- Hardcover: 528 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1St Edition edition (September 30, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521800544
- ISBN-13: 978-0521800549
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.6 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,080,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Natural History of Pompeii 1St Edition Edition
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"Some chapters of this book will be useful primarily for reference; others of a more discursive nature invite reading, while some, by virtue of their methodological or cultural perspectives, serve both ends. ...the volume belongs in the library of every school where the story of Pompeii and its people has enlivened Latin classes, and should attract readers in public libraries as well." New England Classical Journal
"The editors should be complimented on their selection of reputed chapter authors from various scientific fields. This book instills a half a century's research on Pompeii. It is well-written and beautifully produced on glossy paper that renders excellent reproductions of wall-paintings sculptures, and illustrations....This book will always be a centerpiece for lively conversation." Plant Science Bulletin
"This is an impressive work that will be of interest to a variety of audiences." Sida
"In virtually all ways, this volume is a great success. It is well worth its rather hefty price tag, both in terms of the value of the actual production of the text and as a resource on ancient Pompeii. Indeed, it is certainly essential for any university library as well as for anyone with an interest in applications of science to antiquity. It will also no doubt appeal to scholars particularly itnerested in Pompeii or volcanology and the specific bibliographies provided at the end of each chapter will assist specialists in many fields." - Tana J. Allen, Memorial University
"This volume is a very successful example of a competent, all-inclusive approach to the study of natural phenomena in Pompeii and vicinity." - Elke and Hans Joachim Bohr, Wiesbaden, Classical World
Following the prototype established by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, Jashemski and the volume's contributors reconstruct the environment of Pompeii, Herculaneum and the surrounding Campanian countryside, based on the evidence preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79. The volume brings together the work of geologists, soil specialists, paleobotanists, botanists, paleontologists, biologists, chemists, dendrochronologists, ichthyologists, zoologists, ornithologists, mamologists, herpetologists, entymologists, and archaeologists, affording a thorough picture of the landscape, flora, and fauna of the ancient sites.
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Dr. Jashemski is a professor emeritus of the University of Maryland which is currently involved in the excavation of the last town major town still completely covered by Vesuvian ash--Stabiiae. The potential to find some spectacular artworks on that site is considerable as it was the most upscale neighborhood on the Bay of Naples in that period.
Selected chapters from the book cover a description of the site before the eruption in A.D. 79 based on the archeological, literary and Epigraphical Evidence. We know some of what we know about the fateful day owing to correspondence between Tacitus and Pliny the Younger, whose uncle Pliny the Elder perished in the catastrophe. Other chapters cover the flora and fauna of the area (both Pompeii and Herculaneum were affected). Archeologists have determined the identity of extensive numbers of plants (including trees, vines, edible foodstuffs and culinary and medicinal herbs), mammals, amphibians and reptiles, birds (grey parrots and love birds were kept as pets).
The book is filled with drawings and illustrations, as well as photographs of human and other animal, and plant remains; frescos from the villas and public buildings; jewelry and household items; and site shots including photos of the area surrounding the forum in Pompeii (including those taken from a balloon - with buildings clearly marked), as well as pictures of the archeologists at work capturing and preserving the natural material uncovered at the two sites.
If you are about to embark on a trip to Pompeii, have an interest in Roman life as it was lived in the first century, or an interest in archeological forensics, you will find this book enlightening, but perhaps it is more suitable for the Art History or Classics section of a school library than a coffee table book as one of my colleagues suggested.