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The Latin word for brothel was “lupanar” (wolf den), and a prostitute was a “lupa” (she-wolf), and the manager of the establishment was a “leno.” The Lupanar was the official brothel in the Roman city of Pompeii, which was destroyed by a nearby volcano in 79, and is particularly noted for the erotic paintings and graffiti on its walls. It is believed the paintings, which depict group sex and many other acts, indicate the various services on offer, rather like an illustrated menu. Unlike other 35 Pompeii brothels at the time, which were situated on the 1st floor above taverns and houses, the Lupanar was built exclusively for prostitution appointments, serving no alternative function. It contained 10 small rooms with stone beds; the 5 larger ones on the top floor and could be reached by an independent entrance and a wooden staircase and each had a balcony to hail potential customers on the street. Phalluses engraved on the basalt road surface or on stones set into the facades of houses gave visitors clear indications on how to reach the brothel, which was situated at the intersection of two side roads near the town centre, not far from the Forum and the Stabian Baths (which had a rear entrance on the Vicolo del Lupanare). Given a population of 10,000, the ratio per brothel was 286 people or 71 adult males.Some examples of the graffiti found in Pompeii and the nearby Herculaneum, which was destrpyed in the same catastrophe, include:Hic ego puellas multas futui ("Here I fucked many girls").Felix bene futuis ("Lucky guy, you fuck well," or "Lucky guy, you get a good fuck").Livius me cunus, lincet Tertulle cunus… Efesius Terisium amat (“Livius that cunt [a derogatory term for a homosexual] licks me. Tertullus, you’re a cunt, too. Efesius [a male] loves Terisius [another male]”)Eutychis vgreaca II a morbius bellis (“Eutychis, from Greece, has beautiful skills and costs two asses.” [An as was one of the smallest coins in circulation at the time, worth about 1 dollar.]Pedicabere, fur, semel; sed idemsi prensus fueris bis, irrumabo.quod si tertia furta molieris,ut poenam patiare et hanc et illam,pedicaberis irrumaberisque(“In your back way I’ll go if once you thieveIf twice, me in your mouth you will receiveAnd if a third such theft you should attempt Both penalties you’ll have to undergoIn arse and mouth my potent force you’ll know.”]
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