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“Blacker and Denser Than Any Other Night”: The Destruction of Pompeii and its Aftermath


Dec 4, 2019
06:00 PM until 07:00 PM


When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 CE, it buried Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the surrounding settlements under nearly 20 feet of volcanic ash and pumice. Pliny the Elder, a Roman writer, documented his eyewitness account of the disaster, supporting the archaeological evidence uncovered there in the last two centuries. This Great Lecture reviews how these buried cities and their exploration have had a lasting impact on European and American culture. 

The Great Lectures Series: Great Catastrophes

In the 2019-2020 Great Lecture Series, the Penn Museum explores powerful catastrophes—from their causes to their immediate impacts and their long-term implications. It’s an intense exploration of the scope of natural and nuclear disasters, mass extinction, the flu pandemic, and more—from Pompeii to Chernobyl. First Wednesday of each month at 6:00 pm.

NEW! Come early to join a Ph.D. candidate or collections expert for a pre-lecture Daily Dig talk at 4:30pm that will highlight each month's lecture topic, with no registration required.  


C. Brian Rose, Ph.D., Curator-in-Charge, Mediterranean Section, Penn Museum; Immediate Past President, Archaeological Institute of America; Trustee, American Academy in Rome

Cost for each lecture: 

$10 for the general public

$7 for Museum members

Subscriptions that include the entire Great Lecture Series: 

$80 subscription for the general public

$50 subscription for Museum members





View map Penn Museum
3260 South St
Philadelphia, PA

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Contact name

Julianna Whalen

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