Leisure & Luxury in the Age of Nero: The Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii

Leisure & Luxury in the Age of Nero: The Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii

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This heavily illustrated volume, like the exhibition it accompanied, documents the lavish lifestyle of ancient Rome's wealthiest citizens along the Bay of Naples until AD 79, when the eruption of Mount Vesuvius buried many surrounding towns and villas.

In 2006, with the support of the Italian Ministry of Culture, John R. Clarke assembled a team of 46 scholars--including himself--to study the art and archaeology of two amazing Roman villas near Pompeii, at a site called Oplontis. One is a luxury villa with stunning wall paintings and sculptures; the other a busy wine-bottling emporium.

The book presents a collection of essays by an international group of scholars who highlight and interpret the archaeological discoveries of both the Italian excavations at Villa A and Oplontis ("Villa") B from 1964 to 1991 and the ongoing Oplontis Project, a collaboration between the Archaeological Superintendency of Pompeii and the University of Texas at Austin. Many of the authors are members of the Oplontis Project team. 

  • Published 2016, Kelsey Museum
  • Paperback, 288 pages in color
  • Author John R. Clarke is Regents Professor of Art History and Classical Archaeology at the University of Texas. He has worked for over forty years on ancient Italy (100 BCE-300 CE), with a focus on how art reflected the tastes and beliefs of the Romans.
  • Contains a full catalogue of the objects in the original exhibition

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