Splendid frescoes inspired by the Trojan War adorning a banquet hall were discovered in Pompeii, the management of the famous archaeological site located near Naples, in southern Italy, announced on Thursday April 11.

This room of imposing dimensions – 15 meters by 6 – presents refined decorations of mythological subjects standing out on walls with a black background as well as mosaics. So many elements which bear witness to the luxurious lifestyle reigning in the ancient city destroyed and buried under ashes in the year 79 during an eruption of Vesuvius.

The dominant theme of the frescoes is heroism, through representations of the pairs of heroes and deities protagonists of the Trojan War. These paintings also evoke destiny and the ways in which humans can modify it.

Among the characters represented are Helen, wife of Menelaus, the king of Sparta, and Paris, the Trojan prince who kidnapped the latter, triggering the Trojan War.

We also discover Cassandra, daughter of Priam (king of Troy) and sister of Paris, and the god Apollo, from whom she received the gift of telling the future even if her predictions will never be believed. She thus warned her compatriots in vain that the horse offered by the Greeks was a subterfuge which would lead Troy to its downfall.

A third of the city still buried

“The frequent presence of mythological figures on frescoes in the reception rooms of Roman houses had precisely the social function of entertaining guests and guests, providing subjects for conversation and reflection on the meaning of existence,” explained the management of the archaeological site.

Practical detail: the walls were painted black to prevent traces of smoke from the lanterns from being seen. In this room, “people gathered for banquets after sunset, the flickering light of the lanterns gave the impression that the painted images were coming to life, especially after a few glasses of good wine,” the director of Pompeii poetically noted , the Italian-German Gabriel Zuchtriegel.

Pompeii “never ceases to surprise us because every time we dig we find something beautiful and meaningful,” rejoiced the Italian Minister of Culture, Gennaro Sangiuliano.

The volcanic ash spewed 2,000 years ago by Vesuvius settled on most of Pompeii’s homes, allowing them to be almost completely preserved, as were many of the bodies of the 3,000 deaths caused by the disaster.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Pompeii, the second most visited tourist site in Italy after the Colosseum in Rome, covers an area of ​​approximately 22 hectares, a third of which is still under the ashes.