ROOTS Public Lecture Series by JMA-Chair Miko Flohr

Jun 21, 2023 from 04:00 PM

Kunsthalle Kiel,Düsternbrooker Weg 1, 24105 Kiel

Miko Flohr (Leiden University, Netherlands)

Wealth and Poverty in the Roman Empire - the case of Pompeii

Ever since its first discovery, Pompeii speaks to our imagination: an ancient city, almost perfectly preserved, full of beautiful art and everyday objects. While modern archaeologists have been particularly interested in the city’s art and architecture, and in the lives of the urban elite, Pompeii was a city full of social diversity, with extremely rich and extremely poor (and everything in between) living often directly next to each other and using the same urban space. This begs the question of how Pompeii - and with it Roman cities more in general - looked like through the eyes of the different people making up its community. Was Pompeii a different city if you were a wealthy member of the local city council than if you were part of the larger urban populace, and living in a modestly sized house? How did the city look like when you were socially dependent of others, or even held as a slave in one of the elite households? What does that diversity mean for our understanding of the Roman Empire more in general? And has it also something to say about the way we may look at our own cities?

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