Pompeii Paperback – 4 May 2006
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It was a happy day that brought [Butterworth and Laurence] together and begat this book... This is history at its best.. (THE TIMES (27/5/06))
It is hard to believe that a fresh and new approach [to Pompeii] is possible. Yet Butterworth and Laurence have performed the unexpected in this evocative new study. (HISTORY TODAY)
Butterworth and Laurence document the details of daily life with gusto. (OBSERVER (4/6/06))
A visceral history of Pompeii - the living city brought back to life.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The scene is set with the accession of the Emperor Nero in Rome. Nero had ties to Pompeii, not the least of which was that it was the native city of his mistress, and later wife, Poppaea. Pompeii, of course, had many natural advantages. Sitting below Vesuvius, which hadn't erupted in historical memory, granted it a productive environs. Volcanic soil is rich, the authors remind us. As a port city, Pompeii had an edge even on Rome. Luxury goods flowed in as farm produce and other goods went abroad or inland. Pompeii was noted for "garum", a fish paste produced in enormous quantities and many quality levels. However it smelled, and the authors cite opinions from several observers, it brought money to the city. Production and trade in this and other goods made Pompeii a lively place. Not the least of the dynamic was the role of freed slaves.Read more ›
For both the prospective tourist and one who has already been, the book I recommend instead is Mary Beard's Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town, which discusses what information can be gleaned about life in the town in relation to specific buildings you will see (or have seen). I bought both books before visiting, handing Ms Beard's book to my wife first whilst I read this book in the meantime. I really wish that I had done the opposite, not least because the missus was able to tell me far, far more about what was actually standing in front of us as as we stood in the ruins than I had found out from this book.
So read Ms Beard's book first, and if the subject fires your interest, by all means read this too for a somewhat different angle.
A must for anyone interested in this quintessential time-capsule into the ancient Roman way of life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book does what it says - it turns Pompeii back into a living city by peopling it with characters - real and imaginatively reconstructed. Read morePublished 13 months ago by D. J. Favager
Having been to Pompeii and Herculaneum I was looking for a book that brought it alive and maybe a glimpse of the human element behind the bricks and mortar ( for want of a better... Read morePublished on 4 Aug. 2011 by Ms. F. E. Miles
I was disapointed with this book. It swallows and adds all the juiciest stories of the emperors to its narrative regardless of accuracy or relevance. Read morePublished on 23 Dec. 2010 by Marc Jackson