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Largest Roman lupanar

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Largest Roman lupanar
Lupanar in Pompeii

The term lupanar comes from the oldest known brothel in the world – Lupanar in Pompeii, also known as Lupanare Grande. The Roman tryst house is additionally interesting for the remnants of 134 erotic paintings on its walls.

It is thanks to these images that scientists were able to clearly define what structure they were dealing with. Examples of inscriptions on the walls include:

  • Hic ego puellas multas futui – meaning “I fucked a lot of girls here”
  • Felix bene futuis – meaning “Lucky You Fucked Well”

According to archaeologists’ estimates, there were about 35 lupanars in Pompeii, which is estimated at 10 thousand. City residents make up one brothel for every 286 citizens, or more precisely for every 71 adult males.

In those days, brothels were rather small, with several rooms. Lupanare Grande had 10 of them and, like other buildings of this type, it was very simply equipped. A brick platform with a mattress served as a bed.

  • John R. Clarke, Looking at lovemaking: constructions of sexuality in Roman art, 100 B. C.-A. D. 250., 1998
  • Thomas A. J. McGinn, The economy of prostitution in the Roman world : a study of social history & the brothel, 2004

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