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CLS 10 — Pompeii: Life, Death, and Afterlife of a Roman City

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Apr 4—May 23
Time: 7:00—9:05 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Apr 6
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $485
Instructor(s): Patrick R. Crowley
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—9:05 pm (PT)
Apr 4—May 23
8 weeks
Refund Date
Apr 6
1 Unit
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Patrick R. Crowley
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
This course takes an in-depth look at the exceptional and exceptionally preserved city of Pompeii (along with others in the Bay of Naples region, including Herculaneum, Stabiae, and Oplontis) as a microcosm of ancient Roman life. In the late summer or early autumn of 79 CE, Pompeii suffered a cataclysmic event when Mount Vesuvius exploded in a terrible and spectacular fashion, spewing forth a tremendous cloud of ash and pyroclastic debris over the city and its environs. While the disaster claimed the lives of tens of thousands of inhabitants, the peculiar conditions of the eruption preserved the material traces of their daily lives. Students will explore the civic, commercial, and domestic spaces of Pompeii, including its forum, temples and sanctuaries, cemeteries, theaters, brothels, bakeries, and especially its townhouses, which were decorated with brilliant wall paintings, floor mosaics, furniture, and lush portico gardens designed for rest and relaxation from the bustle of city life. Significant attention will also be paid to the archaeological discovery of Pompeii and its neighboring towns in the 18th century as well as its popular reception in painting, film, and other forms of visual culture up to the present.

Associate Curator of European Art, Cantor Arts Center, Stanford

Patrick R. Crowley received a PhD from Columbia University and is the author of The Phantom Image: Seeing the Dead in Ancient Rome. Before joining the Cantor Arts Center, he was an assistant professor of art history at the University of Chicago.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Mary Beard, The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found (ISBN 978-0674045866)