Beginning in 1709, when their antiquities first were recovered,
Pompeii and Herculaneum have exercised the historical imagination
of the West. This volume presents a diverse array of response to
the sites, tracing how perceptions of the past have changed over
the course of three centuries of excavations, what the editors call
"the strata of interpretation." The thirteen essays range in
subject from a reassessment of the contents of the library at
Herculaneum's Villa of the Papyri to the symbolic appearance of the
ancient world in such films as Roberto Rossellini's Voyage in Italy
and Jean-Luc Godard's Contempt.
Antiquity Recovered explores the complexities of "the reception of
the past" and helps enhance our understanding of the roles these
cities have played, and continue to play, in Western culture.
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