(Insula 13, nos. 1-3) The owner of this house, C. Iulius Polybius - to whom the inscriptions on the façade and nearby refer - was involved in the administration of the city. He is also referred to in a bronze seal that was found in the wardrobe located in the peristyle, and in an inscription wishing good luck, which is located in front of an aedicula dedicated to the Lares.
The house dates to the 2nd century BC, and features a façade painted in the First Style, with high doors decorated with denticulated frames. In line with one of these, a false door was painted to the left of the tablinum, where several amphorae and heaps of lime were found - all evidence of the work which was in progress at the time of the eruption. It was an ostentatious domus, with a layout which was unusual compared to the other houses of Pompeii. The peristyle was decorated with still lifes and masks painted onto a white background. Overlooking it was the triclinium, which was characterised by a black coffered ceiling and walls which were entirely frescoed, upon one of which was depicted the scene of the torture of Dirce. The room was closed off by a bronze lock, which was installed in order to hide treasure in the form of a bronze statue of Apollo, a vase with mythological depictions and a large antique bronze vase from the 5th century BC. Furthermore, the sumptuous furniture which fitted out the room, which was dedicated to banqueting, was found. The view looked out onto a garden, where casts of five large fruit trees, including two figs, have been made.
Date of excavation: 1912-1913; 1964-1970.