Ch.31 : Stabiae

Stabiaes, Roman city was an important commercial and strategic role already in the Archaic period (eighth century BC).  Located in the center of it is now the Bay of Naples, was positioned as the second major port after Neapolis One of the cities with high density residential living quarters.  Relatively far from Vesuvius, we think this is where Silla either arrested with his fleet of ships to the eruption of Vesuvius 79. In this period, on the northern edge of the hill in Varano, it existed more villae in panoramic position, which essentially aimed at residential, with very rich districts, very large panoramic living rooms, verandas and beautifully decorated nymphs.  The main conclusions concern three "villae" not yet complete in the excavations.

The Villa St. Marco, with an area of 11,000 m².  Is one of the largest of the Roman villas. Villa St Marco the oldest, which is named after the great paintings of mythological subjects found in the bottom of triclinium wall.  Flanker a villa called Villa B in Varano area, alongside the previous one.  The new excavations in 1990 and 2001 helped discover other four additional complexes: the Villa du Berger, Villa Carmiano, Villa Petraro and Necropolis.

Stabiae is the ancient Latin name of the town of Castellammare di Stabia, a town between Pompei and Sorrento. Thanks to its strategic location and its mild climate, its land was followed from the seventh century BC as shown in the material found in the vast cemetery, filled with more than three hundred tombs, discovered in 1957 in the Via Madonna delle Grazie, in an area between the existing common Gragnano and S. Marie Charity, investigated several times.. The importance of the esteem and the presence of pottery in serious Corinthian also import, Etruscan and Attica Calcidese immediately reveals the important role played by this commercial city.

The regulation that was linked to the necropolis of the Madonna delle Grazie has not been identified, but we can expect should not be away from her, perhaps on the northern hill in Varano, of where it was possible to control both the seaport and the junction of the road.  It must be a oppidum is a walled city of some importance as reflected in the fact that Silla, supreme commander of the Roman army during the Social War (91-88 BC), did not limited to employment (as it did for Pompeii and Herculaneum) but destroyed militarily and politically April 30, 89 BC Such destruction, however, did not cause the disappearance of Stabiae:

A plan developed in 1759 by Weber, who led the excavations during the period of the Bourbons, identifies urban commune of about 45.OOO website m² on the set of Varano still completely buried inhabited probably before the destruction Sylla.  On the brow of the hill in Varano were also built in grandiose Roman otium villae designed primarily for residential purposes, with quarters, large lounge, spa facilities, luxuriously decorated porches and nymphs.  Were completely different type of Villae Rusticae hinterland, real farms to the production and processing of agricultural products.  These "houses" were characterized by the presence of a productive sector with torches, AIA, shops, which differs markedly from that apartment.  This reality is erased by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, 24 August Vesuvius that buried Stabiae centers and neighbors, but it marked the final disappearance of life in these areas.  After almost forty years by the eruption, in fact, has been re-established for Nuceria roads Deducted after the discovery of a milestone segnante eleventh mile of this road.


History of Escavations in Stabiae 

The Tabula Peutingeriana, Street of the Roman Empire in the fourth century.  Stabiae places north of the river Sarno, even in the sixteenth century and seventeenth centuries. elle se confond avec Pompéi (Civita). it merges with Pompeii (Civita).
 The archaeological importance of Stabiae begins to emerge through Milanta, bishop from 1689 to 1749, but King Charles III, who had already promoted the activity and already excavated at Herculaneum (1738) and Pompeii (1748) to provide in 1749, the start excavations at Varano.  The excavation, followed by the engineer and the engineer Alcubierre Spanish Swiss Carl Weber started from Villa San Marco (1749-1754) interest, therefore, the villa "the shepherd" (1754) and Villa complex with adjacent Arianna (1757-1762).

After a break of about thirteen times the excavation in 1775 involving the area of Villa Arianna and a few countries in the villas of Ager area. En 1782,  In 1782, the company Stabiana was finally broken and the work of the shovels of Bourbon was published in 1881 by Mr. Ruggiero, who collected and reorganized the complete documentation, including excavation newspapers, plans, letters relations.  After the excavations of Bourbon, Stabiano land has been affected by a series of sporadic restarts, indeed, a systematic search was resumed in 1950 thanks to the pioneering spirit of Dean D'Orsi.  These, with few workers, began the excavation of the Villa Arianna subsequently brought to light part of the Villa San Marco, showing the extent of the hidden treasures in the Stabiese campaign.  The digging was going on in a systematic way until 1962, when it was finally abandoned, frescoes and decorations offices merged in underground halls at school Stabiae, forming the nucleus of the Stabia Antiquarium



Villa San Marco, from the name of an ancient chapel built there in the late 17OO, is a Roman villa in residential character located on the brow of the hill, in a splendid panoramic position. Explored during the Bourbon period, between 1749 and 1754 was riscavata systematically between 1950 and 1962. The original structure dates back to the early Augustan suffered successive transformations in Claudian, when the original center of the atrium 'tetrastyle ions were added a number of tourist areas, such as the TriPort garden and pool, and the upper porch with twisted columns, which modified the original structure, causing the entrance and a more decentralized old central axial direction.

The main entrance from the street, now buried, overlooked a courtyard patio with access to the atrium and tetrastyle tablinum four open booths. It then accesses the spa area that fits into the whole "villa" on an axis different conditions of the existing road, you spent.  The entrance to the spa district is represented by a small lobby whose decoration with scenes of Cupids wrestlers and boxers were also renewed in the style Claudius' fourth home Pompeian.

It then accesses the steam room with large bath, and tepidarium frigidarium with tub and steps.  On this side of the villa "there is a section of the travertine staircase, which was part of switchback ramps connecting the" villa "with the flat area near the coast. He then went on the patio, garden with pool, on the wall where there was a semicircle Ninfeo decorated with stucco. Le fond des porches secondaires ont été utilisés pour des salles de repos joliment décorées. The bottom side porches were used to beautifully decorated relaxation rooms.  Environment also had to be beautiful representation of the "villa", with walls covered in marble and painted at the base to the top.The upper porch collapsed after the earthquake of 1980, was the ceiling is decorated with large figural compositions.



The villa, named for the mythological ed paint found on the large back wall of the triclinium, was almost completely excavated between 1757 and 1762 under the direction of Swiss engineer Karl Weber.  Excavation work at the time was led by the planned underground exploration for retrieving the objects rather than the investigation of the whole architectural context: for example, the furniture and the best preserved frescoes were removed and sent to Bourbon Museum in the Palais Royal porches.The paintings of little value or spoiled, however, were left in place and often even more damaged by the excavators themselves.  Building, one of which is still largely underground, we know that the plan developed during the period of the Bourbons through the remarks in burrows dug and then lavished.

"Ariadne Villa", which covers approximately excavated area 25OO square meters, has a complex design, or because following the successive enlargements, both because it matches the shape of the hill followed the trend.  The "villa", connected to the plain down through a series of ramps on six levels, is divided into four main: atrium and surrounding areas dating from the late Republican circles triclinium service spa and rooms; on either side of the summer dating from the age of Nero, the great gymnasium attached to the "villa" in Flavian.
 A long gallery, and more, go under the ramps from residence to reach the country where there was access to the "villa" by the Varano plateau.
 The decorations reflect not only the high standard of living, to be held here, but also an extremely refined taste of a high-level commission and demanding.

In the decoration of children living environments prevail, in fact, a penchant for decorating a miniature, which prefers the little characters flying cherubs, mythological characters, pictures of landscapes, masks and busts characters in medallions.  In larger environments and lounges, however, are represented mainly mythological themes, with almost life-size figures inspired by Dionysos, Ariadne, the table 'abandoned by Theseus on the wall of the triclinium. The rich decorations are the proper completion of decorative floors with beautiful mosaics, which have a vast white black decorative pattern directory.



Located on the edge of the Varano plateau villa fully explored in 1762 by Weber and La Vega in 1775, is today an area of about 1000 square meters excavated.  The investigation on the same site since 1967 has identified the N and the portico of the peristyle on three sides, and a range of environments, including a oecus downstream landslides on landslide the hill. Construction of facilities for the period of the Bourbons is obvious that the S side of the peristyle was closed and had a porch decorated with false half against the wall.  Behind this wall was located neighborhood spa has a steam bath with protruding apse N side in the peristyle and a rectangular pool collected on the S and tepidarium with tub and steps, a circular dome very little ventilation, perhaps laconicum, to cook. The peristyle is a fishery on the W side with square pool surrounded by a lead tube with jets.

The "villa" consists of an ancient organism, which takes place around the peristyle, and a more modern NW (circles 16 and 19), with a different orientation, which can be considered an extension of the Imperial or the structure of merger with another building. The decoration of the oldest part of the "villa" has virtually disappeared;  NW in the field, however, the walls are well preserved decoration on black end of Pompeian style III.  The floors were largely suppressed during the period of the Bourbons and included in the room floor of the Royal Bourbon Museum, now the National Archaeological Museum of Naples.



The building, whose name comes from a marble statue found during the research, was excavated between 1967 and 1968 on the edge of the Varano plateau, in an area between the B Complex and Villa St Marco.  This archaeological complex, partly explored and recognized by the 1754 excavations MADE by the Bourbons, covers an area of approximately 19,000 m2 and is the set of two architectural cores oriented differently. The first includes a large garden with a large rectangular pool, bordered on the south by a wall reticulated arches crowned by inverted arches formants a wide semicircle, and a wide semicircle north forming a double ambulatio overlooking the sea, composed of a large windowed cryptoporticus a length of about 145 meters which gives rise to a long porch, placed at a lower level.

The second group consists of a vast rectangular space opening on the south side of 15 small parts and balconnade probably connected by a wooden staircase.  A large hallway leads to a first thermal bath, which is a tepidarium and caldarium, and a kitchen with stove, countertop, oven and praelium.  Follow an atrium, the lararium, hallway and a small peristyle, tending to clear another thermal area, which was identified in the only apse certainly a hot environment, due to the presence on the ground of suspensurae and tubules to walls.  It is possible this second part of the same complex is part of what we ignore the real extension.

In recent years, due to landslides on the hill, were brought to light constructions articulated on four levels, that can be dated from the 1st century BC, and comparable to the Villa Arianna by model and features.  This complex constituais firstly a block near the hill here, and also a Basis Villae in the area corresponding to the thermal bath, and it shows that even the Villa du Berger said, like others, was articulated on three levels earth, interconnected by ramps which allow flow through.  It is believed that the undoubted planimetric and architectural features of this set of structures may depend morphological conditions of the ambient based on existing buildings, but has also been suggested that the building is identifiable to a gym, taking account of the discovery of numerous articles towels, surgical instruments and scrapers;  So the presence of a double bath and also the possibility that a copy of Doryphore Polycletus exactly come from this building.  The excavations in this building are currently blocked by the lack of necessary funds.



The villa Petraro known as the place where he was discovered by chance, Petraro resort, located in a hilly area of the territory of Gragnano, was explored between 1957 and 1958 and burying for conservation reasons. The villa, which were undergoing major renovation at the time of the eruption of 79 with its western part where was the entrance of the valley is partially collapsed, was rectangular in shape and has a total area of 1000 m2.  The entire villa has been dated to the time of Augustus.  The heart of the architectural composition consists of a large central courtyard bordered on the north by a large windowed cryptoporticus with a porch made of screwed shape columns that exploit south east sides: the south side were found just three Eastern columns, the rest being downstream of the gallery and s' being collapsed, while the east side was still in progress and it was found the only stylobate here on this side of the villa.  The villa is quite distinct from 3 different areas:

The southern compound 6 parts almost identical size or lack of wall decoration, perhaps functioning as ergastula or deposits.  The north wing, the cryptoporticus gravitating, is composed of two groups respectively recognizable pieces in the hallway and vestibule;  in these environments was acknowledged the likely presence of a kitchen, by the presence of a small bar and a lararium.  Also in this area renovations were underway.  The home consisting essentially of equipment commonly used and no presence of valuables.  Other service areas are recognized in both rooms near where the latter could have been used as an oven or deposit.

The eastern wing of the complex, or they found a staircase that was allowing access to al upper floor is occupied by a rather complex thermal zone in court as restructuring and which was accessible from the eastern end of cryptoporticus.  The areas highlighted in particular the apodyterium, frigidarium, where were found the creation of structures for a pool for the cold bath, the tepidarium, where warm air circulating in clay tubules also under construction with its final coating, and finally the bath calidarium with his side's form of the choir apse to accommodate the shelter. The praefurnium, the heating furnace to the water, was found strewn with building materials.

At the court restructuring, belong to the rich figurative plaster decoration detached at work and stored in the Antiquarium Stabiae.  In the frigidarium: Narcissus, and a chandelier.  In the calidarium: Boxers and a satyr with a goat, Satyr with rhyton, as a reminder Crater Mount Vesuvius, Psyche, shapes of birds, Cherub with Cart.  The stucco decoration probably was of the upper zone of the walls, on the bottom of the marble slabs ready to receive heat from the walls, as shown, for example, the same system of Herculaneum Suburban Baths.  Today this rich remains still buried and protected against looting, pending funds necessary for resumption



Located about 600 m is full of Varano and about 350 m south of Stabiae Nuceria-axis, the villa is in loc. Carmiano of the Municipality of Gragnano.  Discovered by chance in 1963, was dug for an overall area of 400 m2, which made us almost the whole plan of the building, with the sole exception of the west side of the current Carmiano obliterated.  Currently in state area, the villa was reinterré by management in 1998 impossible, in the short term to fill perform a full action of conservation and recovery.

The entrance, on the north side up, introduced into an arcaded courtyard (6), on which they were opening all the parts: those rustic and service consist of the kitchen (4) of torcularìum (5) vinaria the cell (12) and related deposits. Entre la cuisine et une cubicula,(2) Between the kitchen and a cubicula, (2) there was a lararium where we find stucco with a Minerva army sat on the throne painted background.  The residential parts retain parietal decoration renovated age Flavienne: figurative and architectural perspectives cubiculums tables (8 and 9) and subjects inspired the Dionysian cycle in the triclinium (1) The decoration of that room, in line with the inlet and with intercolumnio south portico wider to allow a vision of the court, was seconded to the hollow of time and transferred into the Antiquarium Stabiae: Triumph of Bacchus; perspectif architecturale ; architectural perspective; Neptune et Amymone ; Neptune and Amymone; perspectif architecturale :  Bacchus and Cerere, many fragments of fresco with Love and Psychai flight detached from the court (6) and the cubicle (9)
 The villa also comes a lot of objects in good condition: bronze dishes, clay and glass, and agricultural tools.  All these objects are kept in the local Antiquarium.



The party which has been highlighted in 1974 comprises only a part of this rustic villa, datable age Augusteo-Tiberian, She was buried in a layer of ash and lapilli less high compared to Pompei, given the greater distance Vesuvius and the slope.  The villa has made many tiles branded Lucius Erotis Eumachi. In the light set sector are recognizable the following media: the West and inclined paved courtyard for water flow;  a rainwater collector;  a deposit for domestic instruments with lararium niche;  a wall cabinet with shelves on which were found amphorae, large amphora called Dolio and a lock.

Triclinium with a black background paints 2 ° style and floor mosaic with small circular and star delineated in white cards indicating the different directions of the house;  a staircase that probably led to the upper floor supported by arches;  oecus with a small storage room east of the entrance, with paintings later style 3; u kitchen with oven made of the bottom of a cut Dolio with the cooking counter.  In the corner furthest southwest of the peristyle, two utility rooms, probably affected housing chamber for slaves;  portico with pillars.  This rustic style villa only shows us a part of his scheme of work still to do encor to see the items still buried.