By William Gell
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2010
Online Publication Date:March 2012
Original Publication Year:1832
Subjects: Classical art and architecture , Classical studies (general)
Sir William Gell (1777–1836) was a British archaeologist well known for his drawings of sites and objects of classical interest. Gell published this new, two-volume edition of his Pompeiana in 1832, in an effort to describe the latest archaeological discoveries in the Roman city destroyed by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE. Concerned 'that time will incalculably diminish the freshness of those objects … stripped of their external coats by the rains of winter or the burning suns of summer', he made it his task to describe what he had seen both through description and through his own numerous illustrations. In this first volume, Gell focuses on sites including the forum, baths, and the temple of Fortune. Pompeiana reveals both the history of the excavations, the individual finds, and the processes of field archaeology itself during a more romantic age.