• Pompeii - The Life of a Roman Town

  • By: Mary Beard
  • Narrated by: Phyllida Nash
  • Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 04-30-10
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.9 (27 ratings)

Regular price: $20.99

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Publisher's Summary

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, which was probably less than ten per cent of the population. These are just a few of the strands that make up an extraordinary and involving portrait of an ancient town, its life and its continuing re-discovery, by Britain’s leading classicist.
©2008 Mary Beard (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Paul on 12-16-12

Brings the past to life

What did you love best about Pompeii - The Life of a Roman Town?

An well researched well written piece of detailed history about what it was like to live in Pompeii in the lead up to it being buried under the ash and lava from the volcanic eruption. The author debunks many of the popular myths about life in Pompeii and Roman life generally as she bases her story about the town on detailed archaeological and contempory document evidence.

She covers every facet of life in town, what the roads would have been like, the local politics, the everyday life of the rich and poor.

A very interesting history, well written and well read.

Highly recommend.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Erik on 09-06-12

Good study of Pompeii

Any additional comments?

A solid history book with good narration. This would be a tough slog unless you have a genuine interest in Roman history. This would best be reviewed before or after a visit to the town itself.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 03-03-13

Roman Life revealed

Mary Beard has a friendly, informal style that makes this book much more palatable then many others. It discusses at length various aspects of Roman life as illustrated or suggested by Roman remains, particularly in Pompeii of course, backed up by literary and other sources. It is not afraid to say when it is guessing, nor to disagree with the theories of others, and gives the impression of a common sense approach, including using 'bad language' when translating Roman graffiti. The book covers a lot of interesting material, and is both informative and entertaining in a way that all history books should seek to match.

The reader does an excellent job of both reading the text well yet retaining a slightly informal, almost chatty style which works perfectly with the book. Flawlessly read, I found her very easy to listen to and ideally suited to the job. Certainly a book well worth hearing if you have any interest in the ordinary lives and loves of our ancient ancestors.

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37 of 37 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By I, on 05-18-10


Mary Beard is of course a renowned classicist, but while you might think that would make her a reclusive, anti-charismatic genius-type, in fact she has been gifted with an incredible ability to express herself, and to entertain while educating. Her demagogic talent seems to transfer almost unpolluted to paper, and from there back to speech. The style of this book is bordering on conversational, so that you feel neither baffled nor patronised. A perfect listen for long journeys, quick revision or bed-bound, and a genuinely enjoyable one.

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51 of 53 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Eloise on 10-21-15


Great work! The writing is excellent - well structured sentences with content perfectly balancing emotion and factual information.

The narrator is fantastic - very easy listening because her speed of reading, accent and expression is wonderful.

I highly recommend this! Wish I had of found it before visiting Pompeii but has inspired me to revisit again.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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