Abstract: The Temple of Isis in Pompeii

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.

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