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Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found
Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found | Mary Beard
11 posts | 4 read | 2 reading | 31 to read
Pompeii is the most famous archaeological site in the world, visited by more than two million people each year. Yet it is also one of the most puzzling, with an intriguing and sometimes violent history, from the sixth century BCE to the present day. Destroyed by Vesuvius in 79 CE, the ruins of Pompeii offer the best evidence we have of life in the Roman Empire. But the eruptions are only part of the story. In The Fires of Vesuvius, acclaimed historian Mary Beard makes sense of the remains. She explores what kind of town it was--more like Calcutta or the Costa del Sol?--and what it can tell us about ordinary life there. From sex to politics, food to religion, slavery to literacy, Beard offers us the big picture even as she takes us close enough to the past to smell the bad breath and see the intestinal tapeworms of the inhabitants of the lost city. She resurrects the Temple of Isis as a testament to ancient multiculturalism. At the Suburban Baths we go from communal bathing to hygiene to erotica. Recently, Pompeii has been a focus of pleasure and loss: from Pink Floyd's memorable rock concert to Primo Levi's elegy on the victims. But Pompeii still does not give up its secrets quite as easily as it may seem. This book shows us how much more and less there is to Pompeii than a city frozen in time as it went about its business on 24 August 79.
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Today was new nails day (pic to come soon), finishing this green apple green baby blanket and getting this gift from me to me. That might be my non-fiction book for the summer. #newbook #knitting

LeahBergen What a pretty blanket! 3w
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My current reads — The Iliad by Homer Trans. By Anthony Verity. Pompeii by Mary Beard. 🐞

Annnndddd, say hello to my autumn theme. It‘s all set and ready to go. I‘m in awe of it and I am so ready for all the autumn goodness! *looking at you spiced lattes at Costa* 🐞

What are you reading right now? #greek #rome #spqr #ancientrome #ancientgreece

Cathythoughts Beautiful pic 💫💫💫 9mo
Sophoclessweetheart @Cathythoughts Thank you Cathy dear x 9mo
whatshesreadingnow Lovely ✨ 9mo
Sophoclessweetheart @whatshesreadingnow Thank you Tammy! How are you? I‘ve been seriously MIA here x 9mo
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Pompeii through the eye of Roman expert, Mary Beard. Heavy on detail, this book isn‘t the story of how Pompeii was buried during the eruption of 79AD, but what life in Pompeii was like before. Using evidence collected during its excavations, Beard builds a picture of life, work, religion & art with incredible detail and lots of humour. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Amazing to think that yesterday I was at the top of Versuvius, the volcano that caused Pompeii‘s demise.

youneverarrived Amazing experience! Pompeii fascinates me. 9mo
Ms_T @youneverarrived Me too! It was incredible being on top of Versuvius and actually seeing steam rising from inside. 9mo
erzascarletbookgasm Beautiful view and experience. 9mo
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Ms_T @erzascarletbookgasm Thanks, it was incredible 😃 9mo
Velvetfur Oh my gosh those photos are gorgeous! I especially love the one looking down into the crater! The book sounds fab too 😊 I'm happy for you to have had this amazing experience, and jealous too of course 😜 Enjoy the rest of it! 💜 🌋 9mo
batsy Oh, that must have been amazing. I too am fascinated by Pompeii. Fab pics! 9mo
Ms_T @Velvetfur Thank you! 9mo
Ms_T @batsy Thanks, it was a great experience! 9mo
whatshesreadingnow What a gorgeous view 💛 9mo
Ms_T @whatshesreadingnow It really was incredible! 9mo
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Reading about Pompeii and looking at Versuvius. Surreal!

Caroline2 Oh how lovely!! 😍 9mo
Cathythoughts Wow 💫💫💫 9mo
BarbaraBB Last year I stood at the exact same place, I think. Napoli?! 💜 9mo
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Ms_T @BarbaraBB We‘re just outside Sorrento in a resort called Castellamarre di Stabia. The views are incredible! 9mo
Velvetfur Hang on, I've been to Sorrento and don't remember that view! It's so gorgeous, what a great photo! I intend to go back one day, but to Vesuvius itself 😊 9mo
Velvetfur Oh and I must point out that I have been to Pompei (and Herculaneum) too, but not 'up' Vesuvius, which is what I meant in my previous comment 😊 9mo
TrishB Lovely 💕 9mo
batsy Lucky you! 😁😍 9mo
Ms_T @Velvetfur I visited Pompeii and Versuvius last year but couldn‘t get to the summit as it had been raining and was really slippery. I plan to visit Herculaneum in a couple of days and hope to pull in another visit to Versuvius, hopefully all the way to the top this time! 9mo
Ms_T @TrishB @batsy 😍😍😍 9mo
Velvetfur @Ms_T Oohh that sounds great! I'll be looking forward to photos directly from Vesuvius! Is it a steep climb too? 9mo
Ms_T @Velvetfur It is steep and the track to the summit is basically dirt and gravel. Good walking shoes or trainers (sneakers) are a must! 9mo
Velvetfur @Ms_T Ah ok, sounds good though 👍 Enjoy the rest of your trip! 😊 🌋 9mo
Bklover Beautiful! 9mo
Ms_T @Bklover 😍 9mo
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Two books to take me to the end of August. I hope to finish Pompeii in time for my trip to Italy next Monday as I may visit it again. Trips to Herculaneum and Capri are most definitely on the itinerary.

Undermajordomo Minor looks to be a wacky listen!


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Visited Pompeii today. This room was a library, so naturally I added emojis so we could all visualize 😏😂 #teachersoflitsy

AJBowers That's so awesome 2y
JoeStalksBeck Awesome ‼️📖📚❤️ 2y
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Reading in front of the fire has got to be a good way to spend the evening! I haven't picked up this book in a while, but reading it now has made me question why I ever put it down in the first place! #eveningsorted

Born.A.Reader I wish it were cool enough here for a fire. *sighs wistfully* 2y
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Looks like I'm all set for an evening of studying! I'm trying to convince myself that reading Pompeii is a vital part of my Latin and Roman Civilisation studies - it's truly too good to put down! #procrastination

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Absolutely loving this book at the moment! It is a fantastically written witty, captivating and utterly brilliant look at the Pompeii we know, and the reality we don't! Can't wait to finish it!

ValerieAndBooks I liked her SPQR. Welcome to Litsy! 2y
youngreadrshelf Looks interesting. Looking forward to your review. 2y
BooksTeasAndBookishThings Welcome to Litsy!!! 😊❤️🙌📚🎉 2y
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Mentioned this book so I should review. Beard is one of the preeminent experts on Roman history and in this book she reviews the knowledge which we possess on Pompeii and seeks to debunk many of the myths which have grown around the doomed city as well as raising facts which throw light on everyday Roman life. Things such as the lack of kitchen facilities in lower class houses, in upper class houses the unsavory combination of latrine and kitchen

Oblomov26 , that Pompeii seems to have had a system one way streets for carts. I also found it interesting that the picture we have of Pompeii being a thriving metropolis is incorrect and evidence suggest that it had been largely evacuated due to quakes in the lead up to the eruption 3y
MrBook Interesting... 3y
ValerieAndBooks I'm currently reading SPQR by the same author! Maybe I'll get to this one also, eventually. 3y
I-read-and-eat Just bought a new translation of Plinius' letters concerning the Vesuvius. This book might be interesting, to put it in a broader perspective. 3y
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Walking actual Pompeiian streets may be beyond my means, but I've got the next best thing: a virtual guided tour from the incomparable Mary Beard. She strikes precisely the best balance between detail and commentary to keep me enraptured in that distant world.

shawnmooney I have never read Mary Beard, but am so interested in this topic! How accessible is her writing? I am not interested in academic history anymore, but well-written popular history is of great interest. Please give me your advice. Thanks! 3y
Grrlbrarian This is very layperson-friendly, @shawnmooney. I'm one myself and don't find her writing dry or overly technical. 10/10 would recommend and can't wait to pick up SPQR, another of her books! 3y
shawnmooney Thank you so much! I'm definitely going to check it out! 3y
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