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  • W&N
  • W&N

Prose: non-fiction, History, Classical history / classical civilisation

A visceral history of Pompeii - the living city brought back to life.

This startling new book concentrates on the twenty years between 59 and 79AD, thus beginning with the earthquake which all but destroyed Pompeii and ending with the volcanic eruption which has become part of our collective popular imagination.

Alex Butterworth and Ray Laurence have synthesised the latest research into Pompeii to bring this period of flux and instability back to life. By concentrating on key members from each strata of Pompeiian society we are plunged into the everyday life of a city rebuilding itself, in the knowledge that it will all be for nothing when Vesuvius erupts. So we follow Suedius Clemens who has been sent by Vespasian to settle disputes over land; Decimus Satrius Lucretius Valens who is set to join Pompeii's elite magistrates following the death of his protector; the Vettii brothers who were fabulously rich and ostentatious dealers in wine and perfume; Pherusa, the runaway slave; lusty young Rustus who is contemplating parricide ...

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Praise for Pompeii

  • It was a happy day that brought [Butterworth and Laurence] together and begat this book... This is history at its best.. - THE TIMES (27/5/06)

  • It is hard to believe that a fresh and new approach [to Pompeii] is possible. Yet Butterworth and Laurence have performed the unexpected in this evocative new study. - HISTORY TODAY

  • Butterworth and Laurence document the details of daily life with gusto. - OBSERVER (4/6/06)

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Alex Butterworth

Alex Butterworth is a writer and dramatist, with work spanning books, theatre, film and television. Ray Laurence is a Research Fellow in the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity at the University of Birmingham.

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