The Lost World of Pompeii

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Since Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79, the story of the lost city of Pompeii continues to intrigue the public. Discoveries at Pompeii and the nearby village of Herculaneum include elegant villas, whole rooms intact adorned with classical motifs and exquisite frescoes-as vivid as the day they were painted-as well as skillfully laid-out gardens. Excavations began in 1748 but halted from 1954-94. Today, new funding mean that parts of the site are being opened and recorded for the first time.

This book provides more than 150 new photographs by Chris Caldicott, Royal Geographic Society photographer-in-residence. Its covers such topics as the history of the city, the discovery of the remains, the town plan, the private life of Pompeii, Pompeii's design legacy, and the site today. Published in association with the World Monuments Fund, this lavish book offers readers a fresh and comprehensive exploration of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Amery and Curran, director and former director of the World Monuments Fund (WMF) in Britain, respectively, and photographer Chris Caldicott, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, acknowledge that Pompeii is endangered by its very popularity. Vesuvius's ash has perfectly preserved frescoes and mosaics for centuries, but fluctuations in temperature and humidity, four million trampling feet each year, and thefts by souvenir seekers imperil the future of this historic site. Yet these books may unwittingly contribute to the danger by presenting the site in all of its mysterious and compelling beauty. The Lost World of Pompeii does more than give the reader a compelling account of life in Pompeii. Quotes from contemporary observers of Pompeii's destruction and from ancient writers and modern archaeologists enliven very readable accounts of the beginnings of Pompeii, the evolution and influence of its architectural and artistic styles, and the phases of its destruction. Proceeds from sales of this book support the WMF. Thoroughly illustrated and well indexed, this volume is highly recommended for both public and academic libraries. Pompeii is the larger and more detailed of the two volumes. Its list of contributors is a who's who of distinguished Italian archaeologists and professors, the majority of whose work has not previously been available in English. The text covers the entire range of Pompeii's architecture, from temples to brothels, often displayed in two-page spreads. It also shows how the preservation of numerous paintings allowed archaeologists to determine the phases and chronologies of Roman wall and floor decoration, making it a welcome supplement to Nancy and Andrew Ramage's introductory Roman Art: Romulus to Constantine. Lavishly illustrated, with a glossary, an extensive and current bibliography organized by subject or building, but no index, it is recommended for larger public, larger academic, or specialized libraries that can afford the steep price.-Nancy J. Mactague, Aurora Univ. Lib., IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Colin Amery is architecture correspondent for the Financial Times. Brian Curran, Jr., is director of projects for the World Monuments Fund in Great Britain. Chris Caldicott's photographs have appeared in newspapers and magazines including The Independent, The Sunday Times, and Geographical Magazine, and in two books, World Food Café and The Spice Routes.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 7
The City Vanishes 10
Rediscovery and Excavation 28
Voices From a Lost World 48
The Pompeian House 92
Life and Art 118
The Grand Tour 146
The Legacy of Pompeian Style 168
Notes 184
Further Reading 185
Glossary 186
Chronology 187
Index 188
Acknowledgments 192
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2003


    Of all the fascinating sites in the world few have continued to draw as much interest or conjecture as Pompeii. It was on August 24, AD 79 that this well-to-do Roman city located in central Italy fell victim to one of the worst natural disasters ever recorded. Some 20,000 people lost their lives when the volcano Vesuvius erupted and spread hot ash and rock over the city. Pompeii was so buried for centuries to come. Archaeologists did not begin excavating until 1748 as is revealed in this beautifully illustrated volume, which details the ancient city's history from its beginnings to its fatal ending. An extremely well researched text reveals not only the city's politics and commerce but also everyday life. Also discussed is the great meaning the discoveries at Pompeii have for art, archaeology and interior design. And, we learn that this work is not over as restoration continues to take place today. Generously illustrated the volume holds 100 color and 50 black and white illustrations. Those who have an interest in ancient history will find "The Lost World of Pompeii" indispensable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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