Reconstructing the Lupanar: Form, Design, and Operation of Pompeii’s Purpose-Built Brothel
Despite being the only universally-recognized building for prostitution from the ancient Roman world, the purpose-built brothel (lupanar) of Pompeii remains a misunderstood structure. Modern research has painted an incomplete picture of the edifice, with nearly all emphasis being assigned to its sexually-explicit aspects while its other details are ignored. This is especially true in regard to its rarely-seen second floor, a segment that has almost no scholastic record of study. Through a careful examination of the remaining physical and archaeological evidence, this talk shall reconstruct the lupanar as an economic enterprise embedded in a larger urban fabric, generating a more comprehensive illustration of this thus-far unique construction.
Michel "Mike" Zajac is an independent scholar who has taught at Arizona State University and throughout the Maricopa Community College system since 2009. He holds a B.I.S. degree in Art History and Psychology (summa cum laude) and an M.A. in Art History, both from ASU. He conducted his graduate fieldwork at Pompeii, and has worked as a researcher and excavator for six seasons at the Greco-Roman site of Marion / Arsinoe in Cyprus. He is the former Secretary of the Archaeological Institute of America's Central Arizona Society.