Let’s go back a few hundred years to find out what the thermopolium was and how it was used.
ANCIENT ROME: WHAT THE THERMOPOLIUM WAS
- The findings in Pompeii
- Correct answer to the weekly quiz
1. USE OF THE THERMOPOLIUM
The thermopolium (derived from the Greek ϑερμοπώλιον and also called thermopoly, formed by the words termos hot and poleo to sell) was a place of refreshment in use in ancient Rome, where it was possible to buy and consume hot drinks and sometimes even food ready for consumption. It consisted of a small room with a counter in which large terracotta amphorae were embedded, suitable for containing food. It probably had a similar function to modern bars.
2. THE FINDINGS IN POMPEII
The excavations carried out in Pompeii have found, among other wonders, the remains of a thermopolium called “di Asellina“. The Asellina’s thermopolium opens onto Via dell’Abbondanza and takes its name from the girl who, together with her companions, Aegle, Maria and Zmyrina, served in the room and whose names are mentioned in the inscriptions painted on the facade. At the time of the excavation, in 1911, almost all the furnishings were found: plates, glasses, jugs, terracotta, bronze, and glass cups, where the dishes sold were served. The counter is plastered in red; the top is covered with marble slabs and four jars are embedded in it. At the end of the counter, a masonry oven incorporates a bronze boiler with a lid. At the bottom of the room 22 wine amphorae were found, still visible today among the lapilli.
3. CORRECT ANSWER
The correct answer to the weekly quiz “What was the thermopolium?” is number 2.
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