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Other titles in the Revealing Antiquity series:
Revealing Antiquity #11: Pompeii: Public and Private Lifeby Paul Zanker
Synopses & Reviews
Pompeii's tragedy is our windfall: an ancient city fully preserved, its urban design and domestic styles speaking across the ages. This richly illustrated book conducts us through the captured wonders of Pompeii, evoking at every turn the life of the city as it was 2,000 years ago.
When Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. its lava preserved not only the Pompeii of that time but a palimpsest of the city's history, visible traces of the different societies of Pompeii's past. Paul Zanker, a noted authority on Roman art and architecture, disentangles these tantalizing traces to show us the urban images that marked Pompeii's development from country town to Roman imperial city. Exploring Pompeii's public buildings, its streets and gathering places, we witness the impact of religious changes, the renovation of theaters and expansion of athletic facilities, and the influence of elite families on the city's appearance. Through these stages, Zanker adeptly conjures a sense of the political and social meanings in urban planning and public architecture.
The private houses of Pompeii prove equally eloquent, their layout, decor, and architectural detail speaking volumes about the life, taste, and desires of their owners. At home or in public, at work or at ease, these Pompeians and their world come alive in Zanker's masterly rendering. A provocative and original reading of material culture, his work is an incomparable introduction to urban life in antiquity.
"The original German title of this book, Pompeii. Stadtbild und Wohnqeschmack (1955), gives a better idea than the translation of what the author is about. Based on the assumption that the layout and use of space in a town reflect important changes in the esthetic values and social status of the inhabitants, this study is not simply another description of the individual buildings, but a survey of the architectural history and urban plans from the time of the old Oscan-Hellenistic foundation down to the damaging earthquake in 62 A.D. and the final destruction in 79. From this point of view, Zanker, who directs the German Archeological Institute in Rome, has written a compact and useful illustrated guide to current research on the domestic arts and buildings of this famous town." Reviewed by Andrew Witmer, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
Paul Zanker, a noted authority on Roman art and architecture shows us the images that marked Pompeii's development from country town to Roman imperial city. At home or in public, at work or at ease, Pompeians and their world come alive in Zanker's masterly rendering.
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, 1999
About the Author
Paul Zankeris Professor of Classical Archeology, <>University of Munich, and Director of the German Archeological Institute in Rome. He is the author of Mask of Socrates: The Image of the Intellectual in Antiquityand The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus.
Table of Contents
Townscape and Domestic Taste
Urban Space as a Reflection of Society
The Domestic Arts in Pompeii
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History and Social Science » Archaeology » General