Addresses in Pompeii

179_sign_1919_2As far as has been determined, Pompeii buildings did not have addresses in ancient times.  During the first half of the nineteenth century, early excavators introduced several numbering systems.  In 1858 Soprintendente Giuseppe Fiorelli proposed that Pompeii be divided into nine regions, with each region (regio) being assigned a unique number.  This convention eventually included numbering each city block (insula) in each of the nine regions, and each doorway in its respective insula. The regio number of an address is usually written as a Roman numeral.  The insula and door numbers are written either as Roman or Arabic numerals, depending on the preference of the source, such as VI, V, xii or VI, 5, 12.  Modern scholars still use this Fiorelli numbering system.  Over time, some of the regio and insula numbers have been modified, mostly as a result of discoveries made during excavations in the twentieth century.

The via dell'Abbondanza Photomosaics

Pompeii Map 500 d regio-vii-insula-9 regio-vii-insula-13 regio-vii-insula-14 regio-vii-insula-1 regio-ix-insula-1 regio-ix-insula-7 regio-ix-insula-11 regio-ix-insula-12 regio-ix-insula-13 regio-iii-insula-1 regio-iii-insula-2 regio-iii-insula-3 regio-iii-insula-4 regio-iii-insula-5 regio-iii-insula-6 regio-iii-insula-7 regio-viii-insula-3 regio-viii-insula-5-west regio-viii-insula-5-east regio-viii-insula-4 regio-i-insula-4 regio-i-insula-6 regio-i-insula-7 regio-i-insula-8 regio-i-insula-9 regio-i-insula-11 regio-i-insula-12 regio-i-insula-13 regio-ii-insula-1 regio-ii-insula-2 regio-ii-insula-3 regio-ii-insula-4 regio-ii-insula-5
Select an Insula from the map above or the menus on the sides
The primary goal of the Via dell'Abbondanza Project was to create high-definition digital orthographic photomosaics of the facades of the 32 insulae (city blocks) along this 900 meter-long street.[1]   Also, other data such as insula and street dimensions and the function and names of the structures were researched and recorded.
Both the map above [2] and the menus on the left and right link to 33 web pages [3] that present comprehensive information about each insula. 
Each page includes:
  • The current Regio and Insula number.
  • Any previous Regio and Insula numbers.
  • The length of the Insula.
  • The names and widths of bordering cross streets.
  • A perspective photograph.
  • A location map.
  • The photomosaic (with a link to an enlargement).
  • An orthographic elevation line drawing (created from field surveying data) with insula doorway numbers.
  • A table listing the excavation dates [4], the functions and the names of the buildings [5].

The information is presented for the north and south sides of the street, in sequential order, beginning at the forum. 

[1] Described more fully herein, a photomosaic is an image made up of a large number of single photographs that are joined together.  Orthographic images depict three-dimensional objects with two-dimensional views that look straight at the object, such as those seen in plans for houses.

[2] The base drawing of the map is from the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei.  The diagram is by Jennifer Stephens and Arthur Stephens.

[3] Insula VIII, 5 is over 100 meters in length, and it is divided in the middle by an internal street.  Consequently, it has been separated into two photomosaics – VIII, 5 (East) and VIII, 5 (West).  This results in a total of 33 photomosaics depicting the 32 city blocks.

[4] Excavation dates have been transcribed from Gebäudeverzeichnis und Stadtplan der antiken Stadt POMPEJI by Liselotte Eschebach and Jürgen Müller-Trollius (Köln: Böhlau Verlag, 1993).

[5] The functions and names of the individual buildings are taken from a Catalogue of the Names of the Structures Along Via dell’Abbondanza that was compiled by the authors.  This information was obtained from seven authorities on Pompeii that are described in the Names Catalogue section of this website.