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Antiquity Recovered: The Legacy of Pompeii and Herculaneum

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Antiquity Recovered: The Legacy of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Edited by Victoria C. Gardner Coates and Jon L. Seydl. The J. Paul Getty Museum: 2007. Pg. 304. 61 color and 61 b&w illustrations.) ISBN 13: 978-0-89236-872-3.

Reviewed by Herbert White - June 18, 2007

Within the pages of Antiquity Recovered: The Legacy of Pompeii and Herculaneum you will discover thirteen essays that chronicle our collective fascination with Pompeii and Herculaneum and how our interpretations of these sites have changed over time. Edited by Victoria C. Gardner Coates, a lecturer in the Department of the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania, and Jon L. Seydl, associate curator of paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum, this book will delight both scholars and general readers alike.

The essays in this collection are all by outstanding scholars in a variety of fields, including archaeology, history, literature, art, and the history of science. The essayist include Alden R. Gordon, Herica Valladares, Chloe Chard, Lee Behlman, Elaine K. Gazda, Bettina Bergmann, Sean Cocco, Tina Najbjerg, James I. Porter, Claire L. Lyons, Marcia Reed, Eugene Dwyer, Nick Yablon, and Jennie Hirsh. The essays cover a range of topics from the discovery of the treasures at Pompeii and Herculaneum to how the history of these two devastated cities has been portrayed in film. In all, these essays present a unique window into the history, culture, geography, politics, and art of these ancient cities and how modern day forces have influenced our interpretation and understanding of the discoveries made at these two sites.

Antiquity Recovered is a vital resource for anyone wanting to understand how cultural and historical factors have shaped our understanding of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and how the academic knowledge obtained from these sites has been transmitted to the general public - and how political, social, and historical factors have affected this transmission of information - and its reception. Antiquity Recovered is an excellent resource for anyone interested in the study of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and their place in popular Western culture.

Related Reviews:

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In this work, Varone provides an overview of eroticism and sexuality in Pompeii, offering the reader an objective introduction into an often overlooked aspect of Roman history.

Gardens of Pompeii, by Annamaria Ciarallo.
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Houses and Monuments of Pompeii, By Roberto Cassanelli, Pier Luigi Ciapparelli, Enrico Colle, and Massimiliano David.
A reproduction of Le case i monumenti di Pompeii by Fausto and Felice Niccolini, with over 270 color illustrations and commentary.

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