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Villa of the Mysteries

Pompeii has always had its fascination–an entire culture preserved for all time by disaster. Within its ruins is one particular temple-like structure whose secrets remain hidden. Villa of the Mysteries has a name more secretive than its contents. In this context, “mystery” is meant to mean “rite”. This temple was apparently used to perform the rites of passage for women becoming brides. Brilliant frescoes adorn the walls. Though their meaning is unclear, attempts at interpretation have been made. I suspect the illustrations have little to do with what actually went on–imagine having a whole temple for your wedding shower. Woo! Par-tay!

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