IV collecti
sunt Imagines (Studi della Soprintendenza archeologica di Pompei 29), Rome.
Viitanen, Eeva-Maria/Nissinen, Laura/Korhonen, Kalle (2013), “Street Activity, Dwellings and Wall
Inscriptions in Ancient Pompeii: A Holistic Study of Neighbourhood Relations.”, in: Annabel
Bokern, Marion Bolder-Boos, Stefan Krmnicek, Dominik Maschek and Sven Page (eds.), TRAC
2012. Proceedings of the Twenty Second Annual Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference,
Frankfurt 2012, Oxford, 61–80.
Wallace-Hadrill, Andrew (1995), “Public Honour and Private Shame: The Urban Texture of Pompeii”,
in: Tim J. Cornell and Kathryn Lomas (eds.), Urban Society in Roman Italy, London, 39–62.
Wallace, Rex E. (2005), An Introduction to Wall Inscriptions from Pompeii and Herculaneum,
Weilguni, Marina (2011), Streets, Spaces and Places. Three Pompeian Movement Axes Analysed
(Boreas 33), Uppsala.
Ynnilä, Heini (2013), “Understanding Neighbourhood Relations through Shared Structures:
Reappraising the Value of Insula-Based Studies”, in: Annabel Bokern, Marion Bolder-Boos,
Stefan Krmnicek, Dominik Maschek and Sven Page (eds.), TRAC 2012. Proceedings of the
Twenty-Second Annual Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference, Frankfurt 2012, Oxford,
Download Date | 8/9/17 2:35 PM
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Ancient graffiti have traditionally been studied as brief texts, but that is only part of the information they communicate. I propose a more comprehensive approach that considers their content and form and situates them more firmly within their physical and social environment. Engaging more closely with the spatial context of graffiti informs us about the ancient use of space and the human activity within it. It also allows us to see what else, besides text, was inscribed on the walls of Pompeii. The concept of the dialogue offers a flexible model of inquiry and provides a fresh perspective for examining the numerous graffiti of a residential space. From number games to drawings to clever compositions of poetry, the graffiti of the House of Maius Castricius reveal wide participation and a strong interest in the act of writing, a popular activity here and throughout Pompeii.
This article commences with a summary of the ways in which various types of retail outlets have been identified at Pompeii. The conventional approach has been to identify them, and to determine their supposed activities, by the Latin terms that were casually attached to them on their discovery in the 18th and 19th centuries, even though these labels have no corroboration in the archaeological record. Subsequent scholars have commonly treated this interpretative compilation as 'primary data'. I propose a different approach to the identification of Pompeii's different types of retail food and drink outlets, one that draws on the available primary archaeological data, as well as to the use of excavation records to create 'legacy data'.
Built by individual initiative but open to use by city dwellers, Pompeii's 100 streetside benches stood at a pivot point, forming part of the architectural interface between interior, privately financed architecture and the exterior space of the street's public domain. Like many elements of Roman cities, benches have been examined primarily from their builders' viewpoint and within one setting (the elite house and the salutatio). This multiperspective case study calls for a more complex understanding of how and why architectural features were built (or not) along Roman streets. Investigation through aesthetic, legal, and sociohistorical lenses demonstrates that benches - located in front of shops, bars, and houses large and small - were an important part of their owners' streetward presentation, and aided in visually organizing facades and drawing favorable attention from passersby. A quantitative and spatial analysis of benches shows that builders sought out busy and impressive settings for these constructions. It also reveals that the public exerted pressure against bench building where traffic would be obstructed, and expressed favor for bench building in shady spots. The study of streetside benches thus holds potential for understanding the negotiation of individual and public desires in Roman urban society, for thinking not just about the owner-centric insides of buildings or the chaotic outsides but also about the push and pull between those two spheres.
In both popular and scholarly literature, Pompeii is viewed as a typical Roman town reflecting the social and cultural conditions of the capital, a perception now so embedded in Pompeian studies that it is often assumed to be part of the known facts. This paper questions that perception and explores alternative readings for broadening our approaches to Pompeian society through examination of the material contexts of the epigraphical texts from Pompeii. In particular, it investigates how the names of individual Pompeians have been used to provide evidence on Pompeian households and on the interrelationships and statuses of their members, in four particular houses. It considers the contribution of Greek-dominated Magna Graecia to the development of this town and its inhabitants. It concludes that more contextualised investigations of the material evidence from Pompeii can lead to more informed approaches to its social and cultural relationships, and those between this region, the Roman capital, and the wider Mediterranean region in the first century AD.