Buried by the Ash of Vesuvius: Pompeii Scrolls Being Read for the First Time

The charred papyrus scroll recovered from Herculaneum is preserved in 12 trays mounted under glass. Here is PHerc.118 in tray 8. The scroll was physically unrolled in 1883-84, causing irreparable damage. (Henrik Knudsen) A revolutionary American scientist is using subatomic physics to decipher 2,000-year-old texts from the early days of Western civilization. By Jo Marchant[…]

The Graeco-Roman-Etruscan Marvel that Was Pompeii

Forum, looking toward Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii Pompeii was not always a Roman town. By the mid-sixth century BCE, both Etruscans and Greeks had settled in the area. By Dr. Francesca Tronchin / 09.02.2018 Independent Scholar of Classical Art and Archaeology Preserved under Volcanic Ash Pompeii may be famous today, with millions of tourists visiting each[…]

The Fall and Rise and Fall of Pompeii

The view inside Pompeii’s old granary (Francesco Lastrucci) The famous archaeological treasure is falling into scandalous decline, even as its sister city Herculaneum is rising from the ashes. By Joshua Hammer / 07.2015 On a sweltering summer afternoon, Antonio Irlando leads me down the Via dell’Abbondanza, the main thoroughfare in first-century Pompeii. The architect and conservation[…]

The Grim Reality of the Brothels of Pompeii

Brothels in Pompeii were decorated with murals depicting erotic and exotic scenes: but the reality was far more brutal and mundane. Thomas Shahan/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY Though their activities were depicted alluringly in murals, the sex workers of Pompeii were slaves who lived hard lives. By Dr. Marguerite Johnson / 12.12.2017 Professor of Classics University of Newcastle Like the anxious men who began excavations at[…]

Apocalypse Then: Bulwer-Lytton’s “The Last Days of Pompeii”

Cover and illustration from the copy of Bulwer-Lytton’s The Last Days of Pompeii in the special collections of the Getty Research Institute (London, William Nicholson, ca. 1883) By Annelisa Stephan / 08.24.2012 Editor and Content Designer Getty Iris Mount Vesuvius erupted on August 24, A.D. 79, burying Pompeii and neighboring towns under tons of ash and volcanic debris.[…]