The oldest Basilica, not in fact a church, but the original meaning – a court of justice- is to be found in Pompeii, complete with podium for the lawyer and no stairs to the judgely throne – he ascended by ladder which was pulled away in case an unhappy villain wanted to extract vengeance.
Their homes were ecologically much sounder than ours with a system for collecting rainwater through a hole in the roof collected in a symmetrically pleasing atrium – naturally with lead piping running water to the kitchen and domestic toilet via the aqueduct.
Public toilets afforded no privacy but the brothel at least offered private rooms with fellatio the most popular service costing roughly the same as a loaf of bread and provided by prostitutes demarcated by the wearing of a blue wig. It was considered acceptable to be homosexual with only serfs receiving rather than giving.
Public service was so important – res publica – (Republic) – with in time of water shortage the last place to be cut off the public fountain – after domestic homes and the city baths. Rich citizens were expected to offer benefactor services to the town.
The origins of so many of our words come from Rome! Fas – a penis carved into the wall represented magical state – hence fascinating. Personae were actors – it meant a mask. Clientes visited their rich patrons.
As you can see, today was my visit to Pompeii. My advice to you? Don’t bother going unless you get a guide. This is my third visit and the first where I have learnt anything at all. Nothing is signposted. It’s huge and difficult to navigate. A guide brings it alive. One final piece of information I did not know. The town had already suffered an earthquake a few hundred years previously, was looted for centuries and partially obliterated by ww2 bombs. Only a small percentage of the population perished – mostly the elderly and slaves with around 12000 escaping. Grazie Salvatore.