Abstract: The Temple of Isis in Pompeii
Lecturer: Molly Swetnam-Burland
The Temple of Isis in Pompeii has long been one of the most famous sites in the city – a favorite stop for those making the ‘Grand Tour’ and still today. But, how much do we really know of this site, and how it was used? In this talk, I provide an overview of the sanctuary we think we know: from its reconstruction after the earthquake by a family of freedmen (the main dedicator apparently only six years old at the time!) to the frescos within. I then present an altogether different view, focusing on the inscriptions found there. These paint a different picture of the temple’s place in the community of Pompeii, and allow us to understand its elaborate decorations in a new light – in fact, I suggest that many of the frescos and rooms were gifts of specific individuals.