Weird to find ourselves in a post-trials world this week! But in spirit of winding down gently I went to the North Bristol post 16 centre to talk to the Year 12 Classical Studies Group about the reception of Pompeii, inevitably using the model as an example of how Pompeii might be re-imagined and what motivations might lie behind such imaginations. I weaved that into the much bigger story of Pompeii’s enduring appeal – using film posters (Steve Reeves in his tiny outfit playing the muscle part in a 1950s Last Days of Pompeii that would make Lytton’s eyes water), Primo Levi’s poem, La Bambina di Pompei, which uses a body cast of a young girl to think about the child victims of Second World War atrocities and a New York Times article from 2001 comparing Ground Zero to Pompeii. It was an excellent session and the students had lots of great ideas, reminding me, as if I needed it, of what a great case study Pompeii is for exploring the ideas tackled in this project.


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