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Pompeii Revisited: The life and death of a Roman town

The transformation of the town from its status as Roman colony to an Imperial city

The ancient city of Pompeii, on the Campanian coast of Italy, is more than a city frozen in time.

Pompeii was a living, breathing city for several centuries before the eruption of Vesuvius buried the city.

This engaging, 4-week lecture series will chart the evolution of Pompeii from the earliest settlement around the 6th C BC, through its Hellenistic phase, to the Pompeian stand against Rome in the Social War, when Sulla laid siege to the city. We track the transformation of the town from its status as Roman colony to an Imperial city. We examine the growth of the city under the Empire and consider the possibility of decline following a serious earthquake in AD 62 before the destruction of the city in AD 79. We will examine the evidence for date of the eruption and review the impact of the city’s modern discovery and long-term archaeological investigations. We will explore public and private architecture, the artistic life and economic life of the city to gain an understanding of the cultural and archaeological treasure the city represents.

The series will be presented by Jean-Paul Descœudres who taught at the University of Sydney from 1973 until 1996, when he was appointed to the Chair of Classical Archaeology at the University of Geneva. Between 1976 and 1984 he led the Australian Expedition to Pompeii and developed the Rediscovering Pompeii exhibition at the Australian Museum in 1994-95. He is the main author of the well-known volume Pompeii Revisited: The Life and Death of a Roman Town. Jean-Paul currently holds Honorary Professorships at the universities of Sydney and Geneva and is the editor of the peer-reviewed journal Mediterranean Archaeology.



Madsen Building, Fisher Rd, Camperdown NSW 2050, Australia


Saturdays, 10am to 1pm

Saturday 9 February to Saturday 2 March 2019


General public: $100.00
AAIA Members: $70.00
Students: $30.00

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  • Mobility access

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