Lappi, Thomas

Hellenistische Wanddekorationen

Syntax, Semantik und Chronologie des Ersten Stils im westlichen Mittelmeerraum

21.0 x 29.7 cm, 358 p., 161 illustrations b/w, 200 illustrations color, 66 Tafeln, hardback
78,00 €

ISBN: 9783954904761
Table of Contents

Short Description

The study analyses decorations of the First Style in terms of their appearance, diffusion, application, and importance in the Western Mediterranean. Based on fragments from more than a hundred sites, local and regional differences in the application and development of this decorative system are described for the first time. At the same time, it is able to highlight the significance of the First Style for the social élites, who consciously employed it in their homes as a display of status.


Wall-paintings have attracted considerable attention in research since the 19th century, especially after August Mau divided the great stock of paintings from the Vesuvian cities into four styles. The First Style, which is characterized above all by ashlar masonry being rendered in relief on plaster, was well established in the entire Mediterranean region from the late 5th century B.C. onward. This study for the first time systematically compiles and analyzes specimens from over 100 sites in the western Mediterranean. On this basis it is shown that the First Style appeared in the western Mediterranean simultaneously with the earliest known decorations in the east in the late 5th century B.C. Beyond that, pronounced regional and local differences in the application of the decoration system can be systematically established and specific local phenomena identified. The differentiation and enrichment of the First Style with decorative elements inspired by monumental architecture, a process that intensifies in the 3rd century BC, can accordingly be associated with phenomena of social and cultural history. The study further shows the importance of the decoration system for the social elites, who made conscious use of it in their houses to display their status.

Biographical Note

Thomas Lappi is an assistant professor of Classical Archaeology at FU Berlin. He received his Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology from the University of Tübingen with a dissertation on First Style wall decorations in the western Mediterranean. He has worked at the DAI in Rome and traveled around the Mediterranean with a DAI fellowship. He has significant fieldwork experience, working particularly on Pantelleria, Morgantina, Agrigento, and Carthage. His research focuses on the western Mediterranean in the Hellenistic and Roman Imperial periods, with a particular emphasis on decorations, domestic architecture and urbanism (cityscape, urban landscape).

Series Description

In the series of “Archäologische Forschungen” (Archaeological Studies), monographs on the various areas of research in Classical Archaeology are published, mainly concentrating on studies concerning architecture, urban research, topography and everyday culture of Greece, Asia Minor, and the periphery of the Greek world. The chronological scope ranges from the beginning of periodized history to late antiquity. The following volumes, partly to be published in sub-series, will present the findings of research and excavations in the Hellenistic and Roman towns of Priene, Aizanoi and Pompeii. “Archäologische Forschungen” are edited by the Head Office of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (German Archaeological Institute) in Berlin.


Altertumswissenschaften (125) || Ancient history (97) || Archaeology (527) || Archaeology by period / region (444) || Hellenismus (13) || History (835) || Mediterranean Sea (11) || Mittelmeerraum (16) || Oceans & seas (16) || Wanddekoration (2)