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Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
22
4.1 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 29 May 2017
good
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on 21 August 2017
Brilliant thankyou
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on 20 March 2017
full of info
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on 20 October 2014
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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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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on 1 February 2014
Mary Beard provides a vivid and eminently watchable intro to the buried city of Pompeii. It was invaluable prior to my two recent visits helping me home in on the most important parts. It is also very thought provoking. Everything she says is thoroughly grounded in verifiable scholarship but she has pleasant manner presenting facts clearly and making everything interesting. Combined with her book of the same name it was invaluable during a recent academic course on Pompeii and also very useful prior to visiting the recent Pompeii/Herculaneum exhibition in the British Museum.
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on 11 June 2013
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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on 5 August 2013
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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on 22 November 2016
Great program and very interesting. It brings Pompeii and its citizens to life. I read Mary Beard's book on Pompeii before I received the DVD. Both were excellent. Even though the story of Pompeii has been told numerous times, she made it seem fresh and new. I recommend the book and the DVD.
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on 23 February 2017
I marvel how much narcissistic you have to be: the presenter talks little, it does show even less, but, her face and her persona are at all times in front of the camera, such a bore and disappointing.
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