Header image: Mount Vesuvius, as seen from the streets of Naples – photo my own.
Yes, the world’s oldest profession… I was going to make this a Wordless Wednesday post, but I really think it deserves a little description. So in the name of history, let me explain what you are looking at. The images painted on the walls of a typical brothel of the time –Pompeii was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79– weren’t merely to arouse the patrons visiting the establishment. You see, at the height of Pompeii’s splendor, an average citizen would have been illiterate. Only the upper classes would have been able to read or write. Thus, the images provided a sort of menu from which the customer could make some choices. Also, notice that the one being ‘serviced’ in the images all had the darker skin of someone who worked out of doors, perhaps depicting a shepherd or field laborer, whereas the prostitutes all had the fairest of skin. Here are some photos from my trip to Italy in 2009: