Beginning in 1709, when their antiquities first were recovered, Pompeii and Herculaneum have exercised the
historical imagination of the West. This volume presents a diverse array of responses to the sites, tracing how
perceptions of the past have changed over the course of three centuries of excavationswhat the editors call "the strata of interpretation." The thirteen essays range in subject from a reassessment of the contents of the library
at Herculaneum's Villa of the Papyri to the symbolic appearance of the ancient world in such films as Roberto Rossellini's Voyage in Italy and Jean-Luc Godard's Contempt.
Antiquity Recovered explores the complexities of "the reception of the past" and helps enhance our understanding of the roles these cities have played, and continue to play, in Western culture.
Victoria C. Gardner Coates is a lecturer in the Department of the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania. Jon L. Seydl is associate curator of paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum.