Selected epidermis revealing & intimate activities of homo sapiens, as illustrated in wall paintings from Pompeii, and related art from other ancient Roman sources
One striking thing to consider about the following paintings and ceramics from Pompeii & other Roman sources is that these people had these items in open display. They saw them. Their friends saw them. Their children saw them. These people are our ancestors. They lived some 2000 years ago. What can we learn from them? That some god will destroy you if you're more open about sex? Certainly the puritanical among us would have us believe as much. But science & evolution & anthropology do not bear out such a dysfunctional & faulty assumption. These people did not die because some god wanted them to, they died because they lived on the same earth we do, an earth which acts in accordance with a set of natural processes, which have nothing to do with whether some puritanical dysfunctional god wants you to die for your beliefs & actions.
As I examine these various works of art I can see that the people of Pompeii were much closer to the essence of what it means to be human than we have been in recent years. Humans are sexual beings, and we have a coinheritance with all life here, going back some 10 billion years. We have certain inherent things built into us that short-sighted world views cannot easily destroy. In fact, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that cultures which embrace what it really means to be human are those which will evoke our best attributes. However those which tend to repress our inherent natures will be those with more violence, less tolerance, less civility, more anger, and more hatred. Even today, it's apparent to me that certain cultures in Europe are comprised of people who are more happy than their puritanical cousins in America. Why? Because they embrace sex, and what it means to be human more fully than how Americans have done.
The people of ancient Pompeii died a terrible death, but fortunately their common-place every-day commonly-seen artwork has survived. Let's not let their suffering be in vane by hiding their way of life & their art & their thoughts. Let us honor some key ancestors of ours who have left us a legacy of love, joyful interaction, and a more healthy openness of what it means to be human.
Selected images: Click small version of image to see larger view. All images
below were obtained from the web site at http://www.personal.psu.edu/use
rs/w/x/wxk116/eros/ -- All photographic copyrights remain with the
museums and/or their respective authors. The filenames listed below contain a description
& the museum location...
For additional images I suggest you go to the site at http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/w/x/wxk116/eros/
or check out a book with related Pompeii images by clicking here.
Background image: Leda, approx. 1531-32, by Correggio, Gemäldegalerie at Berlin. obtained from: http://sunserv.kfki.hu/~arthp/html/c/correggi/mytholog/leda.html
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