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The Political Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Positions in Government Political buildings Political Propaganda

The Political Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Positions in Government Political buildings Political Propaganda

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Page 1: The Political Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Positions in Government Political buildings Political Propaganda

The Political Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

•Positions in Government•Political buildings

•Political Propaganda

Page 2: The Political Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Positions in Government Political buildings Political Propaganda

Positions in Government• Pompeii, as a Roman colony, was a self-administering

municipality and its form of local government followed the standard rules laid down in a law of Julius Caesar, the Lex Lulia Municipalis, and subsequent legislation. There was a system set up where the law specified both how a town council would be established and how councillors, would be chosen. It stipulated how local magistrates and the principle town officials, would be elected by the Roman citizens in a township. Herculaneum was governed in the same manner as a muncipium, with its own town council and elected officials.

Page 3: The Political Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Positions in Government Political buildings Political Propaganda

Table of Magistrate Positions• April elections of the two

duumviri iure dicundo and the two aediles, who would then take up office on the first of July. The Duumviri were the town's highest ranking magistrates and were responsible for the political running of the town and the administration of justice.

• Lesser but nevertheless important tasks were carried out by the aediles who were responsible for organising the works and activities needed for the daily running of the town.

Page 4: The Political Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Positions in Government Political buildings Political Propaganda

Fresco depicting a Wax Tablet• Here a woman is depicted

holding a wax tablet which was used to vote although women were not allowed to vote.

• Voters (men only) were required to write down the name of the chosen candidate on a waxed tablet which was then placed in the ballot box. The candidates that had attained the relative majority of votes in the most electoral constituencies would be elected.

Page 5: The Political Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Positions in Government Political buildings Political Propaganda

Statue depicting Marcus Nonius Balbus

• Marcus Nonius Balbus was a prominent figure in the Augustan period. The statue, located on the terrace at the entrance of the Suburban Baths, has been rebuilt recomposing the head and the base, found 65 years ago by Amedeo Maiuri, with the body found, 40 years after, during the excavations on the ancient beach.

• He was a key leader in the town of Herculaneum and a very influential local patron.

Page 6: The Political Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Positions in Government Political buildings Political Propaganda

Eumachia• At Pompeii, the corporation of

fullers erected a statue in honour of the public priestess Eumachia who provided, at her own expense, a new building to the forum in her own name and in that of her son.

• She reveals the role of women in the political society and as they weren’t allowed to participate in the magistrates they were allowed to hold religious authority roles.

Page 7: The Political Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Positions in Government Political buildings Political Propaganda

Political BuildingsPolitics was a major aspect of Pompeii and this can be seen in the large presence and dedication that went towards buildings of the political use. Firstly this is evident due to the large area they take up in the forum. Then also the huge work gone into the architecture and scope of the three buildings; basilica, curia and comitium. Therefore the importance of political life to the ancient society of Pompeii was very great. The basilica was the place of law court, the comitium was the voting place and the Curia is suggested to be the seating place for the town magistrates to commence their business.

Page 8: The Political Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Positions in Government Political buildings Political Propaganda

Comitium • The Comitium, in the corner

between the Forum and Via dell'Abbondanza, served as a polling station where the electorate (men only) would go during elections with their tesserula, a sort of polling card attesting to the voter's identity.

• On the southern side of the building we find a podium where the magistrates sat when presiding over the electoral proceedings, while the other two walls contained niches housing honorary statues.

Page 9: The Political Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Positions in Government Political buildings Political Propaganda

Basilica• The Basilica was the oldest

and most important public building in Pompeii. In the beginning, it was a covered market, a meeting place; however, during the earthquake of A.D. 62 the roof fell in. It then became an open-air market and finally the seat of the judicial system.

• It served the administration of justice, and for meetings of business men to discuss their affairs. The Basilica was one of the busiest places in Pompeii.

Page 10: The Political Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Positions in Government Political buildings Political Propaganda

The Forum• The forum was the central

meeting place for the general public (publica) of Pompeii. It acted as a town centre therefore it held the major buildings of the city. This included social, political and cultural areas.

• This can be seen in the reconstruction of the Pompeii forum where we see the segregated areas all surrounding the central part of the forum. The forum in Herculaneum has not been uncovered yet.

Page 11: The Political Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Positions in Government Political buildings Political Propaganda

Curia• This building is interpreted as

the Curia. Its location close to the basilica is in favour of this identification. It is a rectangular hall with an apse in the end wall. In front of this at floor level lies a moulded marble slab which can be seen as the place for the chairman of the assembly.

• On either side are three rectangular niches, into which are built projecting masonry bases. There is only a grey-and-white marble pavement in the middle zone which proves that it was the intention to build a continuous dais along the side walls as seating place for the magistrates of the city.

Page 12: The Political Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Positions in Government Political buildings Political Propaganda

Political PropagandaThe walls of the houses in Pompeii are frequently covered with inscriptions: these are electoral propaganda messages which urge the citizens to vote for one or other of the candidates. At times an entire category of workers (goldsmiths, marble-cutters, bakers, blacksmiths) holds the candidacy. At other times an aspiring magistrate puts himself forward to the people for a particular office. They are written in red or in black and for the most part in capital letters. There are around three thousand electoral inscriptions in Pompeii and most of them can be dated to the city's final year of existence, given that it was customary to rub out the old inscriptions to make way for new ones. Herculaneum's walls contain some graffiti but not to the extent of Pompeii.

Page 13: The Political Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Positions in Government Political buildings Political Propaganda

A reconstruction of a Pompeii street with political propaganda

• Here is an example of how a typical street in Pompeii or Herculaneum would look due to the political propaganda placed on the walls to encourage a voter to vote for a certain person to become Duumviri or aediles.

• The whole town took a keen interest in the election campaign, as can be seen from the many inscriptions found on the walls.

Page 14: The Political Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Positions in Government Political buildings Political Propaganda

Graffito

• This is an actual example of what the Pompeii style graffiti looked like. It tended to be found on house and shop fronts on main streets and grouped around busy intersections.

• It was a fundamental aspect for the women of the village as it was the only form of communication they had to the public to encourage them to vote in the way they wanted.

Page 15: The Political Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Positions in Government Political buildings Political Propaganda

Formulaic Text• Electoral notices tend to

follow a set pattern and use standard abbreviations that everyone knew. They follow a formula that rarely varies.

• The candidate was often described as a young man although most of them weren’t young at all and usually describes their kind and honourable nature.

Page 16: The Political Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Positions in Government Political buildings Political Propaganda

Epitaph on tomb• In ancient times the life

achievements of a person were often depicted on their tombstones. Most of these consisted of the political roles in which they had held in their society.

• This is a tomb epitaph where great pride is taken in the roles in which the person has held in their society.