Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town

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Profile Books, Jul 9, 2010 - History - 368 pages
10 Reviews

WINNER OF THE WOLFSON HISTORY PRIZE 2008

'The world's most controversial classicist debunks our movie-style myths about the Roman town with meticulous scholarship and propulsive energy' Laura Silverman, Daily Mail

The ruins of Pompeii, buried by an explosion of Vesuvius in 79 CE, offer the best evidence we have of everyday life in the Roman empire. This remarkable book rises to the challenge of making sense of those remains, as well as exploding many myths: the very date of the eruption, probably a few months later than usually thought; or the hygiene of the baths which must have been hotbeds of germs; or the legendary number of brothels, most likely only one; or the massive death count, maybe less than ten per cent of the population.

An extraordinary and involving portrait of an ancient town, its life and its continuing re-discovery, by Britain's favourite classicist.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jsburbidge - LibraryThing

Like much of Mary Beard's work, this points out almost as much about what we don't know - or what we think we know but have in fact constructed for ourselves - as what we do know about Pompeii. It is ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pbjwelch - LibraryThing

A fascinating "insider" look on the real Pompeii by Mary Beard, a Professor of Classics at Newnham College, Cambridge, that unwraps some of the mysteries of the city covered in ash in 79 CE. (I ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Chapter 1 Living in an Old City
26
Chapter 2 Street Life
53
Chapter 3 House and Home
81
Chapter 4 Painting and Decorating
120
Baker Banker and Garum Maker
152
Chapter 6 Who Ran the City?
188
Food Wine Sex and Baths
216
Chapter 9 A City Full of Gods
276
Epilogue
309
Making a Visit
314
Further Reading
317
Acknowledgements
336
List of Figures
338
List of Illustrations
339
Index
346

Chapter 8 Fun and Games
251

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About the author (2010)

Mary Beard is a professor of classics at Newnham College, Cambridge, and the classics editor of the TLS. She has world-wide academic acclaim.

Her previous books include the bestselling, Wolfson Prize-winning Pompeii, The Roman Triumph, The Parthenon and Confronting the Classics. Her blog has been collected in the books It's a Don's Life and All in a Don's Day. She is in the 2014 top 10 Prospect list of the most influential thinkers in the world.

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