Andrew Wallace-Hadrill knows more about Herculaneum than anyone since AD 79.
Here he distils that expertise to get right to the heart of this little Roman town. It's a must-read not just for anyone who plans to visit this amazing site, but for anyone who want to understand how the ordinary Roman world worked.
Overall, however, one could hardly ask for a clearer, more comprehensive, and better illustrated guide to Herculaneum.
After 10 years as director of the Herculaneum Conservation Project, there is no archaeologist better suited to raise this city form its relative obscurity than Wallace-Hadrill. His book is filled with hundreds of new and archival photographs, panoramic views, and an invaluable foldout map of the site. The book is arranged in highly readable chapters that focus not only on the history of excavations, ancient city planning and Herculaneum's vibrant fresco paintings and mosaics, but also succeed in populating those spaces. Wherever possible, Wallace-Hadrill tells the individual stories of slaves, citizens, and the elite, using the enormous wealth of archaeological evidence Herculaneum provides - residents' names, their houses, furniture and food, even their skeletons. While its visual appeal may lead readers to believe Herculaneum: Past and Future is merely a coffee-table book, the research Wallace-Hadrill presents is comprehensive and of the highest quality. The author has filled a gap in the public's knowledge of Herculanuem.
As an insight into this historic site this book is unparalleled in its scale and scope. It also makes essential reading for anyone who's interested in the Roman way of life, and the lessons we can learn about the past from what's left behind. It is compelling in its human element - one cannot help but be moved by the skeletons of the people who were killed so suddenly by the catastrophe - and is equally fascinating for its historic and scientific aspects. A wonderful book that will draw you in and thrill you for hours on end.
A definitive overview of the archeological findings of Herculaneum, building a rich picture of the everyday lives of its inhabitants and its place in the Roman world.
4*: Till now it's largely been overlooked, dismissed as Pompeii's poor relation. This splendid book goes a long way towards redressing this injustice.
Combined with the exhaustive and beautifully presented illustrations makes 'Herculaneum' the book without competition as a record of what the city was and what the Herculaneum Conservation Project is doing now for the future.
For all its familiarity, this tale of Herculaneum's demise is a myth. A myth that is systematically destroyed in Andrew Wallace-Hadrill's latest book: the first comprehensive study of the town in 40 years. This authoritative, highly readable, and lavishly illustrated account by an acknowledged expert is not a guidebook... Wallace-Hadrill provides a vivd and enthralling glimpse of everyday Roman urban life. This book will fascinate anyone interested in Vesuvian archaeology, town life, or the Roman world.
(Current World Archaeology
In this outstanding book, Andrew Wallace-Hadrill makes an impassioned and utterly compelling case for taking Herculaneum more seriously… [he] paints a vivid portrait, but he never extrapolates beyond the evidence. He simply relies on impressive learning and good old-fashioned scholarly caution, and the results are magnificent.
Demonstrates just how much we have yet to learn about Herculaneum and how important it is to ensure that its survival is secured for future generations.
Written with pell-mell enthusiasm and enviable clarity of language… this description of the high life, low life and public life that was stopped short in AD79 is impossible to put down. Tellingly illustrated, supported by a glossary, chronology, maps, diagrams and photographs of archaeologists at work, this is a book of such easy instruction that its lesons can be absorbed by the holiday visitor and applied to other Roman sites as far away as Tunisia and Turkey.
(Brian Sewell Evening Standard
Will remain the essential reference point for the study of Herculaneum for the forseeable future.
It would be hard to imagine a more informative study of Herculaneum.
'this is a fantastic book ... the photograph is spectacular. Author Andrew Wallace-Hadrill has copious credentials to make him an authority on this subject making it pretty hard to beat in this area.'
'A comprehensive and beautifully illustrated account of what we know and understand about Herculaneum'
''shows how important this Roman town is to our understanding of everyday Roman life'
(Good Book Guide
'beautifully illustrates the history of the excavations and vividly brings to life the stories of the slaves and the elite.'
(Sarah Lancashire Daily Express