A visit to Pompeii should be on everyone’s bucket list. It is absolutely eerie walking down the paving stones, looking at the ruts made by the chariots and carts, seeing the blackened loaves of ossified bread the baker had just taken out of the oven and the plaster casts of the long-dead victims, their faces frozen in gasping terror.
It is also absolutely marvelous to see how well-preserved the art still is. Pompeii was like the Hamptons of Rome, an escape for the wealthy citizens who wanted to be near the sea and away from the swampy and muggy Roman weather. The walls of the large villas are covered in frescoes depicting gods and goddesses; the frescoes in the brothel are imaginatively X-rated.
The American Journal of Archeology has just published a study of the Nilotic scenes found in the garden of the Casa dell’Efebo, and they are stunning.
Evidently the Romans were as interested in Egyptian culture as we still are.