Tag Archives: Paestum

Paestum vases

From around 360BCE Paestum became noted for the quality of its vase painting. Greek painters arrived via Sicily and at least two factories were established.  There are numerous fine examples in Paestum museum.


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Tomb frescoes

In 1968 an Italian archaeologist, Mario Napoli, excavating a small necropolis about one mile south of Paestum, discovered a tomb decorated with panels, some of which are shown below.  They are now in the museum at Paestum.

To quote Wikipedia:  ‘Among the thousands of Greeek tombs known from this time (roughly 700-400BC) this is the only one to have been decorated wir frescoes of human subjects.’






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The temples at Paestum

Hera I  (c560 BCE)

Athena (c500 BCE)

Hera II  (c460 BCE)

Paestum is a small town situated on the west coast of Italy, a little more than 60 miles south of Naples.  Of particular interest in Paestum are the three Greek temples, two of  which stand side by side and the third just a few hundred yards away.  They are among the best-preserved temples outside Greece.

Paestum was originally a Greek settlement called Poseidon, after the god of the sea.  There were many such settlements in southern Italy and around the shores of the Mediterranean.  Collectively they are referred to by historians as the Magna Graecia

The temples were built in the period from c 560 BCE to c460 BCE.  Two of the temples were dedicated to Hera, the wife of Zeus, and the third to Athena, the goddess of wisdom.

In the third century BCE the Greeks were driven out by the Romans.  Poseidon became Paestum and the  names of the temples were changed to their appropriate Roman equivalent.

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