Release Date
Format Hardcover 352 pages 10.5 x 12.75 inches 339 illustrations, 313 in full color
ISBN-13 978-0-78921-146-0

The first modern survey of the art and architecture of this miraculously preserved Roman town, illustrated with superb new photography.

The bustling life of Herculaneum was brought to a sudden and catastrophic end in AD 79, by the same eruption of Mount Vesuvius that buried the city’s larger neighbor, Pompeii. But while Pompeii was initially covered by a rain of loose pumice, Herculaneum was submerged to a great depth in torrents of superheated ash, which, uniquely, preserved the upper stories of buildings, as well as organic materials such as wooden furnishings and foodstuffs.

This handsome oversized volume opens with an account of Herculaneum’s destruction, and of the excavations, under way since 1738, that have brought at least a part of its treasures back to light. It then describes, in detail, twenty-six of the most important public buildings and private residences that have been uncovered. These include the Samnite House, one of the city’s oldest surviving dwellings, decorated in the elegant and restrained First Style of wall painting; the famous House of the Stags, with its luxurious marble pavements and its garden overlooking the sea; and of course the fantastically wealthy Villa of the Papyri, which has yielded nearly ninety fine statues, as well as the library of manuscripts for which it is named.

The splendid decoration of these ancient structures—in particular, their wall paintings—is presented as never before, thanks to an extensive photographic campaign carried out especially for this book. With these superb illustrations complementing an authoritative text, Herculaneum is sure to be welcomed by all students and enthusiasts of archaeology.

PRAISE FOR HERCULANEUM 

A must-read for archeology buffs and lovers of ancient Roman culture and art, this book evokes a voluptuous culture distant from our own and yet with images so strangely familiar that it will capture the imagination of any student of humanity. — Publishers Weekly

A spectacular collaboration ... This large folio volume provides floor plans, detailed descriptions, and evocative illustrations ... Maria Paola Guidobaldi and Domenico Esposito [employ] meticulous descriptions, finding, remarkably, the right words for every last detail. These accounts make for slow, careful reading, but close description is the only sure way to open our eyes to the full brilliance of such intricate designs, and the two archaeologists’ abilities at putting shapes into words are extraordinary (the book is also exceedingly well translated). — The New York Review of Books

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