The World of Pompeii

The World of Pompeii

The World of Pompeii

The World of Pompeii

Synopsis

With contributions by well-known experts in the field, this title studies not only Pompeii, but also the town of Herculaneum, and many urban and rural villas too.

Excerpt

For whom is this book intended? Our audience is the same as that of Mau and Kelsey, or at least the same as the Mau–Kelsey audience that we have observed during the last thirty years: scholars (especially Pompeii scholars); college and university teachers; students of archaeology; students in general enrolled in the ubiquitous courses on Pompeii taught at colleges and universities around the world; and the general public interested in learning more about Pompeii. This does not mean, however, that we present this book as “the new Mau:” far from it. August Mau’s Pompeji in Leben und Kunst (Pompeii: its life and art, as translated by Francis W. Kelsey) was a unique creation of a single pioneer scholar, and a product of the late nineteenth century, just as our The World of Pompeii is a unique assemblage of essays by numerous scholars working at Pompeii in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. In many ways, this volume is as much an introduction to Pompeian studies as a study of Pompeii.

It was very difficult to produce this book, and far more time-consuming than we had imagined during the planning stages. Many delays were due to the nature of the publication, but many were due to the editors. We regret the former, and apologize for the latter. In the end, we hope that authors and readers alike will appreciate the good qualities of this very special book, and not dwell on the delays. This project began in the late 1990s because a suitably comprehensive, topically oriented, historically organized, and up-to-date treatment of Pompeii, Herculaneum and the other sites buried by Vesuvius did not exist in English. At the time, a number of useful studies had just been published. However, the second edition of Mau and Kelsey, published in 1902, was still being used in classrooms, which spoke to the quality of its panoptic vision.

August Mau was born in Kiel in 1840; he died in Rome in 1909. Working out of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut in Rome, Mau was introduced to Pompeii at a time when research at the site was becoming internationalized. His first publication, concerned with wall painting, appeared in 1873, and his record began to flourish in 1874, breaking through with his work on Overbeck’s fourth edition of Pompeji (1884). That encyclopedic treatment inspired his own effort fifteen years later. It was commissioned, as his own preface states, first in English. The English translation was accomplished by Francis W. Kelsey, who was born in Ogden, New York, in 1858 . . .

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