views updated May 17 2018

Herculaneum. Roman city near Naples, buried after the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79. Its rediscovery in C18 and excavation (from 1738) proved to be a potent catalyst in Neo-Classicism, especially as the finds were documented in Le Antichità di Ercolano (The Antiquities of Herculaneum—1757–92) and sumptuously illustrated. The artefacts were particularly influential because they revealed much about domestic furnishings and the lives of ordinary Romans. As with Pompeii (which was actually found later than Herculaneum), the excavations gave countless motifs to designers that were ingredients of Neo-Classical schemes, notably the Etruscan, Pompeian, Adam, Empire, and Regency styles. Die schönsten Ornamente und merkwürdigsten Gemälde aus Pompeji, Herkulanum und Stabiae (The Most Beautiful and Remarkable Paintings from Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabia—1828–59) by Wilhelm Zahn (1800–71) provided a rich and accurate source for C19 designers, with its many chromolithographed plates.


Hornblower & and Spawforth (1996);
Lewis & and Darley (1986)


views updated May 21 2018

Herculaneum Ancient city on the Bay of Naples, Italy, the site of modern Resina. Devastated by an earthquake in ad 62, it was buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79. Archaeological excavations unearthed the Villa of the Papyri, which contained a library, furniture, and the bodies of victims.


views updated Jun 11 2018

Herculaneum an ancient Roman town, near Naples, on the lower slopes of Vesuvius. The volcano's eruption in ad 79 buried it deeply under volcanic ash, along with Pompeii, and thus largely preserved it until its accidental rediscovery by a well-digger in 1709. The first excavations were begun in 1738.

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