The Living City

Book - 2006
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The ash of Mt. Vesuvius preserves a living record of the complex and exhilarating society it instantly obliterated two thousand years ago. In this highly readable, lavishly illustrated book, Butterworth and Laurence marshall cutting-edge archaeological reconstructions and a vibrant historical tradition dating to Pliny and Tacitus; they present a richly textured portrait of a society not altogether unlike ours, composed of individuals ordinary and extraordinary who pursued commerce, politics, family and pleasure in the shadow of a killer volcano. Deeply resonant in a world still at the mercy of natural disaster, Pompeii recreates life as experienced in the city, and those frantic, awful hours in AD 79 that wiped the bustling city from the face of the earth.

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2006.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780312355852
Characteristics: 354 p. : ill. (chiefly col.), maps ; 25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Laurence, Ray 1963-


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Nov 17, 2011

Thoroughly enjoyable. The device of non-fiction historical fact with re-created historical semi-fiction works, I think. And the historical conclusions are well-backed up. It was also interesting to see the City in the context of the Empire. Too often all we think of when we think of Pompeii is the destruction in 79, but there was a city before then and the book contextualizes what remains on the ground.

Mar 10, 2011

Interesting but quite a dry read. I thought from the description on the cover that it would read a little more fast paced perhaps like historical non-fiction - I was wrong. This is a good book to have on your bedside table! It is guaranteed to put you to sleep quickly!

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