Pompeii: A Sourcebook
Publication Date 1 Jan 2004
OverviewOn August 24th, AD 79, a massive eruption of Mount Vesuvius destroyed the unremarkable Roman town of Pompeii and its population of 12,000. Today, up to five hundred times that number visit Pompeii each year, attracted by the unique insight it gives into everyday life in Roman times, as well as by the awesome power of the still-active volcano. What is less obvious to the visitor is the quality and range of written records which survive. This book presents translations of a wide selection of these sources, giving a vivid impression of what life was like in the town. The individual chapters explore the early history of Pompeii, its destruction, leisure pursuits, politics, commerce and religion, plus early reports of its excavation. While information about the city from authors based in Rome is included, the great majority of sources come from the city itself, written by its ordinary inhabitants - men and women, citizens and slaves. They range from the labels on wine jars to scribbled insults, from advertisements for gladiatorial contests to love poetry. With helpful introductions, notes and illustrations, this sourcebook will appeal to anyone with an interest in Pompeii and in daily life in Roman times. It is also designed to be directly relevant to those studying the Romans in translation, at school or university level.
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