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

Edited by Elaine K. Gazda and John R. Clarke

Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero
Paperback, 288 pages £29.00
Published: 2016
ISBN: 9780990662341
Format: 279mm x 216mm
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Subjects: Archaeology, Art & Art History, Kelsey Museum Publications
Series: Kelsey Museum Publications

This heavily illustrated volume, like the exhibition it accompanies, 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.

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 since 2006.

Many of the authors are members of the Oplontis Project team. The volume also contains a full catalogue of the objects in the exhibition.

452 illustrations.

List of Figures

Presentazione/Introduction (Massimo Osanna)

Premessa/Preface (Lorenzo Fergola)

Mibact a Oplontis/Mibact at Oplontis (Antonella Bonini)

Foreword/Prefazione (Christopher Ratté)

Acknowledgments (Elaine K. Gazda and John R. Clarke)

Concepts and Contexts of the Exhibition- Elaine K. Gazda and John R. Clarke

Villas on the Bay of Naples: The Ancient Setting of Oplontis- Elaine K. Gazda

PART I: destruction, discovery, reconstruction

The Geological Landscape of Oplontis and the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius- Nayla Kabazi Muntasser and Giovanni Di Maio

From the Archives to the Field: Revisiting Villa A and Oplontis B- John R. Clarke

Ten Seasons of Excavation at Oplontis (2006–2015)- Ivo van der Graaff

Digital Imaging at Oplontis- John R. Clarke, Richard Beacham, Andrew Coulson,Timothy Liddell, and Marcus Abbott

part ii: Leisure and Luxury in viLLa a “of poppaea”

Framing Views in Villa A: From the Late Republic to the Age of Nero- Michael L. Thomas

Layered Histories: The Wall Painting Styles and Painters of VillaA - Regina Gee

The Gardens and Garden Paintings of Villa A- Bettina Bergmann

Luxury in Fantasy and Reality: Exotic Marble in Villa A- Lynley J. McAlpine

Marble Floors and Paneled Walls in the East Wing of Villa A- Simon J. Barker

The Cost of Luxury: Procurement and Labor for the Marble Décor of Villa A- J. Clayton Fant and Simon J. Barker

Calculating the Manpower for the Marble Décor of the Villa- Simon J. Barker

Mutable Meanings in the Sculpture from Villa A- Elaine K. Gazda and Matthew C. Naglak

Thinking about Roman Slaves at Villa A- Sandra R. Joshel and Lauren Hackworth Petersen

part iii: coMMerce and WeaLth

Oplontis B and the Wine Industry in the Vesuvian Area - Michael L. Thomas

Working and Living in Oplontis B: Material Perspectives on Trade and Consumption -Jennifer L. Muslin

Luxury, Adornment, and Identity: The Skeletons and Jewelry from Oplontis B- Courtney A. Ward

part iv : objects in the exhibition

Leisure and Luxury in Villa A “of Poppaea”

Commerce and Wealth at Oplontis B

Appendix: Villa A Publication Plan (as of August 2015)

Timeline, Notes

Glossary / Historical People and Places

Bibliography, Contributors to the Volume


Elaine K. Gazda is Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology in the Department of the History of Art and Curator of Hellenistic and Roman Collections at the Kelsey Museum. She was Director of the Kelsey Museum from 1986 to 1997.

John R. Clarke  is Professor of Art History in the Department of Classics at the University of Texas at Austin. He is co-director of the Oplontis Project.

Dr Lynley J. McAlpineisCuratorial Assistant, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology.

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 288 pages
 279mm x 216mm

BIC Code:
  ART015060, HIS002000, HIS039000, SOC003000
 Kelsey Museum Publications


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