Pompeii: Daily Life in an Ancient Roman City

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Enjoyable I watched these lectures over the last couple of days and I found them very engaging. Dr. Tuck presents the material clearly and knowledgeable. I like that when he hits atopic about which there is controversy he presents that controversy and then his take on it. I was wondering where I should go for a vacation after Covid and I think this course made up my mind for me.
Date published: 2021-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Wonderful Reexamination of a Favorite Topic When we were children, my younger sister and I got our hands on a copy of National Geographic from 1967. Our favorite article was about Pompeii, of which we knew nothing. The pictures of the city, and especially of the plaster casts of bodies, captured our imaginations. Years later we traveled together to Italy to celebrate her 50th birthday. We saw Sicily and could have gone to Rome, but we both passed up Rome for Pompeii. We had to see it for ourselves. It was the trip of a lifetime, and the fulfillment of a childhood ambition. This series of lectures has revived those feelings for me, and shown me so much more than I actually was aware of at the site. Now I may have to go back, now that I have more knowledge of what I am seeing! Thank you!
Date published: 2021-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brings Pompeii to Life Steven Tuck does a great job of talking to you like you're in the room having a conversation about the material. He both drills down into the academic matters and also provides a peek into the everyday experience of people living in this time, making the material approachable, informative, and entertaining. I enjoyed the humor injected into the course as it helped to lighten it up. As someone who had only heard about the eruption and burial of the city of Pompeii, it was fascinating to learn the city's history as a "living" place.
Date published: 2021-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect way to travel during the pandemic I visited Pompeii once many years ago, and wish I had taken this course in advance. I likely will never return to Pompeii, and now I feel that I have had a full, complete and unforgettable visit to the area. Kudos.
Date published: 2021-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Course, Great Lecturer! Excellent course! I have been to Pompeii but feel like I missed so much - although it's obviously hard to grasp and appreciate the full history of the area unless you spend a lifetime studying the classics and Roman archeology as has Professor Tuck. Pompeii - lifestyles, art, architecture, history, conflicts, people and of course, the Vesuvius eruption - is fascinating and Professor Tuck brings all of those aspects to life with his engaging and informative lectures. Excellent use of diagrams and pictures to highlight places and events. The lectures are offered in a sequence that flows well. This is a fantastic course that will hold your interest - highly recommend!
Date published: 2021-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent course I am part of the "plus" family and I am so grateful for this great service. This course was exactly what I was looking for to know about Pompeii.
Date published: 2020-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect This is a perfect Teaching Company course. The instructor is always substantive and informative, which I realize seems like it shouldn’t need to be said, but many a professor squanders lots of time discussing definitions, what to call people, the challenges of interpreting artifacts and writings. Professor Tuck is nothing like that. It’s all information, all the time. You are always learning about events, people, sites, objects. However, what motivated me to write this review were the images. I noticed one reviewer critiqued the images. I find this, frankly, inexplicable. The Teaching Company outdid themselves with the visuals in this course. There are countless images of Pompeii itself. There are several reproductions presented in studio. And there are also countless very helpful maps and diagrams. The relevant portions are highlighted as Professor Tuck speaks, clarifying bits of information appear on the images, sometimes they zoom into the relevant portions. It was these maps, diagrams, and even animations that specifically motivated me to write this. I imagine many a viewer take these images for granted, but they add immeasurably to the clarity of the course. So, whoever was in charge of creating these images, thank you! This course is rich with information and it is obvious that great care went into its preparation. I couldn’t recommend it more highly.
Date published: 2020-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So Much More Than This is everything I did not need to know about Pompeii. Lecture One peaked my interest and by Lecture 24, I knew I would miss these people. Excellent lecturer giving details of his experiences and joy of discovery made it exciting for me as well. I would recommend this course to anyone. I may not be a whole lot smarter, but definitely a whole lot more energized.
Date published: 2020-11-11
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Pompeii: Daily Life in an Ancient Roman City
Course Trailer
Reflections on and of Pompeii
1: Reflections on and of Pompeii

No archaeological site in the world has such an evocative name as Pompeii. And yet, when most people hear this name, they think of destruction. In this introduction, gain an overview of the course and begin to consider why the remains of Pompeii offer more than just a story of a cataclysm.

33 min
Geology and Geography on the Bay of Naples
2: Geology and Geography on the Bay of Naples

Both the land and humankind helped to shape Pompeii. Examine the violent geological forces that forged the distinctive region of the Bay of Naples, trace its influence on the surrounding geography, and learn about the various cultures that contributed to life in this area.

30 min
The Rediscovery of Vesuvian Lands
3: The Rediscovery of Vesuvian Lands

Archaeological finds from the area were unearthed starting around 1594-centuries after the eruption that buried them. Uncover the history of Pompeii's excavation in the 1700s, from the kings who plundered its artwork to the modern scholars who sought another kind of treasure: information.

29 min
Etruscan Pompeii-5th Century B.C.
4: Etruscan Pompeii-5th Century B.C.

While the last days of Pompeii have attracted popular attention, the city was a thriving cultural center centuries before its destruction. In this lecture, delve deep into Pompeii's remote Etruscan history and explore what life was like in this ancient pre-Roman settlement.

30 min
Samnite Pompeii-2nd Century B.C.
5: Samnite Pompeii-2nd Century B.C.

Centuries after the establishment of Etruscan Pompeii, the city was invaded by a new people, the Samnites. Witness the conquest of the city by these invaders and consider how Pompeii was redefined and expanded by its new inhabitants.

29 min
Building the Roman Colony-80 B.C.
6: Building the Roman Colony-80 B.C.

Encounter the first Roman inhabitants of Pompeii. Learn how Pompeii became a Roman colony and take a tour of the city as viewed through the eyes of two of its chief magistrates.

28 min
Villa of the Papyri and Life with Piso
7: Villa of the Papyri and Life with Piso

Despite its history of conquest and invasion, ancient Pompeii was not all mayhem and military occupation. See a different side of Roman elite culture by visiting one of the grandest and best-preserved private dwellings from the ancient world: the Villa of the Papyri.

29 min
Marriage and Mysteries-Rites of Dionysus
8: Marriage and Mysteries-Rites of Dionysus

In the first of three lectures investigating women's lives in Pompeii, explore the rituals of marriage. Follow along as a Roman girl is initiated into the worship of Dionysus on the eve of her wedding, and then attend the nuptials.

29 min
Eumachia, Public Priestess
9: Eumachia, Public Priestess

Continue your exploration of the lives of Pompeian women as you attend the funeral of a powerful priestess. Learn about her background, achievements, and aspirations, and gain insights into the roles available to women in Roman culture.

29 min
A Female Slave in Pompeii
10: A Female Slave in Pompeii

After examining the exalted life of a priestess, move to the other end of the social scale and follow a day in the life of a slave girl, Chryseis. As she carries out her duties, gain a grasp of the role of the lowliest workers in this culture and trace the contours of everyday life in Pompeii.

28 min
Governing in the 1st Century A.D.
11: Governing in the 1st Century A.D.

What made a Roman city run? Discover the answer to this question by focusing on two levels of officials in Pompeii, the duoviri (chief magistrates) and the aediles (their assistants). Follow these officials as they perform their typical tasks of government....

29 min
Games and Competition for Offices
12: Games and Competition for Offices

One of the most familiar images of ancient Rome is the clash of the gladiators. Go behind the scenes with one Pompeian politician as he plans a gladiatorial spectacle to help launch his son's career.

31 min
Riot in the Amphitheater-A.D. 59
13: Riot in the Amphitheater-A.D. 59

Continue your consideration of the gladiatorial games and learn about a major crisis in Pompeian life: a riot in the amphitheater that was sparked between the city's inhabitants and fans from a rival city. Trace the factors that led to this catastrophe, the event itself, and its aftermath.

30 min
The House of the Tragic Poet
14: The House of the Tragic Poet

Tour the house that was the setting for the famous historical novel The Last Days of Pompeii, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Trace the activities of the owner, guests, and visitors, and consider how the design and artwork of the house reflect the life of prosperous Pompeians....

28 min
Pompeii's Wool Industry
15: Pompeii's Wool Industry

In the first of two lectures exploring the industrial life of Pompeii, enter the world of wool workers by visiting a typical fullonica-the ancient equivalent of a modern dry-cleaner. Investigate the methods, tools, and workspace used by these service people....

29 min
Pompeii's Wine and Vineyards
16: Pompeii's Wine and Vineyards

Continue your consideration of Pompeii's key industries with a tour of two preserved vineyards. Gleaning information from these two farms, as well as handbooks from the day, investigate the process of growing, pressing, and fermenting grapes, and storing wine.

29 min
Earthquake-A.D. 62
17: Earthquake-A.D. 62

In a precursor to the eruption that would later bury the city in A.D. 79, Pompeii experienced a cataclysmic earthquake. Uncover evidence of this quake and look further afield at its effects, including a tsunami that crippled Rome's food supply.

32 min
Rebuilding after the Earthquake
18: Rebuilding after the Earthquake

After the destructive earthquake of A.D. 62, the officials of Pompeii undertook a remarkable rebuilding effort. Survey the structures that post-date this event, and examine what the rebuilding efforts suggest about the changing culture of Pompeii at the time of the quake.

29 min
Wall Paintings in the House of the Vettii
19: Wall Paintings in the House of the Vettii

The House of the Vettii at Pompeii is one of the best-decorated and best-preserved domestic spaces from the ancient Roman world. Explore what the house and its wall paintings can tell us about the former slaves who built a prosperous life there.

30 min
A Pompeian Country Club
20: A Pompeian Country Club

Take a tour of the Praedia of Julia Felix, a large complex that included a remarkable collection of baths, shops, and garden dining rooms, all decorated with an amazing selection of paintings, statues, inscriptions, and furnishings.

30 min
Worshipping the Emperors at Herculaneum
21: Worshipping the Emperors at Herculaneum

When Vesuvius erupted, it also buried Pompeii's neighboring town of Herculaneum. With local priest Aulus Lucius Proculus as your guide, explore the city's public spaces, including the city baths, a wine shop, and a shrine to the Roman emperor.

29 min
Visiting a Villa at Stabiae
22: Visiting a Villa at Stabiae

Perched high atop the cliffs of the Bay of Naples, the spectacular villa at Stabiae offers a unique opportunity to glimpse elite life in ancient Rome. Imagine the life of the privileged residents as you trace the villa's complex architectural design and examine its decor and artwork.

28 min
Pliny Narrates the Eruption of Vesuvius
23: Pliny Narrates the Eruption of Vesuvius

Thanks to the letters of Pliny the Younger, the eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 79 is the only ancient natural disaster for which we have an eyewitness account. Follow the harrowing narrative of destruction and compare the effects on Pompeii to the experience of the inhabitants of nearby Herculaneum.

30 min
The Bay of Naples after Vesuvius
24: The Bay of Naples after Vesuvius

The majority of Pompeians did not perish in the eruption that buried their city. Examine efforts by the imperial government under the emperor Titus to aid and resettle refugees, and follow the experiences of a family after the eruption.

29 min
Steven L. Tuck

We're going to introduce the visual markers that serve to tell Romans about class interaction and the importance of urban spaces that create and impose Roman imperial identity and serve in ways that we would use literate works.

ALMA MATER

University of Michigan

INSTITUTION

Miami University

About Steven L. Tuck

Professor Steven L. Tuck is Professor of Classics at Miami University. After earning his B.A. in History and Classics at Indiana University, he received his Ph.D. in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. He held the postdoctoral Arthur and Joyce Gordon Fellowship in Latin epigraphy at The Ohio State University.

An esteemed teacher, Professor Tuck received the 2013 E. Phillips Knox Teaching Award, Miami University’s highest honor for innovative and effective undergraduate teaching. In addition, the Archaeological Institute of America, North America’s oldest and largest organization devoted to archaeology, presented him with its Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2014. He also has been named a Distinguished Scholar and an Altman Faculty Scholar at Miami University.

Professor Tuck has conducted archaeological fieldwork and research in Italy, Greece, England, and Egypt. He has directed more than a dozen study tours in Italy, concentrated on the city of Rome and the area around the Bay of Naples, including Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the Island of Capri. He has given more than 50 public lectures, including as a national lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America.

Professor Tuck is the author of numerous articles featured in international journals on such topics as the lives of sailors in the Roman navy, the schedule of gladiatorial games at Pompeii, the decorative program of the amphitheater at Capua, the professional organizations of spectacle performers, Roman sculpture, and triumphal imagery across the ancient Roman world. He is the author of the forthcoming A History of Roman Art, a lavishly illustrated introduction to the topic.

Professor Tuck has taught two previous Great Courses: Pompeii: Daily Life in an Ancient Roman City and Experiencing Rome: A Visual Exploration of Antiquity’s Greatest Empire.

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