Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero

The Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii

Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero

Harbor Scene and Ceiling Pattern


Digitally restored image of the harbor scene and ceiling pattern in the north bed niche of cubiculum 11. The restoration of the seascape is based on an archival photograph, but the painting itself is now nearly invisible. (By Timothy J. Liddell and John R. Clarke)


Floor Mosaic


This digitally restored image of the black and white floor mosaic is based on fragmentary remains of the floor in cubiculum 11 and on a comparable floor mosaic in another villa. The geometric patterns define the outer edges of the bed niches. (By Timothy J. Liddell)


Actual State of Cubiculum (Room 11) Interior


Cubiculum (Room 11)

The cubiculum

Replica of room 11

This small room (cubiculum) is a model of one of the richly decorated bedroom-sitting rooms in Villa A, reproduced at a slightly reduced scale from that of the ancient room (11) and restored to give a sense of the room’s original appearance. In Villa A this room is located between the atrium (5) and the grand reception room (15). All three rooms offer splendid examples of Second Style Pompeian wall painting.

In this replica of cubiculum 11 the benches are in the position of the couches that the Romans would have reclined on when relaxing or sleeping. Surrounded by vivid reproductions of the wall paintings and elaborate stucco ornaments that distinguished this room in the ancient villa, visitors can take in the views through the large window.

Small rooms like cubiculum 11 provided privacy for resting, reading, or writing, and also for a variety of private meetings and intimate encounters. Roman texts allude to political plots that were hatched in such rooms, but more often they tell of lovers’ trysts.

View map of Villa A

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