Cities of Vesuvius



- Syllabus Content -


Public Buildings: basilicas, temples, fora, theatres, palaestra, amphitheatres

See: “Wall writings – graffiti” p.45, "Municipal buildings" p.101 and 103.

  • Where was the Basilica situated in Pompeii?
  • Describe the features of the Basilica in Pompeii.
  • What was the function of the Basilica?
  • Where was the Basilica Noniana situated in Herculaneum?
  • What are the features of Basilica Noniana?


Basilica in Pompeii

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2554_pompei_basilica.jpg
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Basilica_Plan_Pompeii.jpg(from Guide to the Site, p.49)
"Dating from the second half of the 2nd century BC, it is the oldest building of its kind to have come down to us and was put up as part of the building program to provide the city with public monuments. It housed law courts and business activities. Its central nave and two aisles were originally covered by a sloping roof supported by the massive central columns and semicolumns in the upper section of the side walls. At the far end is the tribunal, where the magistrates sat, reached by wooden steps. Some traces of the original plasterwork in the first style have survived."

See the Basilica at Pompeii in Pictures
See the Basilica at Soprintendenza



Basilica in Herculaneum


(Here is a rough translation from Guida agli scavi, pp115-6)
Basilica Noniana
"At the northern extreme of Cardo III, the western wall of the basilica has been excavated. It was built in the Augustan age by M. Nonius Balbus (that's him in the top left of this screen) and is recorded on a wax tablet from AD 61 as the Nonian Basilica. It was excavated by tunnels in the Bourbon age. The wall decoration is in Fourth Style with a frieze depicting the deeds of Hercules with Greek captions. The basilica had a rich collection of statues of the family of M. Nonius Balbus. Recently a splendid head of an Amazon was found with the remains of colour on the hair and eyes. Also found has been the fragments of a register containing about 500 names. It was originally believed to be the list of the Augustales, though there are too many names for a town of only 4,000 people, including slaves. It is now thought that it may be the list of the citizens with the right to vote.

The Basilica Noniana Panoramas