Title: Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town
Author: Mary Beard
Website: Mary Beard
Narrator: Phyllida Nash
Publisher: Audible Studios
Website: Audible Studios
Listening Length: 12h:35m
Synopsis: Pompeii explodes a number of myths - among them, the very date of the eruption (probably a few months later than usually thought), the hygiene of the baths which must have been hotbeds of germs; the legendary number of brothels (most likely only one), and the death count (probably less than ten per cent of the population). These are just a few of the strands that make up an engaging portrait of the ancient town, its life and its continuing re-discovery.
A wonderful journey into the ordinary lives of those who lived in Pompeii before and during the time of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD. This is a very accessible book for the non-expert; the engaging style by Beard keeps one’s interest throughout the book, helped by the very capable narration of Phyllida Nash. As a reader (or listener) you get a very good understanding of the way in which the town operated, including its society and socially hierarchy, economics and politics, and the entertainment offered, including the theatre and gladiatorial stadium. Did you know, for example, it was the poorer folk of Pompeii that tended to eat out and the richer people that tended to eat at home?
What others thought at the time of writing
Amazon.co.uk; 257 reviews, of which 96% were 3* or more, giving an average of 4.5*
Amazon.com; 40 reviews, of which 95% were 3* or more, giving an average of 4.4*
Goodreads.com; 2,115 ratings (260 reviews), with 97% of 3* or more, giving an average of 4.1*
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