At Rome’s Colosseum, Display Showcases Riches of Pompeii Within its Walls

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Currents News Staff

The Colosseum’s wide walkways now include a remnant of Pompeii, the city with which Rome strengthened its ties in the fourth century AD, during its expansion.

“This display covers four centuries of history, from the end of the fourth century BC to 79 AD,” said Alfonsina Russo, Colosseum Director. “The volcanic eruption that destroyed Pompeii also guaranteed that its memory would live on in history. Thanks to the frescoes and other cultural artifacts from Pompeii that survived, we were able to partly reconstruct what this part of Rome would have looked like.”

Pompeii was a city of commerce. That’s why the exhibition includes a recreation of the inside of a merchant ship.

“These are original amphoras,” said Maurizio Di Puolo. “They carried wine in those days. They’re not replicas. They would place straw between them to soften the impacts. The ship could carry 600 amphoras, each able to hold 20 liters of wine or oil. It was an extremely valuable load.”

“The merchants from Pompeii were very active in the Mediterranean,” said Alfonsina. “In some way they represented Rome. They were also Rome’s merchants.”

The exhibition includes statues of Roman gods and important people from Pompeii who made a fortune thanks to commerce… but not only. Part of Pompeii’s wealth came from gifts from people like Lucio Mummio, who completed the conquest of Ancient Greece. He conquered cities like Corinth, where St. Paul would later preach, just a few years before Pompeii’s disappearance.