Pompeii: Its Life and Art

Pompeii: Its Life and Art

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Pompeii: Its Life and Art

Pompeii: Its Life and Art

Read FREE!

Excerpt

For twenty-five years Professor Mau has devoted himself to the study of Pompeii, spending his summers among the ruins and his winters in Rome, working up the new material. He holds a unique place among the scholars who have given attention to Pompeian antiquities, and his contributions to the literature of the subject have been numerous in both German and Italian. The present volume, however, is not a translation of one previously issued, but a new work first published in English, the liberality of the publishers having made it possible to secure assistance for the preparation of certain restorations and other drawings which Professor Mau desired to have made as illustrating his interpretation of the ruins.

In one respect there is an essential difference between the remains of Pompeii and those of the large and famous cities of antiquity, as Rome or Athens, which have associated with them the familiar names of historical characters. Mars' Hill is clothed with human interest, if for no other reason, because of its relation to the work of the Apostle Paul; while the Roman Forum and the Palatine, barren as they seem to-day, teem with life as there rise before the mind's eye the scenes presented in the pages of classical writers. But the Campanian city played an unimportant part in contemporary history; the name of not a single great Pompeian is recorded. The ruins, deprived of the interest arising from historical associations, must be interpreted with little help from literary sources, and repeopled with aggregate rather than individual life.

A few Pompeians, whose features have survived in herms or statues and whose names are known from the inscriptions, seem . . .

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