Pompeii: 6th century BCE-1st century CE; Palaestra: 2nd Century BCE
The palaestra is situated next to the Amphitheater south of the Via dell' Abbondanza in the eastern quarter of the city. It was constructed in the Augustan period and occupies an area of 140 x 130 meters and consists of a central area for sporting activities surrounded by a high wall with entrances to east and west. On the inside, along three sides, was a portico of Ionic columns. In the center was a large pool (37 x 4 metres) varying in depth from 1m at the west end to about 3m at the east. There was a large latrine on the south-east side. The palaestra had been badly damaged in the earthquake of 62 CE and, like many other buildings in Pompeii, it was still being rebuilt at the time of the eruption.
Pompeii, founded in the 6th century BCE by the Oscans (an Italic people), it came under Roman rule after the Samnite wars. By the first century CE it was a prosperous provincial capital with a population estimated between 20, 000 and 25,000 people. In 62 CE Pompeii experienced a major earthquake which resulted in heavy damage. The town was rapidly reconstructed and restored. The people and the administration used the damage as motivation to enrich their town with abundant architectural and artistic projects. Mount Vesuvius suddenly erupted in 79 CE, burying the town with approximately 20ft of pumice and ash. Excavations began in the 17th century. A large part of what we know about the daily life of ancient Romans is attributable to these excavations.
The Archivision Collection of Ancient Sites was funded by the Jack Martin Balcer Library Endowment.
Keywords: Italy, Campania, Napoli, Pompeii (deserted settlement), Mediterranean, palestra. Photographed by Scott Gilchrist, Archivision.