Pompeii: The Living City

Pompeii: The Living City

by Ray Laurence, Alex L. Butterworth
     
 

As the clouds of ash blotted out the sun following the eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 79, so the everyday world of ancient Pompeii has become obscured by the city's almost mythic status.

Drawing together the most recent archaeological and historical research, Pompeii: The Living City offers a vivid, and unprecedented, portrait of the city during the eventful

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Overview

As the clouds of ash blotted out the sun following the eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 79, so the everyday world of ancient Pompeii has become obscured by the city's almost mythic status.

Drawing together the most recent archaeological and historical research, Pompeii: The Living City offers a vivid, and unprecedented, portrait of the city during the eventful twenty-five years leading up to the eruption that destroyed it. Focusing on key individuals from each stratum of Pompeian society, a compelling narrative emerges of the city's best and worst times, placing the reader right on the streets and in the houses, amongst the sights, smells, and sounds of the living city.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
The thriving ancient port city of Pompeii was memorably destroyed and its 20,000 to 30,000 inhabitants killed in A.D. 79 by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Archeologists have dug parts of the city out of the rubble, reconstructing its layout and life. Drawing on this evidence and on ancient writings on Pompeii, British popular historians Butterworth and Laurence splendidly recreate the bustling life of this Roman town, as well as the eruption. They tell of Umbricius Scaurus, one of the city's most respected businessmen, who grew wealthy manufacturing the culinary staple garum, a fermented fish sauce. We also read fictionalized accounts of other lives, such as Simulus, a smallholder happy to be farming a plot of rich soil, and Receptus, a slave whose new master made his life miserable. The authors vividly recreate the horrors of the earthquake in A.D. 62 that destroyed much of the town and the terrors of the volcanic eruption. They recount the heroic efforts of one woman to claw her way out of the rubble of the Villa of the Mysteries only to be killed by a new eruption. This is a first-rate and compelling history of an ancient city. 16 pages of color photos. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal - Library Journal
Butterworth and Laurence, both British authors of popular history, have written a vivid account of what daily life might have been like for many residents of Pompeii. Drawing on the latest archaeological evidence and ancient documents, they begin their chronological account about 25 years before the fatal eruption (79 C.E.) of Mt. Vesuvius, a time that coincides with the beginning of the reign of the Roman emperor Nero. Linked to the region through his second wife, Poppaea Sabina, who was a native of Pompeii, Nero visited there after the earthquake of 62 C.E., the precursor to the famous disaster, and partied with the dazed locals. Each chapter offers historical conjecture by giving us the imagined lives of various Pompeians representing different social strata, before the narrative arrives at the fatal Vesuvius eruption. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries. (Sixteen-page color photo insert not seen.) Robert J. Andres, Duluth P.L., MN Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780297645603
Publisher:
Orion Publishing Group, Limited
Publication date:
01/01/2005
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.30(d)

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