Pompeii and Herculaneum Latin Vocabulary HSC

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Campania
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The area surrounding Pompeii and Herculaneum, dominated by Naples (Neapolis/Napoli)
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Fresco
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A wall painting made while the plaster is still wet.
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Mosaic
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A picture made out of small tiles or pieces of stone. Normally on the floor.
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Forum
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A large open space used for commercial, religious and political purposes.
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Fauces
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Entry corridor to a house generally leading into the atrium
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Hortus
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Garden
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Villa Rustica
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Country estates perhaps owned by the local aristocracy
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Dipinti
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Written by professional sign writers on walls. For political office.
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Thermae
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public baths
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Tepidarium
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Warm bath
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Ianconium
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Sweating room
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Velarium
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Awning over the theatre or ampitheatre to provide shade during summer.
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Sparsiones
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Showers of perfumed water in the theatre or ampitheatre
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Cavea
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Seating
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Ima Cavea
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Distinguished Citizen seats
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Media Cavea
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Men’s seats
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Summa Cavea
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Women’s seating
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Editor
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Sponsor of the games or theatre
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Lanista
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Head of a gladitorial school
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aedile
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town magistrate who looked after day-to-day administration
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apodyterium
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changing room for baths
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atrium
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central hall of a house
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caldarium
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room in bathhouse containing hot bath
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cardo/cardini
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street which crossed a town along the north-south axis
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compulvium
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central opening in the roof over an atrium
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cubiculum
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small room most commonly described as a bedroom
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culina
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kitchen
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decumanus
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main road on east-west axis
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denarius
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the Silver coin of the Roman Empire
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domus
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one family Roman house with rooms frequently grouped around one or two open courts
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duumvir
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one of two Roman officers (duoviri iure dicundo) or magistrates united in the same public functions.
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epicureanism
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system of philosophy following Epicurus, that the highest good in life is pleasure
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Eumachia
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woman with business interests in the wool trade, pottery and brick making. Also built the largest building in the forum at Pompey
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forum
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public square of a city
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frigidarium
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the cold-bath section of a Roman baths
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fullonica
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laundry
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garum
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fish sauce
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hellenic
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pertaining to greek culture before alexander the great
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hellenistic
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pertaining to greek culture after alexander the great
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hypocaustum
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small narrow spaces under the floor through which hot air circulated
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impluvium
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rainwater basin in the centre of an atrium
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insula
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an apartment house or a city block
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lararium
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household shrine to the lares
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lares
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deities worshipped as protectors of doorways and crossroads
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libertinus
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freed slave
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lupanar
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brothel
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mensa ponderaria
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measuring table found in Pompeii outside the Temple of Apollo
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necropolis
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cemetary
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odeon
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small theatre in pompeii
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officina
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workshop
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pistrina
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bakery
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plebs
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common people
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patricians
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wealthy people
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Priapus
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god of male procreative power and guardian of gardens and vineyards
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pyroclastic flow
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A hot, high-velocity mixture of ash, gas and pumice that flows like a liquid down slopes and over terrain.
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senator
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Someone who was elected to certain magistracies and thereafter became members of the senate. They also gave advice to the consuls’. They proposed laws to the praetors. They could also hold debate and approve building projects.
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tablinum
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main reception area off the atrium, originally the main bedroom but later the office
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tabularium
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a civic building, or room, used for storing official records
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tepidarium
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warm room in a bathhouse equipped for oil and massage
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thermopolium
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bar serving warm snacks and drinks
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triclinium
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dining room
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tufa
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volcanic ash stone
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vestibulum
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entrance lobby of a Roman house between the street and the front door
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viridaria
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garden
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equites
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In ancient Italy, landowners second in wealth and status to the senatorial aristocracy. The Roman emperors allied with this group to counterbalance the influence of the old aristocracy and used the equites to staff the imperial civil service.
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libertus
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a term us to discribe a freedman; former slave who has been manumitted (given or purchased their freedom).
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ala
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side room off the atrium of a Pompeiian house. Its plural is alae.
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basilica
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A civic building for civic and court proceedings; rectangular in plan with an entrance on the long side and collonaded with an aisle; podium at one end; two storeys.
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cardo
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The north-south street in a Roman town, intersecting the decumanus at right angles
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cella
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the chief room of a Classical temple, where the statue of the god was located and, frequently, the temple’s treasure was kept
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columbarium
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A structure, room, or space in a mausoleum or other building containing niches or recesses used to hold cremated remains.
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fauces
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A small entry room of a Roman house, just as one enters the front door. Leads to atrium.
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hortus
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Roman garden or park
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laconicum
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sweating room in a Roman bathing facility
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natatio
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The swimming pool in a Roman bathing establishment
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nymphaeum
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A classical building or room with fountains, statues, and plants, used for relaxation and dedicated to nymphs.
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palaestra
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An ancient Greek and Roman exercise area, usually framed by a colonnade
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peristyle
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an atrium in a roman house usually with a garden surrounded by columns
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piscina
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Term loosely applied to fish ponds and swimming pools, whether heated or not.
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taberna
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shop at the front of the house with an opening on to the street
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amphitheatre
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large oval, circular, or semi circular outdoor theatre with rising tiers of seats around an open playing area
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capitolium
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An ancient Roman temple honoring the divinities Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva.
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client
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a person who owes allegiance to a more powerful citizen from whom he receives protection
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comitium
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a voting assembly; the place where an assembly meets
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curia
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town council in Roman cities
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decurion
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member of the municipal council, often former magistrates
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epitaph
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an inscription on a tombstone or monument in memory of the person buried there
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freedman
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a freed slave
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genius
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the spirit of a person, a family or a place
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gladiator
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A Roman athlete, usually a slave, criminal, or prisoner of war, who was forced to fight for the entertainment of the public
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graffiti
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words or drawings scratched or scribbled on a wall
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lapilli
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Pebble sized bits of pyroclastic material that vary between 2 and 64mm in diameter.
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latrine
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toilet
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macellum
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public market building with a central yard surrounded by rows of shops for the daily sale of fresh perishable produce, especially meat and fish
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magistrate
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elected official
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municipium
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a city or town with its own local government
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Oscans
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Italic tribes occupied Italy at the time of Etruscan ruling over Rome. First to settle at Pompeii
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papyri
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Comes from a reed like plant that would be split, left to dry, creating a soft smooth side on which to write.
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pater familias
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Roman term for the “father of the family,” a theoretical implication that gave the male head of the family almost unlimited authority.
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patronus
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a patron: a person who gave help and protection to others who performed services for him in return.
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pontifex
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a member of the highest council of priests in ancient Rome
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pumice
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a volcanic rock that is a light, sponge-like rock usually found at the surface of a lava flow with a mass of gas bubbles
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quinquennales
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Census takers who revised the town council roll every 5 years
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sacellum
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Chapel in the Basilica (great hall) , housing the Legions standard or aquila.
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epigraphy
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the study of ancient inscriptions
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regio
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a quarter in a Roman town composed of several blocks
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Strabo
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Greek geographer (64 CE-21 AD)
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Cumae
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Campanian town, founded by the Greeks who migrated from Chalcis from Euboea; a legendary entrance to the underworld, its cavern the favourite haunt of Sibyl
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inscription
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something written, carved, or engraved on a surface such as a monument, statue, pottery shard, gravestone or coin
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Samnium
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mountainous region of south-central Italy east of Campania
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Socius
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Latin for ‘ally’
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Social War
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War 91-89 BCE between Rome and most of the Italian allies. As a result of this civil war, the Senate granted citizenship to Rome’s Italian allies.
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Sulla
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Roman general, consul and dictator (138-78 BC)
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tribus Menenia
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Pompeians were enrolled in this voting tribe at the end of the Social War
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Tacitus
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Senator and historian of the Roman Empire, wrote the Annals and the Histories.
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Herakles
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Son of Zeus and Alcmena, he performed many deeds (twelve labours of Hercules) and won immortality among the gods on Olympus. Patron deity of Herculaneum
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Archaeology
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The study of human cultures through the recovery and analysis of material remains and environmental data
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Stratigraphy
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Study of the sequential layering of geological and cultural deposits.
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nuee ardente
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a superheated, incandescent cloud of gas and volcanic ash that flows swiftly down a volcanic slope as an avalanche.
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Suetonius
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A Roman historian of the early second century C.E., best known for a multi-volume work giving biographies of the Roman emperors, The Lives of the Caesars.
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Haraldur Sigurdsson
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volcanologist who analysed the eruptions of Vesuvius and Mt. Saint Helens
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Fiorelli
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Pompeii Superintendent 1863-77; used plaster casting for body cavities
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regio
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areas or districts for dividing the sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum
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insulae
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Tenements for middle and lower class Romans constructed of wood and rubble.
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radiocarbon dating
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a chemical analysis used to determine the age of organic materials based on their content of the radioisotope carbon-14
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thermoluminescence
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A chronometric dating method that uses the fact that certain heated objects accumulate trapped electrons over time, which allows the date when the object was initially heated to be determined
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Vitruvius
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Great Roman architect of the time of Augustus (27BC – 14 AD) who wrote 10 books on architecture de Architectura
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Pliny the Younger
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AD62 -118. Wrote letters to Tacitus about the eruption of Vesuvius and uncle, Pliny the elder. Suffect-consul in 100.
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Pliny the Elder
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Roman author of an encyclopedic natural history. Died during eruption of Vesuvius which was recorded by his nephew, Pliny the Younger.
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Seneca
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Roman statesman, writer and philosopher who was an advisor to Nero
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Prosopography
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The study of persons or characters, especially their appearances, careers, personalities within a historical, literary, or social context.
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scriptores
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professional scribes who wrote wall notices
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programmata
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political advertisements painted on walls
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edicta munerum
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painted notices of games, shows and events given by magistrates and the Augustales (priests of the Imperial cult).
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Augustales
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Priests of the imperial cult, usually made up of freed men
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megalogography
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pictorial genre featuring monumental figures within architectural spaces including doors and windows
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tesserae
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the small piece of stone, glass, or other object that is pieced together with many others to create a mosaic
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manumission
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A grant of legal freedom to an individual slave.
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ingenui
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freeborn Roman citizens
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plebs humilis
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the most humble strata of plebeian
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plebs media
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the well-off strata of plebeian
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Amici
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friends and social equals
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salutatio
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visit of client to patron’s house usually during the morning
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lex Iulia Municipalis
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The law establishing the constitutions of towns and cities in Italy.
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ordo decurionum
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those eligible to be elected to the town council.
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Praefectus iure dicundo
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Magistrate with praefectural authority appointed by the Curia in an emergency for a short and temporary period.
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lectio
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A census of the Senatorial or decurional rolls by a Roman magistrate called a Censor or Quinquennales
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Tribunus militum a populo
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A military tribune appointed by the people through its town council
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Patronus coloniae
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A leading citizen who represented the town in dealings with Rome.
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carbonization
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Process of fossilization wherein the original organic material in a fossil has been reduced to a film of carbon looking like a black drawing
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amphorae
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pottery vessels used to store liquids such as wine, oil, and garum.
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Isis
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She was the wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus; the most famous family in Egyptian mythology.
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sistrum
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Ancient musical instruments like rattles. They were often used in religious ceremonies by followers of Isis
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sacrum/sacellum
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Sacred triangular space within a Roman home or temple for religious worship and veneration.
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ureaus
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an egyptian cobra, one of the emblems of pharaonic kingship and Isis
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cella
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a temple sanctuary
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Doric order
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the oldest and simplest of the Greek orders of architecture, defined by fluted columns, smooth capitals and no base
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Ionic order
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classical Greek architectural style that features a fluted column shaft, capitals with volutes (spiral scroll-like ornaments) and a large base
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Corinthian order
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the most decorative of the classical Greek architectural styles, featuring a fluted column shaft, capitals with flowers and leaves below a small scroll, and a large base
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purgatorium
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a place in a Roman shrine for ritual cleansing
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podium
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a platform raised above the surrounding level to give prominence to the temple placed upon it
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Bacchus
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Earlier called Dionysus. Greek and Roman god of vegetation, wine and revelry
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situla
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a bucket containing Nile water and used for ritual purposes in the cult of Isis
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Osiris
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Egyptian god of the underworld, husband of Isis and judge of the dead
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Harpocrates
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Isis and Osiris’s son conceived after the resurrection of Osiris by Isis
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inventio Osiris
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Cult of Isis festival to celebrate the resurrection of Osiris
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Navagium Isidis
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Roman religious festival in honor of the goddess Isis associated with the beginning of the sailing season
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Apollo
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God of light and the sun; truth and prophecy; medicine, healing, and plague; music, poetry, and the arts. Depicted with a lyre and a python.
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Jupiter
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Roman supreme ruler among the Olympians; lord of the skies (Zeus)
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Imperial cult
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the practice in ancient Rome of offering sacrifice to the Emperor to express loyalty to him and Rome
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Olitorium
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granary and market for cereals located close to the forum in Pompeii
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caupona
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wineshop or tavern that also serves food; also correlated with drinking, gambling, prostitution
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hospitium
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hospitality; metonymically, a guest-chamber, inn, quarters.
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Herm
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sculpture with a head, and perhaps a torso, above a plain, usually squared lower section, on which male genitals may also be carved at the appropriate height.
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oecus
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The main living room of a Greek house, introduced to Roman architecture along with the peristyle. Often used for dining.
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gartibulum
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Table often placed at rear of a Roman atrium
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arca
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Strongbox often placed in a Roman atrium
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andron
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Narrow passage between Atrium and Peristylium. (for the Greeks it was a separate dining room only for men)
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posticum
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A house’s second, or tradesman’s entrance, often at the rear leading out of the peristylum
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exedra
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A recess, usually semi-circular or rectangular in shape, which is usually set into a building’s facade or at the rear of a peristyle garden
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cryptoporticus
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covered passageway that often supports palladio structure above ground
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penates
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Roman divinities of the cupboard in a Roman house; protect food and implements of the household.
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munera
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public works or games financed by private weathy individuals in contrast to ludi which are financed by the state

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