On 13 May, I gave a 30 minute talk, in Italian, “Il piacere d’acqua: I ninfei di Pompei,” to the Associazione Ropdopis, a postgraduate group in ancient history at the Università di Bologna. Like my talk to the UVa Classics Department in February, I presented my research on the domestic nymphaea of Pompeii, with an emphasis on how they act as a trajectory for future nymphaea in the High Roman Empire.
What I tried to focus on, though, for this talk, is the pleasure of water, especially through the villa letters of Pliny the Younger. (Above we see Schinkel’s reconstructed plan of Pliny’s Laurentine Villa from the 1830s.) I wanted to illustrate the connections between the literary and archaeological sources for the Roman obsession of water, particularly its pleasurable nature.