Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Table Settings

Mary Beard, Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town (London: Profile Books, 2008), p. 220:
That idea is certainly seen on a smaller scale in a group of table settings from another house in the city: four elderly men, naked, with long dangling penises, each supporting a small tray, for holding appetisers, titbits or any dainty food (Plate 12). Part of this design has had a surprising afterlife: overlooking the dangling penises, a well-known Italian kitchenware company is now marketing an expensive mock-up of this very tray.

The four bronze statuettes are from the House of the Ephebe, I.vii.10-12, Pompeii (Museo archeologico nazionale di Napoli, inv. 143760). For a detailed analysis see Sylvain Vanesse, "Between Street Vendors, Singing Slaves, and Envy," Chronika 6 (2016) 15-25.

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