Monographs 8, 9, 10 of the series published by the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompeii.
Marisa De' Spagnolis Conticello, Il pons Sarni di Scafati e la via Nuceria-Pompeios. Vol. 8. Roma: L'Erma di Bretschneider, 1994. Pp. 111, incl. 4 maps. ISBN 88-7062- 878-7. Lit. 170,000.
Grete Stefani, Pompei. Vecchi scavi sconosciuti. Vol. 9. Roma: L'Erma di Bretschneider, 1995. Pp. xxviii + 118. ISBN 88-7062-879-5. Lit. 150,000.
Luciana Jacobelli, Le pitture erotiche delle terme suburbane di Pompei. Vol. 10. Roma: L'Erma di Bretschneider, 1995. Pp. xi + 132. ISBN 88-7062-880-9. Lit. 150,000.
E. Simon and E. A. Mackay
University of Natal, Durban
All three volumes open with a foreword by the Soprintendente di Pompei, Baldassare Conticello, in which he points out the significance of the contents for archaeologists. Volume 8 is a topographical study on an important street which runs from Pompeii to the east, passing through the little town of Scafati and crossing there the river Sarno. De' Spagnolis Conticello has shown that after the Vesuvian eruption of 79 AD, the road was repaired: this is an important indication of the continuation of habitation in the devastated area after the eruption.
In volume 9, Stefani publishes excavations carried out in 1907-1908 by marchese Giovanni Imperiali: the marchese dug up a villa in the region Civita di Nitto di Boscoreale, to the north of the Villa of the Mysteries (marked as 12 on Plate 1). The objects are variously in the magazines of Pompeii and in the private collection of the Imperiali family. While the black-and-white photographs of the objects leave something to be desired (they are rather grey), the range of objects illustrated and well-described will surely prove to be a valuable aid to scholars interested in the picture of the household of a villa in the mid-first century AD: of particular interest are the bronze objects, and the appurtenances of the household gods, which are, as often in Pompeii, Egyptianising (Harpocrates, Isis and Serapis: plates X to XIII). The household ware includes an urceus with an inscription which indicates that the shape traditionally known to archaeologists as the 'tear- bottle' could in fact be used as a spice-container in the kitchen (Plate XXIII, 2-3).
In Volume 10, Jacobelli publishes for the first time the erotic pictures from the apodyterium of the Suburban Baths in Pompeii. The quality of the illustrations is good, with twenty-nine colour plates, and twenty black- and-white photographs of comparative material as well as the pictures from the Baths. This makes the book potentially a bibliophile edition, as well as a scholarly publication.
Baldassare Conticello is to be congratulated on his initiative in instigating such an instructive and well- produced series of monographs.