What We Learned About Rome From The Perfect Preservation Of Pompeii
Nov 23, · Pompeii: a remarkable window into ancient Roman life. The eruption of Mount Vesuvius wiped out Pompeii in a suffocating cloud of ash, but, as historian Daisy Dunn explores, the buildings and remains buried beneath the debris provide a remarkable window into ancient Roman life. Early one afternoon in the year AD 79, an enormous cloud began to rise from Mount Vesuvius in the . Pompeii, Italy, is an incredible example of ancient Roman architecture. Well preserved due to the eruption its neighboring Mount Vesuvius, in 79 AD, and the city’s subsequent burial under layers of ash and pumice, it offers a fascinating insight in what life was like in ancient Rome - as well as how their buildings and communities looked from a structural point of view.
Asked by Wiki User. Pompeii is an outdoor museum and history book. It tells us much about the everyday lives of ordinary Roman people. These are insights we don't get from the ancient writers who were mostly elitists. From the remains in Pompeii we see how many of the average Romans made their livings, how they decorated their homes and their amusements and election advertising.
Yes, Romans lived in Pompeii. Get art? Pompeii was how to install laminate stair nose Roman town and the Romans made art in Pompeii by creating frescoes and statuary and garden decor. Pompeii had a population of around 20, in 79 CE. They give us a great insight into the lives of everyday Romans.
History does not tell us if the Romans played football. By providing excellent plaster casts of the bodies of those who were caught by the deluge of ash.
Pompeii was Roman. They traded and interacted just as say, Chicago and Milwaukee interact. It tells us that the Romans fancied having Trojan origins. The ruins of Pompeii have taught us many things regarding life how to have a great skin Roman times.
In addition to architecture, home decor, businesses, elections, etc. Up until the discovery of Pompeii we had to rely on the classic writers for our info regarding the Romans and they were the elite and wrote for and about the elite.
Pompeii lets us in on the lives of the real people. The people of Pompeii were Romans. Therefore, they followed Roman practices and customs. Yes they did. The Romans did not conquer Pompeii in the strict sense of the word. Back in the very early days of Rome's expansion, they took over the area known as Campania and Pompeii was a little town there, populated by Oscan speaking people.
The Romans simply moved in and built their what is the definition of a family and business and absorbed the town into the Roman empire. The discoveries in both Rome and Pompeii, especially Pompeii, tell us about the normal daily life of average people. They give us a look at the houses and businesses of people. They enable us to see exactly what they ate and by tests of their teeth, how healthy they were and if they were native to the area or came from someplace else.
These discoveries also show us the layout of the towns and show us the water system of Pompeii and how it was stored and used. They show us the art work, both indoor and outdoor and they give us an idea of a town's public buildings and fora. Vesuvius in 79 AD. It gets its importance because the volcanic ash that buried the city preserved it and gives us insight as to how the average Romans lived. The Romans obtained materials from all over their empire. If you want to know where they obtained "these materials" you have to tell us what they are.
Please restate you question. The Romans did not predict the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. That is why so many people in Pompeii and what is parts per billion died. Pompeii was not a particularly important town in ancient Italy.
It was just an average Roman town like others in the empire. Its important to us because of it's well preserved ruins which give us an accurate view of how the ancient Romans lived and worked and even of what can pompeii tell us about the romans some of them looked. Religion was an important part of the lives of everyday Romans so they paid Temples a visit very often. There are many temples and shrines in Pompeii.
Pompeii was a wealthy city because it was a port which attracted quite a lot of trade. Wealthy Romans liked to have villas there. Every one thought pompeii was just a poor town that got distoryed by a valcanoe in the Roman empire.
But what I found out in my art history class was Pompeii was the Romans version of Vegas. I know it sounds stupid, but it is true. Ask Question. Roman Empire. See Answer. Top Answer. Wiki User Answered Related Questions. Did the Romans live in pompeii? Did the Romans get art from Pompeii?
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Jul 25, · The great contribution that the discovery of Pompeii gave to our understanding of Ancient Roman history was that it allowed us to see the daily life of those living under Roman rule in a . Oct 21, · When Mount Vesuvius erupted cataclysmically in the summer of A.D. 79, the nearby Roman town of Pompeii was buried under several feet of . Dec 14, · The remains of the Roman town of Pompeii destroyed by a volcanic eruption in AD79 continue to provide intriguing and unexpected insights into Roman life - from diet and health care to Author: Professor Mary Beard.
British Broadcasting Corporation Home. The buried buildings of Pompeii were designed to last only a few decades - but are still standing after nearly years. Dr Salvatore Ciro tells how the little town was rough-handled when it was first uncovered, but has survived to show us in amazing detail what town-life was like under Roman rule. Pompeii was buried - although not, as we now know, destroyed - when the nearby, supposedly extinct, volcano Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, covering the town and its inhabitants in many tons of pumice and volcanic ash.
The disaster remained in people's minds for many years but was eventually forgotten, until the exploration of the ancient site started in an area called 'Civita', in This was found to be a comparatively easy task, because the debris that had caused such chaos was light and not compacted. During the first phase, the excavation was carried out essentially in order to find art objects.
Many artefacts considered suitable for the private collection of the Bourbon king Charles III reigned were removed, and transported to Naples - where they remain to this day, displayed in the Museo Nazionale.
Meanwhile, other wall paintings were stripped from the walls and framed, and yet other artefacts and wall paintings were damaged or irreparably destroyed. After the spoliation, buildings such as Villa di Cicerone and Villa di Giulia Felice were back-filled, although many famous scholars, among them Johann Winckelmann, demonstrated strongly against this, as they had against the previous destruction.
Due to their pressure, the practices were stopped to some extent, although the stripping of the wall paintings continued. By the end of the 18th century, two wide areas had been uncovered: the Quartiere dei Teatri with the Tempio d'Iside, and the Via delle Tombe with the Villa di Diomede.
Two of the archaeologists most connected with this phase were Karl Weber and Francesco La Vega, who wrote detailed diary accounts of the works they carried out, and made very precise designs of the buildings being uncovered. During the period of French control of Naples - - the excavation methodology changed: things became more organised, and an itinerary was drawn up to accommodate the visits of scholars and important personages.
The French wanted to excavate the buried town systematically, going from west to east. In some periods of their influence they employed as many as workmen, and this concentration of effort resulted in the Foro, the Terme, the Casa di Pansa, the Casa di Sallustio and the Casa del Chirurgo all being excavated.
With the return of the Bourbon king Ferdinand I to Naples, this method of organising the excavations continued, but there were fewer funds available to back the project. By much of the western part of the town had been excavated.
Instead of uncovering the streets first, in order to excavate the houses from the ground floor up, he imposed a system of uncovering the houses from the top down - a better way of preserving everything that was discovered. In this way the data collected during the excavations could be used to help with the restoration of the ancient buildings and of their interiors - although the most important wall paintings and mosaics still continued to be stripped and transported to Naples.
Fiorelli also took the topography of the town and divided it into a system of 'regiones', 'insulae' and 'domus' - and he developed the use of plaster casts to recreate the forms of plants and human bodies that had been covered by the volcanic ash, and had then left a hole - shaped in the form of the plant or person - in that ash after putrefaction. Michele Ruggiero, Giulio De Petra, Ettore Pais and Antonio Sogliano, continued Fiorelli's work in the following years, and during the last 20 years of the century began to restore the roofs of the houses with wood and tiles - in order to protect the remaining wall paintings and mosaics inside.
During these years many famous scholars came to study the remains of Pompeii, and one of them, August Mau, in , created a system for categorizing the Pompeian pictures into a range of decorative styles. His work still provides the standard framework for the study of these ancient Roman paintings. Vittorio Spinazzola, starting from around , uncovered the Casa di Loreio Tiburtino, the Casa dell'Efebo, the Casa di Trebio Valente and Via dell'Abbondanza, which goes from west to east all along the length of the town.
In doing so he demonstrated how it was possible both to understand the dynamics of how the buildings had been buried in the first place, and also what the original structure of the houses had been - thus making it possible to restore them accurately. Maiuri uncovered the city's walls, and found a large necropolis along its southern walls - while his excavation of the Via di Nocera allowed him also to explore Regio I and Regio II.
This, however, was carried out using inaccurate methodology, with inadequate instruments, and the project suffered from chronic underfunding, so the houses were not well restored and were eventually practically abandoned. Maiuri also uncovered the Casa del Menandro and Villa dei Mister, and he undertook stratigraphical research under the AD 79 level, in his search for the origins of Pompeii. Alfonso De Franciscis became director of excavations in - his period in charge was characterised by an emphasis on the restoration of buildings that had already been uncovered.
Only the magnificent Casa di Polibio was uncovered in this period. Following him, Fausto Zevi and Giuseppina Cerulli Irelli had to work hard to resolve the problems caused in Pompeii by the earthquake of Then in Baldassare Conticello started an extensive and systematic restoration of buildings in Regio I and II, where excavation work had already been completed.
The excavation of the Complesso dei Casti Amanti was done ex novo from scratch. The present director, Pietro Giovanni Guzzo who started his stint in Pompeii in has had to confront many management and financial problems in order to plan the finishing of excavations and the complete restoration of the buildings.
In the most recent years, excavations have been carried out outside the Porta Stabia, and also in Murecine, near the river Sarno, where the Hospitium dei Sulpici has been uncovered. Many areas are still to be uncovered in Pompeii, but it is even more important to restore what has already been excavated.
Today 44 of the 66 hectares of urban area are visible, and it is unanimously considered that the other 22 hectares must be left under the volcanic debris, in order to preserve this important part of our past for future generations. The discoveries aroused great interest, and emotion, among Enlightenment circles - and offered many new subjects for cultural debate. Slowly a new, Neo-classical, attitude emerged, influencing philosophers, men of letters and artists.
Painters, sculptors, jewellers, upholsterers, cabinet-makers, joiners, decorators - all made explicit reference to the findings in the towns that Vesuvius buried, and there was a constant demand for books illustrated with accurate pictures. Many European countries, thanks to the new importance given to the ancient world, opened academies in Naples and Rome to offer hospitality to those who wanted to study the newly excavated towns.
In this period the younger members of many of the noble and rich families of Europe completed their education by doing a 'grand tour' of Europe, and a visit to Pompeii, Herculaneum and the Museo Archeologico in Naples was considered an essential part of these trips.
The diaries of some of the people who made these journeys show how much influence the excavations had all over Europe, and these discoveries certainly eventually gave rise to modern archaeology, and led to the finding of many other ancient Greek and Roman towns. The discovery of Pompeii is of huge importance for our modern-day understanding of the ancient Roman-Italic world - partly because the more public and monumental ruins left behind by Imperial Rome have often been misleading.
The excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum Their ruination and destruction left crucial questions unanswered, and made it impossible in many ways to gather a satisfactory understanding of the Roman world from them. Ancient Greek and Roman texts are also often obscure and enigmatic, because the ancient writers naturally took for granted, and did not explain, things that the modern reader cannot begin to guess at.
The excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum, by contrast, offer an intact vision of daily life in a Roman society in all its aspects. They have produced not only many treasures, but also many objects that are less precious but extremely useful for the understanding of everyday life during the years of the Roman empire. In the buildings of these towns - from the monumental to the most simple - the ancient world appears in all its complexity, with great clarity.
The same principle applies to the ancient texts of classical times. These have Rome and other big cities as their main point of reference, meaning that the history they speak of corresponds to the history of big centres and cities - while the ancient Roman world was actually made up, above all, of a great number of small towns and villages. In order to find out about the morality, culture, sense of state and religion for the vast majority of people in the Roman-Italic world, it is to Pompeii and Herculaneum that we must turn.
It is here that we are most likely to find the truth about the society that made Rome 'caput mundi'. They don't realise that many parts of the ancient town were uncovered more than two centuries ago, and that inadequate technology and debatable methods were used in the excavations, especially when the first works were carried out.
They don't recognise what a miracle it is that buildings that were originally erected to last for only a few decades, and that even on that basis would have required frequent upkeep, are still in existence - and able to tell us something of the life that was lived within them.
Today the biggest danger for the old town is the increasing number of visitors, who often do not understand that they are touching, creeping, walking along, an open air museum, which requires much respect and attention. In Pompeii all is original: the tombs along the stone paved streets; the houses, with their frescoes - some with simple designs and gaudy colours, others more elegant and complex - which open onto shadowed arcades made precious by gardens in bloom and gushing fountains. The workshops and the shops immediately suggest the busy and noisy life once so much in evidence along the streets, and the religious sanctuaries are awesome even today - with monumental columns still emphasising the sacredness of the altars.
The 'Forum', when it is crowded with people, also still reflects an image of previous times - perhaps the times of various elections, when different factions confronted each other in the square or under the large portico.
It is perhaps only in Pompeii, and the other towns buried by Vesuvius, that people of today can be in such direct contact with the ancient Roman world - it is for this reason that these places leave such an unforgettable memory on the minds of imaginative visitors.
He has had many articles about Pompeii published in Italy. Search term:. Read more. This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets CSS enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience.
Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets CSS if you are able to do so. This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving. Pompeii - AD 79; Pompeii was buried - although not, as we now know, destroyed - when the nearby, supposedly extinct, volcano Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, covering the town and its inhabitants in many tons of pumice and volcanic ash.
Pompeii as a source The discovery of Pompeii is of huge importance for our modern-day understanding of the ancient Roman-Italic world - partly because the more public and monumental ruins left behind by Imperial Rome have often been misleading.
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