Ancient History & Civilisation

Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town

Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town

'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.


Chapter 1. Living in an Old City

Chapter 2. Street Life

Chapter 3. House and Home

Chapter 4. Painting and Decorating

Chapter 5. Earning a Living: Baker, Banker and Garum Maker

Chapter 6. Who Ran the City?

Chapter 7. The Pleasures of the Body: Food, Wine, Sex and Baths

Chapter 8. Fun and Games

Chapter 9. A City Full of Gods

Epilogue: City of the Dead

Making a Visit

Further Reading

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