Pompeii: Life and Death in a Roman Town

Mary Beard takes us on a fascinating journey to find out about the everyday lives of the people who lived in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius before its cataclysmic eruption.

In a dark cellar in Oplontis, just three miles from the centre of Pompeii, 54 skeletons who didn’t succumb to the torrent of volcanic ash are about to be put under the microscope of forensic science - and there are some big surprises in store.

Cambridge professor and Pompeii expert Mary Beard takes us on journey from the cellar to a small ancient town which nevertheless boasted more than 50 fast food joints, dozens of rowdy bars, a 200 foot long swimming pool and even a its own brothel.

This film opens the lid on this most famous of ancient towns to reveal Pompeii as it’s never been seen before…

Production Information

Broadcaster: BBC Two

TX Date: December 2010

Format: 1 x 60

Website: BBC - Pompeii: Life and Death in a Roman Town


all3media International

Executive Producer(s):

Richard Bradley


Professor Mary Beard


Here at last was a history presenter who knew her subject inside out and couldn’t wait to share it. The antithesis of the TV-trained academic, she seemed like she’d stumbled on to our screens and her uncluttered enthusiasm shone like a beacon across the centuries.