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The Complete Pompeii (The Complete Series) Hardcover – November 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: The Complete Series
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; Reprint edition (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 050005150X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500051504
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #535,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joanne Berry teaches ancient history and archaeology at Swansea University. She is the author of The Complete Pompeii and co-author of The Lives of the Romans, both published by Thames & Hudson.

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Customer Reviews

Actually much better quality printing than most Thames & Hudson books.
Jackal
The information is very up to date (in 2007)and provides good reference material for the Ancient History course that I am teaching at high school.
History Teacher
The photos are well chosen and the diagrams are well drawn and very helpful.
J. Hill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Outside Food on December 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book summarizes everything you ever wanted to know about Pompeii, with chapters on the story of the eruption, history of excavations, origins of the town, Pompeiians' daily lives, leadership and politics, housing, religion, economy, and the 16 years between a destructive earthquake and the death of the town. There are over 300 illustrations enabling the reader to visualize what Berry is saying. The information is current as of early 2007, so it includes the latest findings and theories. The author is not squeamish about showing nudity or quoting obscene graffiti, both of which helped archaeologists decipher the daily goings-on in Pompeii.
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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Bruce on February 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have to agree with the other reviews about the quality of this book. The publishers have produced several books under a similar title (e.g.'The Complete Tutankhamun'; 'The Complete Valley of the Kings')and all are of a very high quality. This book stands out for several reasons. Firstly, the text is of a high quality - suitable for the general reader, but also for school and university students, and the information is very complete and up-to-date. Secondly, the photographs are again of a very high quality. I think there are no photographs that I have not seen before, but the quality of these is superb - - undoubtedly they have been digitally enhanced. As a teacher, I will be able to use these very effectively to teach about Pompeii, but equally, the general reader will get great enjoyment and some learning because of the quality of them. As I write, I have 26 books besides me about Pompeii and/or Herculaneum. I have no doubt that this is probably the best of them.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By J. Chippindale on May 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If you require information about anything the internet has probably become an unbeatable source of knowledge but for me maybe I am old fashioned there is still nothing to beat a good book and this is a good book. It is full of facts and photographs laid out in such a way that they are interesting to the reader.

The main reason that I personally bought the book was that I had visited the site a dozen years ago and my memories of the place were starting to fade in my mind. As soon as I opened the book and the photographs of various parts of the site shone back at me from the pages, all the old memories flooded back and it was as though I had been there only yesterday. The book covers virtually everything that anyone is likely to want to know about Pompeii nd the surrounding area. Also about how one of the largest archaeological sites in the world is still developing with new things being discovered all the time.

The destruction of Pompeii is well documented, but little is known of the lives of the people who lived in Pompeii before the disaster. This book goes a long way towards telling the story of the unfortunate people who were caught up in one of the worst natural disasters in history. How they lived their lives, the work they did and how they spent their leisure time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Spunkychk on May 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'm a Pompeii enthusiast having read many books on the topic and visited there a couple of times. This book is a good source of the history of the excavations among other topics. Unless you're an archeology student, it's about as thorough as you might need. Another plus is the study of the suburbs of ancient Pompeii that are now being further excavated usually through tunneling. Most books just deal with Pompeii with a few pages on Herculeanium.

The letters of Pliny the Younger are translated here - he'd made copies of those he sent to a Roman historian who'd requested the story of Pliny the Elder's last day on Earth when he succumbed to the Vesuvian eruption.

About 1/3 of the photos I'd never seen before particularly the drawings, photos, maps, etc of the excavations. Life in Pompeii is well chronicled, however, if you're looking for all the casts of Pompeiians, there are just a few represented out of the 100's made.

This book is quite detailed and a fantastic summation in one source. So far it's the best I've found with a good balance of graphics and text. Very artfully done. One of the best one-stop sources of Pompeii.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Pasternock on November 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is informative on all aspects of this ancient city. The photographs and the written subject matter are most interesting and appealing.
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21 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Ludwig on January 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Don't believe the title, this book is notably incomplete. This is not to say it's not worthwhile. What you can find here are edifying background discussions of the history of the archeological efforts, descriptions of Roman and Pompeiian life, a translation of Pliny the Younger's account of the eruption, and a lot of well-reproduced pictures. What is lacking is any coherent effort to relate all of this to the physical reality of Pompeii itself. The book does include a plan of the city. It explains that it is the convention to identify structures by Region, Block, and House Number. The plan does show numbered regions, but blocks are shown but not labelled. Houses and structures are a story unto themselves. A list of 48 of them is identified on the plan, but not in terms of the aforementioned convention but rather in terms of an orthogonally numbered list, presumably made up by the author, with no mention of why these structures have been singled out and no attempt to key these to the text. You can only find such passages indirectly, by looking up the names of the structures in the index and then referring back to the text. Conversely, if a house is mentioned in the text, it is identified in the text by Region, Block, and House Number (Well of course: that after all, as the author has explained, is the convention!). Thus, unless it appears also on the special list of 48, it can only be vaguely located on the included plan. So why is the book entitled "The Complete Pompeii"? Well, apparently because it's part of the publisher's series of titles on "The Complete ... whatever". The book should really have been called something like "Pompeii in Context". It does present a lot of interesting contextual information and does this job well. However, it is not suitable as a guide to the physical city. If you choose to try to use it that way, I'd suggest taking along some breadcrumbs.
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