IX.7 Pompeii. December 2007.
Vicolo di Tesmo looking south, showing location of street shrine at IX.2.19, on the right.
Location of street painting or shrine, looking south along west wall on Vicolo di Tesmo.
IX.2.19 Pompeii. East side of insula IX.2.
Street shrine on west side of Vicolo di Tesmo, as shown on model in Naples Archaeological Museum.
Possible street shrine on west side of Vicolo di Tesmo, as shown on model in Naples Archaeological Museum.
According to Trendelenburg in BdI, “not far from the north-east corner (of insula IX.2) the wall makes an angle.
By this angle was a buttress of material elevated to the height of I.40m from the ground.
Above this, one looked on the head of a warrior near to natural size and painted in a very coarse manner.
The formidable figure, his armour of crested helmet, shield, lance and breastplate would have given a real surprise to those who came across him unexpectedly.
I do not know precisely if this was not the purpose of his warlike face, to intimidate and drive away those “moratores otiosi”, that the solitude of the corner would attract”.
See Trendelenburg in BdI, 1871, (p.194)
“Moratores otiosi” could be translated as loafers, vagrants, undesirables hanging around the area.