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Classicist Andrew Wallace-Hadrill to Lecture About Preserving the Past Buried by Vesuvius in 79 A.D.

Classicist and Roman social and cultural historian Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, director of the Herculaneum Conservation Project and master of Sidney Sussex College in England, will lecture at Washington and Lee University on Tuesday, March 23, at 7 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater in the Elrod Commons.

The title of the talk is “Herculaneum: Living with Catastrophe,” and it is free and open to the public.

The overall aim of the Herculaneum Conservation Project (HCP) is to safeguard and conserve, to enhance, and to advance the knowledge, understanding and public appreciation of the ancient site of Herculaneum and its artifacts. Many cities, towns and villas were buried by Vesuvius in 79 A.D., including Herculaneum and the better-known town of Pompeii.

The HCP has involved new excavation and new discoveries, as well as collaboration with engineers, surveyors, geologists, chemists, volcanologists, paleobiologists, archaeologists, architects and conservators.

Its main objectives are to slow down the rate of decay across the entire site; to test and implement long-term strategies appropriate for Herculaneum; to provide a basis of knowledge and documentation of Herculaneum; to acquire new archaeological knowledge about Herculaneum to help in its preservation; to conserve, document, publish and improve access to the artifacts found in excavations there; and to promote greater knowledge of and discussion about Herculaneum.

Sidney Sussex College, of which Wallace-Hadrill is master, is a college of the University of Cambridge, and was founded in 1596. Wallace-Hadrill was professor of classics at the University of Reading from 1987; has been editor of the leading journal in his field, the Journal of Roman Studies; and was visiting professor at Princeton in 1991. Since 1995, he has been the director of the British School at Rome, the largest and most dynamic of the British Research institutes abroad; he continued at the University of Reading while there.

Wallace-Hadrill’s major books and articles include a study of the first-century Latin writer Suetonius, “Suetonius: The Scholar and His Caesars” (Yale University Press, 1984); a social history of the Roman house, “Houses and Society in Pompeii and Herculaneum” which won the Archaeological Institute of America’s James R. Wiseman Award in 1995; and “Rome’s Cultural Revolution” (Cambridge University Press, 2008).

The visit and public lecture by Andrew Wallace-Hadrill is made possible through a gift by Walter and Judy Hoyt. Dr. Hoyt Sr. is a member of the class of 1974 and their son, Dr. Walter Hoyt Jr., is a member of the class of 2005.