Pompeii

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Pompeii

(pŏmpā`, Ital. pōmpĕ`ē), ancient city of S Italy, a port near Naples and at the foot of Mt. VesuviusVesuvius
, Ital. Vesuvio, active volcano, S Italy, on the eastern shore of the Bay of Naples, SE of Naples. The only other active volcano on the European mainland is the Campi Flegrei (se Phlegraean Fields) caldera on the Gulf of Pozzuoli to the east.
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. Possibly an old Oscan settlement, it was a Samnite city for centuries before it passed under Roman rule at the time of Lucius Cornelius Sulla (1st cent. B.C.). Pompeii was not only a flourishing port but a prosperous and cosmopolitan resort with many villas. An earthquake in A.D. 63 did much damage, and an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79 (which was described by Pliny the Younger) buried Pompeii, along with HerculaneumHerculaneum
, ancient city of S Italy, on the gulf of Naples at the foot of Mt. Vesuvius. Damaged by an earthquake in A.D. 63, it was completely buried, along with Pompeii, by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79.
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 and Stabiae, under cinders and ashes that preserved the ruins of the city with magnificent completeness—down to the fresh colors of the wall paintings.

The long-forgotten site of the city was rediscovered in 1748 and has been sporadically excavated since that time. The habits and manners of life in Roman times have been revealed in great detail at Pompeii by the plan of the streets and footpaths, the statue-decorated public buildings, and the simple shops and homes of the artisans. The houses and villas have yielded rare and beautiful examples of Roman art. Among the most famous are the house of the Vetti, the villa of the Mysteries, and, in the suburbs of Pompeii, the villa of the Boscoreale.

Bibliography

See A. W. Van Buren, A Companion to the Study of Pompeii and Herculaneum (1933); M. Brion, Pompeii and Herculaneum (tr. 1960); A. Maiuri, Pompeian Wall Paintings (1960); D. Taylor, Pompeii and Vesuvius (1969); M. Grant, Cities of Vesuvius (1971); W. Jongman, The Economy and Society of Pompeii (1988); P. Zanker, Pompeii: Public and Private Life (tr. 1999); J. Berry, The Complete Pompeii (2007); M. Beard, The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found (2009); E. de Albentis, Secrets of Pompeii: Everyday Life in Ancient Rome (2009).

Pompeii

(1592)
An ancient city southeast of Naples that was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The ruins of Pompeii were first discovered in 1592. Excavations of the ruins did not begin until 1709.

Pompeii

 

(until 1928, Valle di Pompei), a city in southern Italy, in the region of Campania, Naples Province. Pompeii is situated along the Gulf of Naples, at the base of Mount Vesuvius, 22 km southeast of the city of Naples. Population, 22,700 (1968). Most of Pompeii’s work force is engaged in the tourist industry. The city has a paper mill, other small industrial enterprises, and a geophysical observatory.

Nearby the modern city of Pompeii are the ruins of the ancient Roman city, which was destroyed when Vesuvius erupted in August A.D. 79. Excavations of the ancient city, which was covered by pumice stones and ashes, have been conducted since the mid-18th century. In the 1940’s and 1950’s the director of the excavations was the Italian archaeologist A. Maiuri. A large part of the city, a necropolis at the city gates, and suburban villas have been discovered.

Remains from the second century B.C. include the ruins of a forum (with a colonnade known as the Basilica) and the Temple of Apollo. The Temple of Jupiter, the building of priestess Eumachia (cloth market), the macellum (meat market), and the baths belong to the first century B.C. Also preserved are the remains of a triangular forum with a Doric temple (sixth century B.C.), a theater (third to first centuries B.C.), an odeum (first century B.C.), and an amphitheater (first century B.C.). There are numerous dwellings (atrium, atrium-peristyle, and terrace-atrium types), which are decorated with sculpture, mosaics, and frescoes.

Pompeian wall decoration is divided into four styles. The first style, called incrustation, dates from the second through the early first century B.C. The incrustation style imitates marble facing. The second, or architec tural, style dates roughly from 80 to 30 B.C. It creates the illusion of an architectural composition and deals with such subject matter as landscapes and mythology. The third, or ornate, style belongs to the first half of the first century A.D. Its symmetrical, ornamental compositions depict mythological scenes and landscapes. The fourth Pompeian wall style, called the intricate, dates from about A.D. 63 through the early second century. Fantastic archit ectural constructions predominate in this style.

Since Pompeii was engulfed suddenly, the contents of dwellings, shops, restaurants, and public buildings remained in situ. Consequently, the city is an important source of information on the economy, life, culture, and art of the Roman Empire in the first century A.D.

REFERENCES

Pompeianskie rospisi(album). Leningrad-Moscow, 1937.
Sergeenko, M. E. Pompei. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
Carrington, R. C. Pompeii Oxford, 1936.
Maiuri, A. Pompei. Rome, 1928.
Maiuri, A. Pompei. Rome, 1937. (Guide.)
Beyen, H. G. Die pompejanische Wanddekoration, vols. 1–2. The Hague, 1938–60.

Pompeii

Roman city buried by eruption of Mt. Vesuvius (79). [Rom. Hist.: NCE, 2187]

Pompeii

an ancient city in Italy, southeast of Naples: buried by an eruption of Vesuvius (79 ad); excavation of the site, which is extremely well preserved, began in 1748