Spotlight: Villa of the Mysteries – quite mysterious and intriguing…

Villa of Mysteries

This Villa from Pompeii (ancient Rome) was rediscovered after volcanic ash buried it for nearly 1700 years—featuring mural paintings of a dramatic ritual for women to go through before marriage.

The Villa is named for the paintings in one room of the residence.  Although the actual subject of the frescoes is hotly debated, the most common interpretation of the images is scenes of the initiation of a woman into a special cult of Dionysus, a mystery cult that required specific rites and rituals to become a member.

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