Spotlight Lecture

At Home with the Rich in the Roman World – Tuesday 8 December

Tuesday 8 December


With Dr. Eireann Marshall

The lives of the wealthy come to life in the cities destroyed by Vesuvius. Walking through the domus of these cities, including the House of Octavius Quartio and House of Menander in Pompeii as well as the House of the Wooden Partition in Herculaneum, we can gauge how much the lives of the elites were played out in the public arena. Passers-by could see right through the vestibule and atrium to see the master of the house sitting in his tablinum, his office, first thing in the morning waiting for clients who would be waiting on the benches which can still be seen right outside their houses. From these houses, we get an idea of how the elites displayed their wealth and their learning on the frescoes lining their walls and the mosaics decorating their floors, as well as the gardens and peristyles which brought precious light and sweet smelling flowers into their homes.

The domus of the rich in both Vesuvian cities provide glimpses of domestic religion with a number of shrines or lararia found inside the houses, some complete with votive statues. The elites living in Pompeii and Herculaneum were in constant competition with one another and their houses, with which they were closely identified, were an important expression of their status. Alongside them, there was an increasingly wealthy group of freedmen enriched by trade who strived to ensure their offspring gained entry into the higher echelons; while these weren’t allowed access to political power, they asserted their wealth by imitating the tastes of the elites.

This Spotlight Lecture explores the world of the elites and wealthy freedmen in Pompeii and Herculaneum, from the creature comforts they were afforded to the art they hoped would increase their standing.

Spotlight Lecture

Lasting 60 minutes plus a live Q&A session, our spotlight lecture offer a focussed study of aspects found in art, history and literature while combining our exclusive filming, advanced visual aids and the enthusiastic expertise of our lecturers.

Your Lecturer

Dr Eireann Marshall

Dr Eireann Marshall is a Research Associate and Associate Lecturer with the Open University. She has published a number of articles on Ancient North Africa, and co-edited volumes on 'Death and Disease in the Ancient City' and ‘Women’s influence on Classical Civilisation’. Eireann has led many tours for specialist tour operators, to Italy and North Africa. In 2019 she was awarded Wanderlust Magazine's Top History & Culture Guide at its World Guide Awards.

Event Details

Date: 8 December 2020

Start time: 18:00 GMT

End time: 19:00 GMT

Venue: Zoom Lecture


Internet Requirements

    Your Cart
    Your cart is empty