The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found

The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found

2.6 7
by Mary Beard
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0674029763

ISBN-13: 9780674029767

Pub. Date: 12/01/2008

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Pompeii is the most famous archaeological site in the world, visited by more than two million people each year. Yet it is also one of the most puzzling, with an intriguing and sometimes violent history, from the sixth century BCE to the present day.

Destroyed by Vesuvius in 79 CE, the ruins of Pompeii offer the best evidence we have of life in the Roman

Overview

Pompeii is the most famous archaeological site in the world, visited by more than two million people each year. Yet it is also one of the most puzzling, with an intriguing and sometimes violent history, from the sixth century BCE to the present day.

Destroyed by Vesuvius in 79 CE, the ruins of Pompeii offer the best evidence we have of life in the Roman Empire. But the eruptions are only part of the story. In The Fires of Vesuvius, acclaimed historian Mary Beard makes sense of the remains. She explores what kind of town it was—more like Calcutta or the Costa del Sol?—and what it can tell us about “ordinary” life there. From sex to politics, food to religion, slavery to literacy, Beard offers us the big picture even as she takes us close enough to the past to smell the bad breath and see the intestinal tapeworms of the inhabitants of the lost city. She resurrects the Temple of Isis as a testament to ancient multiculturalism. At the Suburban Baths we go from communal bathing to hygiene to erotica.

Recently, Pompeii has been a focus of pleasure and loss: from Pink Floyd’s memorable rock concert to Primo Levi’s elegy on the victims. But Pompeii still does not give up its secrets quite as easily as it may seem. This book shows us how much more and less there is to Pompeii than a city frozen in time as it went about its business on 24 August 79.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674029767
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
12/01/2008
Edition description:
Older Edition
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
9.46(w) x 6.34(h) x 1.24(d)

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The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found 2.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school sophomore and I had to read Mary Beard’s The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found for a research project about Pompeii. I did not like the book because there was plenty of unnecessary detail added.  The book itself felt like it was never going to end. The book was the main source for my research project and provided me with much information about Pompeii.  For me, there was unneeded information that had little significance to the book.  Beard mentioned the job of a baker and what they did, but then she had a diagram of the bakery and explained what happened on every floor and how the bread was made.  She would also create dialogue for a picture that was in the book and explain what she thinks is happening.  All of her examples would last at least a few pages.  The only section that I did not think was boring was the religion section. The religion section was interesting because the people of Pompeii were influenced by other cultures and had fascinating traditions.  I may not have liked the book, but I did enjoy learning about Pompeii.
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DonHRI More than 1 year ago
Excellent research and review of what life was like in Pompeii at the time of the great eruption. We had traveled to Pompeii and toured the ruins just last year. When i came across this volume, i thought it would enlighten us further...and it did meet all of our expectations. I would highly reecommend this book to one who has visited Pompeii; it might be bit less interesting (or more difficult to get absorbed in ) to one not familiar with the ruins and its environs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school sophomore and I had to read Mary Beard’s The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found for a research project about Pompeii. I did not like the book because there was plenty of unnecessary detail added. The book itself felt like it was never going to end and was hard to read because of the detail. The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found was the main source for my research project and provided me with much information about Pompeii. For me, there was unneeded information that had little significance to the book. Beard mentioned the job of a baker and what they did, but then she had a diagram of the bakery and explained what happened on every floor and how the bread was made. She would also create dialogue for some of the pictures that were in the book and explain what she thought might have happened in the pictures. All of her examples that were irrelevant and not needed would last at least a few pages. The only section that I did not think was boring was the religion section. The religion section was interesting because the people of Pompeii were influenced by other cultures and had fascinating traditions. I may not have liked the book, but I did enjoy learning about Pompeii.