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Level 5

5AACHI45 Pompeii: History and Society

Credit value: 15
Module convenor/tutor 2018/19: Professor Henrik Mouristen & Dr Eoin O'Donoghue
Teaching pattern: 10 x 2-hour lectures (weekly)
Availability: Please see module list for relevant year
Assessment: 2 x 2,000 word essays (higher marked essay is weighted at 70%, while the lower is weighted at 30%)

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

The modules offered in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand: there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary between years.

The surviving buildings, monuments, inscriptions and documents from Pompeii and Herculaneum provide unique information about a wide range of issues, including local administration, social structures and relations, economy and production, public and private art and architecture, the family, gender and sexuality, literacy, and health and nutrition.

The aim of the course is to use the evidence from the Vesuvian towns to draw a comprehensive and detailed picture of public and private life in a Roman town. In doing so it will also examine the methodological issues involved in studying social history on the basis of primary, non-literary sources, which comprise both textual and non-textual material. The course will therefore also examine the destruction of the sites as well as their excavation history.

Suggested introductory reading:

This is suggested reading and purchase of these books is not mandatory.

  • J. Berry, The Complete Pompeii (2007).
  • J. J. Dobbins and P. W. Foss (eds.) The world of Pompeii (2007).
  • R. Ling, Pompeii. History, life and afterlife (2005).
  • A.E. Cooley, Pompeii (2004).
  • P. Zanker, Pompeii. Public and Private Life (1998) 
  • J.-P. Descoeudres (ed.), Pompeii Revisited. The Life and Death of a Roman Town (1994).
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