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A gloriously illustrated and comprehensive survey of the most famous ancient site in the world.
The dramatic story of Pompeii's destruction has been handed down to us by Roman writers, its paintings and mosaics have astonished visitors since their discovery in the eighteenth century, and its houses and public buildings to this day present a vivid picture of life, disaster, and death in a Roman town.
Pompeii is not quite a time capsule, a frozen moment in history, but it is probably the closest we will ever get to one. This up-to-date new survey draws on evidence produced at the cutting edge of modern archaeological research, revealing how the evidence for life in this city was first uncovered, and how archaeologists over the centuries have unpeeled the layers that enable us to reconstruct Pompeii's history.
With its lavish illustrations, covering monumental architecture and inscriptions, shops, graffiti, wall-paintings, and mosaics, plus its numerous box features ranging from theatrical entertainments to water supply, The Complete Pompeii is the ultimate resource and inspirational guide to this iconic ancient town.
Among the many topics covered:How Pompeii was destroyed in the eruption of AD 79What we know of the lives and deaths of its inhabitantsWhat the houses tell us about the people who lived in themWho was involved in politicsWhat can be reconstructed about religious practices
When Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79, the volcanic material that buried the provincial Roman town of Pompeii also preserved it for posterity and rendered it one of the most famous archeological sites in the world, where the modern discipline of archeology began more than 250 years ago. Berry (Unpeeling Pompeii), an archeology instructor at Swansea University, Wales, masterfully gathers primary sources, discusses the various excavations of Pompeii and the neighboring ancient holiday resort Herculaneum. Berry vivifies Pompeii's bustling everyday life, particularly its architecture, religion, economy, women's roles, and arts and cultural scene. Pliny the Younger's detailed eyewitness account of Vesuvius's destruction, reprinted here, retains its freshness and urgency The majority of Pompeii's denizens were at least semiliterate, and graffiti both vulgar and banal grace the forum, while election propaganda and advertisements for gladiator games plaster houses, shops and tombs. The most famous Pompeiian woman was the priestess Eumachia, who built the forum's largest public building with her own funds, while ostentatious private houses became personal status symbols among the elite of the prosperous empire. Highly readable and lavishly illustrated with more than 300 photos and maps, 275 in color, this authoritative, comprehensive resource is a boon for archeology buffs. (Nov. 27)
Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Berry (ancient history/archaeology, Swansea Univ.; Unpeeling Pompeii) presents an encyclopedic look at one of the most famous natural disasters in human history. Worthy of the title, this book introduces the reader to the many facets of Pompeii's history. Much like the remains of Pompeii itself, this book is a well-organized snapshot of a bygone era. It covers the origins and evolution of the city, the daily life of its residents, the geography of the region, and the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, as well as a history of the excavation of the site. Easy to read and with full color pictures of the excavation, along with maps, time lines, diagrams, and vivid art reproductions, this book gives a broad and comprehensive introduction to the Pompeian world. Compared with similar books, such as Colin Amery and Brian Curran's The Lost World of Pompeii, Berry's offers both a wider scope and a more thorough look at the subject. With an extensive bibliography and footnotes. Recommended for public and undergraduate libraries; high school libraries should be advised that there is a section on eroticism that contains visually and verbally explicit sexual material.