The House of the Faun is the largest, most opulent house discovered at Pompeii to date. Although most of it was built in the early second century BC (circa 180 BC), this peristyle was originally a large open space, probably a garden or field. The peristyle's columns were added later, and were at one point altered from Ionic style to Doric style. Our guide to Greece for Visitors has an excellent article on the differences between Ionic and Doric columns.
This peristyle, which measures some 20x25 meters (65x82 feet) square, had the bones of two cows in it when it was excavated in the 1830s.
For more on the archaeology of Pompeii, see Pompeii: Buried in Ashes.
Beard, Mary. 2008. The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
Christensen, Alexis. 2006. From palaces to Pompeii: The architectural and social context of Hellenistic floor mosaics in the House of the Faun. PhD dissertation, Department of Classics, Florida State University.
Mau, August. 1902. Pompeii, Its Life and Art. Translated by Francis Wiley Kelsey. The MacMillan Company.