Pompeii
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Pompeii : The Life of a Roman Town

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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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Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 26mm | 358.34g
  • Profile Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Main
  • Illustrations (some col.), maps, ports. (some col.)
  • 1846684714
  • 9781846684715
  • 23,021

Review quote

This marvellous book won the Wolfson History Prize and is a model of subtle but accessible writing about the past -- Judith Rice Guardian Classicist Mary Beard has had a great time rooting about that ghostly place, and she has brought it quite splendidly back to life. -- Nicholas Bagnall Sunday Telegraph To the vast field of Pompeiiana she brings the human touch... this absorbing, inquisitive and affectionate account of Pompeii is a model of its kind. Beard has caught the quick of what was and, in our lives today, remains the same. -- Ross Leckie The Times Very readable and excellently researched... Beard's clear-sighted and accessible style makes this a compelling look into history. -- Alexander Larman Observer If you want to know what really happened in the last days of the petrified city, Beard's meticulous reconstruction will fill you in, scraping away many of your preconceptions as it goes, while her evocative writing will transport you back. Guardian The world's most controversial classicist debunks our movie-style myths about the Roman town with meticulous scholarship and propulsive energy ... scrutinising and animated in equal measure. -- Laura Silverman Daily Mail A brilliant portrait ... this meticulous, vivid study of life in the town rightly and resolutely focuses on the living city. -- James McConnachie Sunday Times

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About Mary Beard

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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