Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Gates of Pompeii

There are eight entrances to Pompeii that we know of. These gates are named according to where they would lead you. Porta Marina, the Marine Gate, led to the Bay of Naples. According to Eschebach, the ancient name for this gate may have been Porta Neptunis or Porta Forensis. It consists of two entrances. A small gate for people on foot and a larger gate for animals and carts. They are side by side. Porta Ercolano, the Herculaneum Gate, led to Herculaneum, Pompeii's sister city. Eschebach believes the ancient name for this was the Salt Gate. Porta Vesuvio, the Vesuvian Gate, led to Mt. Vesuvius. Castellum Acquae, the water tower, is on the left of the gate. Porta Capua, the Capuan Gate, led to Capua. Porta Nola, the Nola Gate, led to Nola. According to Eschebach, this gate may have been known as Porta Campana and Porta Dianensis. Porta di Sarno, the Sarnus Gate led to Sarno. The ancient name of this gate according to Eschebach is Porta Urbulana. Porta di Nocera, the Nucerian Gate, led to Nuceria. Porta di Stabia, the Stabian Gate, led to Stabiae. According to Eschebach, the ancient name of this gate may have been Porta Portuensis. I entered the city of Pompeii down by the Stabian gate where there are less tourists and guides. When I return, I want to enter through Porta Marina, the entrance people coming from the Bay of Naples went through many years ago. I also plan to walk to Porta Ercolano which leads to a Necropolis and the Villa of Mysteries. The book Pompeii by Robert Harris talks about Castellum Acquae outside Porta Vesuvio. I want to see this as well. Looking at these ancient gates is a fascinating glimpse into the past. One can almost see the merchants, seamen, wealthy, and poor citizens of the past passing in and out of the city, going about their every day activities.

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