Abstract: The Temple of Isis in Pompeii

Lecturer: Molly Swetnam-Burland

The Temple of Isis in Pompeii has long been one of the most famous sites in the city – a favorite stop for those making the ‘Grand Tour’ and still today.  But, how much do we really know of this site, and how it was used?  In this talk, I provide an overview of the sanctuary we think we know: from its reconstruction after the earthquake by a family of freedmen (the main dedicator apparently only six years old at the time!) to the frescos within.  I then present an altogether different view, focusing on the inscriptions found there.  These paint a different picture of the temple’s place in the community of Pompeii, and allow us to understand its elaborate decorations in a new light – in fact, I suggest that many of the frescos and rooms were gifts of specific individuals.

Featured Lecturer

Richard Talbert is the William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor with the History Department of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  He studied Classics at Cambridge University before... Read More

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