The House of Venus

 

The House of the procession of Venus lies in the northeast quarter of Volubilis, on the southern side of the secondary decumanus. Its name derives from the mosaic showing the Venus and her attendants emerging from the waves, discovered in the dining room (triclinium) and currently on display in the museum of Tangiers.

With a total area of 1,200m2, the house is one of the most sumptuous of the city. It is decorated with many mosaic pavements, both geometric and figured, including Diana surprised in her bath, Hylas kidnapped by the nymphs, Bacchus and the four seasons, dolphins, and a parody of a race in the circus. In one of the rooms of the private quarter was found a bronze bust of Cato still on its pedestal. The bust of the Mauretanian king Juba II was probably originally on the symmetrical pedestal in the next room.

The house comprised an entrance vestibule giving onto the street, a bath complex with a separate street entrance, a colonnaded peristyle, two grand reception rooms, a secondary peristyle with a fountain off which opened a series of small reception rooms, and a number of bedrooms.

Recent archaeological research has established that the first house on the site was built in the second half of the first century A.D., while the majority of the mosaics and the bath complex date to the second century.