The Roman city, perfectly preserved and hence surprising to note how the place was once developed and lavished, There were market places, amphitheatres, pubs, temples, brothels etc.
The society was patriarchal in nature. In public gatherings, men and women were not allowed to sit together. There was both male and female prostitution. So, the people actively indulged in fornication and aberrancy. There were brothels in large numbers, with erotic images on the walls. It was completely legal and even taxed. Sexuality was flaunted openly not only in the streets but also in the houses of common people. There were dress codes for the prostitutes and most of them were slaves from Eastern Europe, North Africa, and Asia and they even got their names registered with age, place of birth, etc. and were paid. There were about 41 brothels in the whole area, including Lupanar, believed to be the largest in the city and one of the oldest in the world, and these were not separated from public places.
The graffiti shows the existence of homosexuality or bisexuality and orgy. The images of phalluses, even at the entrance gates of various houses, were seen as good luck. The lewd images were seen even on pottery.
Men even had concubines or slave girls, and they had to be loyal to their masters and were forced to follow their orders.
Marriages were held to gain a reputation, property, and to establish strong political relations, and people were not allowed to marry outside of their status.Wives were seen as procreators only. Pompeii was seen as the holiday resort for the Roman elite.
The presence of bars or pubs found during the excavation and the presence of dice confirms that gambling used to take place. The wine pots were large in number and even the trade in wine was prevalent. This clearly reveals that people were heavily indulged in gambling and drinking. It shows that Roman society lived a luxurious life.
The slaves were large in number, as even the corpse shows the belt around the waist and the name of their masters engraved in it. They were even exploited and their residences were different from the elite people’s as the small rooms and narrow passages showed the new world contrasting from the luxurious city.
There was hierarchical division even in public places, as seen in the Amphitheatre, where people were allowed to sit according to their status, as masters and slaves were not allowed to sit together.
Food: The people used to eat rich foods like sunbird, sea urchin, pigs, eggs, fish sauce (garum), lentils, etc., so even the poor had a healthy diet. All these were found in the recent study of the drains and waste materials of the city. There were grand and lavish dining and drinking rooms.
The study also revealed the strong teeth and masculine body type that define the healthy lifestyle of the ancient people.
Trade: The trade declined because of the earth quake which occurred before the eruption, but there were still 600 different businesses during the final days.
Laundry: The Laundry of Stephanus was the largest among all 18 discovered laundries intended to clean people’s clothes for money. The name of the laundry was discovered from graffiti and frescos outside the building. It was excavated in 1912.
As for the cleaning purpose, urine was used as a cleaner of the linens. Slaves used their feet for the purpose of washing clothes. When urine mixes with water, it turns into ammonia, which is a basic chemical that makes the acidic dirt neutral.
The remains of the large clothes press were found on the east wall of the lobby. On the west side, an office for checking, delivering, and receiving clothes was found.
Religion: Romans believed in various gods and goddesses. The chief deity was Jupiter. He was the king of the gods in Roman mythology (the Greek name ZEUS). Before the capture of Pompeii by the Romans, Apollo was the central deity. Worshiping of the Egyptian Goddess Isis (Mother Goddess) was also seen.
They had a polytheistic religion and believed that the more gods their empire had to protect it, the stronger it would be. There was evidence of various temples found during the digging. The three important deities were Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva. The oldest building in the city was the temple of Apollo.
Bacchus, the God of wine, was also worshiped as Pompeii had a vineyard and was a leading wine producing area. Various offerings and sacrifices of animals were made in the name of different gods and goddesses.