kiwisue (kiwisue) wrote,

Pompeii and the Roman Navy

Almost the end of August and the first signs of spring have arrived. On Saturday we shook off the drab days and the banal stupidity of current events with a trip to the ANMM at Darling Harbour for the "Escape from Pompeii" exhibition. It was small but interesting, although the title was a little misleading. The conceit was that it was all about Pliny the Elder’s supposed rescue mission across the Bay of Naples on the first day of the eruption in 79 CE.

Except the story of the fleet sailing was written in a letter to the historian Tacitus by Pliny the Younger (nephew) who fails to mention anyone at all being rescued. Pliny the Elder was actually responding to a personal appeal from a friend, and that mission and Pliny’s resultant death make up most of what we know, because the nephew says, "…nor indeed did you express a wish to be told of anything except of my uncle's death." Because all else was unimportant to history, apparently.

Really the exhibit was half about Pompeii and the other half about the Roman navy, which is how they shoehorned it into the ANMM, I suppose. And I liked the poster (although the sea is rather too calm):

Fleet to Pompeii.JPG

This pendant necklace carrying a figure of Isis-Fortuna – she carries a cornucopia and rudder that are hard to see in the photo – made me think of Deomiorix in Miles Scortillusque:

Fortuna pendant.jpg

And I didn't get a decent photo of this leaping centaur lamp stand, but I found a better pic from the museum in Cincinnati they must have borrowed it from [ETA: or maybe Cincinnati just had it for a similar exhibit as it doesn't say it's from their collection]:

Centaur CincyMus.JPG

ION – apparently livejournal have implemented the https: [source lj_news].

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