CLARA Review: Berg, R. & I. Kuivalainen (eds) Domus Pompeiana M. Lucretii IX 3, 5.24. The Inscriptions, Works of Art and Finds from the Old and New Excavations

Commentationes Humanarum Litterarum 136, Societa Scientiarum Fennica. Vantaa 2019, 323 p.


  • Andrew Wallace-Hadrill University of Cambridge



Twenty-five years or so have now slipped by since Piero Guzzo, then Soprintendente of the Archaeological Excavations of Pompei, called on the international community of archaeologists for help. Back then, this incomparable site showed many signs of severe neglect, and large areas were in urgent need of conservation work (more recently, the Grande Progetto Pompei has changed much of that). What made that neglect more reprehensible was the failure to publish adequately what had been excavated. Guzzo instituted a new policy of putting such resources as there were into conservation rather than new excavations, and appealed to the Italian and international academic community to help with the neglected task of study and publication. The initiative turned Pompeii into a beehive of international projects; among those who responded to the call were the Finnish scholars who had a long-standing commitment to the site. As Paavo Castrén explains in his preface, there was a long tradition in Finland going back to the philologist, Veikko Väänänen, carried forward by Heiki Solin and himself; now the University of Helsinki and Institutum Romanum Finlandiae took up the challenge.

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