Greatest Discoveries: Pompeii
Greatest Discoveries: Lost Lives of Pompeii
The story of Pompeii’s destruction is renowned across the world. In 79 AD, this prosperous Roman town was destroyed by a massive, volcanic eruption. Pompeii became frozen in time, only to be rediscovered c.1500 years later.
Warning: contains very strong language and sexual content.
Vesuvius’ eruption has preserved Pompeii in its final moments. The wealth of archaeology that has been unearthed over the past few centuries here is extraordinary. From gladiator graffiti to political adverts. And amidst all of this archaeology, we even have the names of actual Pompeiians surviving. The stories of everyday people - men and women - who lived and worked all around the town some 2,000 years ago. Not emperors, empresses and generals. But bakers, barmen and prostitutes whose stories are usually lost to history.
Tristan Hughes explores the stories of some of these men and women who called Pompeii home. Wealthy villa owners such as the entrepreneurial businesswoman Julia Felix, who owned a luxurious estate near the amphitheatre and converted part of her property into a restaurant. The plucky bar owner Sextus Amarantus, who imported wines from as far away as Gaza to sell at his establishment. Or the famous freeborn gladiator Marcus Attilius, who defeated a great champion in his very first arena fight.
This documentary explores the lives of the people that made up Pompeii. With access to some of the site’s most extraordinary buildings and interviews with leading experts, it’s a story about everyday life before the eruption.
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Tristan Hughes explores the destruction of Pompeii, using extraordinary eyewitness testimony and the revelations of archaeology to understand what really happened here nearly 2000 years ago.
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