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  • Pompeii Life and Death in a Roman Town - Presented by Mary Beard - As Seen on BBC2 [DVD]
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Pompeii Life and Death in a Roman Town - Presented by Mary Beard - As Seen on BBC2 [DVD]


Price: £11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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£11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 14 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Frequently Bought Together

Pompeii Life and Death in a Roman Town - Presented by Mary Beard - As Seen on BBC2 [DVD] + Meet The Romans Presented by Mary Beard As Seen On BBC2 [DVD] + Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town
Price For All Three: £32.17

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Product details

  • Actors: Mary Beard
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: IMC Vision
  • DVD Release Date: 13 May 2013
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00C0X5JEC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,787 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Pompeii: one of the most famous volcanic eruptions in history. We know how its victims died, but this film sets out to answer another question - how did they live? Gleaning evidence from an extraordinary find, Cambridge professor and Pompeii expert Mary Beard provides new insight into the lives of the people who lived in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius before its cataclysmic eruption. In a dark cellar in Oplontis, just three miles from the centre of Pompeii, 54 skeletons who didn't succumb to the torrent of volcanic ash are about to be put under the microscope. The remains will be submitted to a barrage of tests that will unlock one of the most comprehensive scientific snapshots of Pompeian life ever produced - and there are some big surprises in store. Using the latest forensic techniques it is now possible to determine what those who perished in the disaster ate and drank, where they came from, what diseases they suffered, how rich they were, and perhaps, even more astonishingly, the details of their sex lives. The way the remains were found in the cellar already provides an invaluable clue about the lives of the people they belonged to. On one side of the room were individuals buried with one of the most stunning hauls of gold, jewellery and coins ever found in Pompeii. On the other, were people buried with nothing. It looked the stark dividing line of a polarised ancient society: a room partitioned between super rich and abject poor. But on closer examination the skeletons reveal some surprises about life in Pompeii.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 18 April 2013
This hour-long TV documentary is a couple of years old, and has probably been released in 2013 because there's a major exhibition of items from Pompeii and Herculaneum on display in London this year.

This is one of the first TV documentaries which Mary Beard presented, and is based around her book. She comes over as massively knowledgeable on the subject; enthusiastic and approachable; extremely keen to convey the nitty gritty and daily realities of life for normal Roman folk. So there's a lot of chat about graffiti and grubby streets, and the dubious hygiene of the sweaty public baths...
The show includes a few staples of modern archaeology, like using forensic techniques to investigate a group of skeletons which weren't destroyed by the ash. So the experts use bone and teeth samples to sketch out the wealth, health, height and diet of the population (and even comment on their sex lives). Also the less appealing process of examining sewage waste to determine what food was regularly eaten - sea urchins, no less!
This is pretty much a no-frills documentary, based around evidence and experience rather than actors in togas and cutting-edge CGI. Mary Beard doesn't dress up herself and she concentrates on uncovering daily realities for 'normal' people, folks who lived in block of flats, and who were remarkable only for the way in which they died. It comes close to demonstrating what life might have been like 2000 years ago for the people of Pompeii.

I didn't learn a huge amount more than I already knew about the subject, but I appreciated Mary Beard's insightful comments and her down-to-earth presentation.
8/10

Sits well alongside Mary Beard's more comprehensive series: Meet The Romans Presented by Mary Beard As Seen On BBC2 [DVD] which is thoroughly recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steffie Caddick on 1 Aug. 2013
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Great background for teachers to get ideas about what direction to pursue (year four). However I did have to watch it carefully first because Mary is very likely to swear in unexpected places (eg she doesn't say "faeces" or "urine" - not swearing if used as an adjective the ways she does, but still not suitable for primary), in addition to some erotic bits like the numerous phalli decorating buildings and long examples of activities in brothels. If you can edit this out, the rest is wonderful. My children loved the piles of bomes coloured green which lead to lots of scientific questions.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Moira Coombs on 11 Jun. 2013
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I recommend this DVD as it gives a wonderful window on the life of Pompeii. I always enjoy Mary Beard's commentary on history.
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Mary Beard explores the life of ordinary people (well, as much as can be deduced from artefacts) of Pompeii in an entertaining and thought-provoking way. Digging(!) below the popular, somewhat stereotyped view of how the Romans lived, she provides new insights and theories that stimulate and challenge the traditional view. Well worth watching.
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I have been to Pompeii and to the recent exhibition. This video is absolutley first rate and I thoroughly recommend it
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I enjoyed the down-to-earth view of Pompeii and the obvious enthusiasm that Mary has for her subject. Having been to Pompeii some years ago, it was equally interesting to see some things that weren't discovered then and I especially liked the contrast between old Pompeii and modern-day Naples when she showed us that there is nothing new.
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Really enjoyed Mary Beard presentation on Pompeii. I visited the site in September and watched this when I got back, it really added to the experience and my understanding. Mary tell's it in her own enjoyable, down to earth way.
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