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Pompeii and Herculaneum - Glossary

Thermae (bath complexes):


Palaestra sports ground (with large open courtyard dedicated to competitive
athletics and training).
Hypocaust system of underfloor heating.
Frigidarium cold bath (room in thermae for cooling off).
Tepidarium warm room with warm pool (used for application of oil + massage)
Caldarium room with hot bath.
Apodyterium change room.
Strigil - curved bronze or bone scraper for cleaning.
Foricae public latrines.

Housing:
Domus urban house/household.
Villa Rustica country residence (often connected to vineyard or farm).
Insula town block isolated by 4 streets (sometimes all buildings were under a
single ownership).
Atrium Decorated central hall of Roman house.
Impluvium rainwater basin in centre of atrium (directly under compluvium).
Compluvium central opening in roof over domestic atrium that allowed in air, light
and water (collected in impluvium).
Tablinum decorated reception area off the atrium.
Triclinium three couch room (dining room).
Cubicula small room with various functions (most commonly described as
bedroom).
Culina kitchen.
Peristyle inner courtyard surrounded by colonnades.
Fauces entrance passage leading from street to interior of house or building.

Religion:
Vesta virgin goddess of the hearth, home, and family in Roman religion.
Capitoline Triad group of 3 Roman supreme deities (Jupiter, Juno and Minerva)
worshipped at Temple of Jupiter (in Pompeii).
Lares deities worshipped as protectors of houses or particular localities.
Lararium/lararia - Shrine to the guardian spirits of the Roman household.
Penates protectors of household stores.
Genius generating force of a person or place (spirit present in every person, thing
+ place).
Paterfamilias authority of the head of the household.
Augustales group of freedmen who celebrated cult of the emperor.
Imperial cult identified emperors (esp. Augustus) and some family members with
divinely sanctioned authority of the Roman State.
Nymphaeum grotto (cave), usually with a fountain dedicated to nymphs.

Foreign Cults:
Isis - Egyptian goddess of fertility (sister + wife of Osiris).
Dionysus/Bacchus (Bacchantes) - god of wine and fertility and drama
Lakshmi - Hindu goddess of fortune and prosperity.
Sebazius nomadic horseman + sky father god of the Phrygians and Thracians.

Political Life:
Cursus Honorum established political career pathway (sequential order of public
offices held by aspiring polititions, comprising of mixture of military + administration
posts).
Aedile town magistrate who looked after day-to-day administration.
Duumvir (duovir) 1 of 2 equal magistrates elected annually to preside over the
Decurion with law giving powers.
Quinquennial duumviri magristrate elected every 5 yrs (carry out census +
control public morality).
Ordo Decurionum Members of city council.
Curia meeting place of the city council on the Forum.
Client-patron relationship mutually obligatory arrangement between individual
with authority, social, status, wealth, or other personal resource (patron) and another
who benefits from his or her support or influence (client). Important element is the
morning salutation.

Buildings:
Basilica colonnaded hall used for business and justice.
Amphitheatre oval-shaped arena used primarily for gladiatorial games and
spectacles.
Theatre - a building or outdoor area in which plays and other dramatic
performances are given.
Odeon Small theatre in Pompeii (used for concerts, lecture and poetry recitals).
Marcellum (Macellum) central provision market of Pompeian Forum.
Portico structure consisting of roof supported by columns.
Forum/Fora public square used as centre of business and justice.
Taberna shop opening onto street with large stalls.
Thermopolia bars serving warm snacks and drinks.
Pistrina bakery.

Eruption
Pugilist pose the natural (unconscious) defensive position characteristic of victims
exposed to extreme heat at time of death.
Pyroclastic flow hot avalanche of pumic, ash and gases.
Pyroclastic surge cloud of volcanic ash and gases.
Amphorae two-handled clay vessels for liquids, especially wine and oil.
Dolia (doliums) large globular earthenware jars with wide mouth.
Garum fish sauce.

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