Dionysiac frieze, Villa of Mysteries, Pompeii


Standing outside of the state religion, mystery cults are an intriguing puzzle. Does art hold the answer?

Dionysian Cult Cycle (?), Villa of Mysteries, before 79 C.E., fresco, Pompeii


Additional resources:

Roman Painting on the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

Mary Beard, John North, and Simon Price, Religions of Rome, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998)

Joanne Berry, The Complete Pompeii (London: Thames & Hudson, 2013).

Roger Ling, Roman Painting  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991).

Donatella Mazzoleni and Umberto Pappalardo, Domus: Wall Painting in the Roman House (Los Angeles: Getty Trust Publications, 2005).

Umberto Pappalardo, The Splendor of Roman Wall Painting (Los Angeles: Getty Trust Publications, 2009).


Smarthistory images for teaching and learning:

More Smarthistory images…

Cite this page as: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker, "Dionysiac frieze, Villa of Mysteries, Pompeii," in Smarthistory, December 9, 2015, accessed June 24, 2019, https://smarthistory.org/dionysiac-frieze-villa-of-mysteries-pompeii/.