Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fiction and Archaeology marry in Video

Here are some of the better amateur videos I have found that deal with Pompeii. I chose videos that not only had excellent visuals but were accompanied by music or decent audio.

As some one who has one foot in a virtual world much of the time, I could not resist the impulse to include a video of a virtual Pompeii and a little tale of love and loss.

Here are two very beautifully made videos that focus on the Villa of the Mysteries. The Dionysian Mysteries are of great interest and have their parallel in many of the ancient mystery rituals and religions.

As a child, whenever I visited a museum or ancient site, I tried to find a place where I could be alone to pretend that I actually had gone back in time. I loved old palaces that had been transformed into museums, where there were floors empty of any visitors and where one could enter a bedchamber or Great Hall where time appeared to have stopped...

The worst aspect of a place like Pompeii is the veritable hordes of tourists. Obviously, there are NO natives, so every one is a tourist of some kind, whether motivated by idle curiosity, a passionate interest in research or a combination of the two. I would imagine that a cold, wet day would be best if one wished to have any hope of encountering the true spirit of the place. One should not forget, however, that Pompeii was nothing more than an ordinary mercantile city. It was not Delphi. It was not Palatine Hill. It is not a place steeped in spiritual tradition. It is possible that the tourists who clog the streets today are not much different from the ancients who thronged the city before the great eruption of Vesuvius.

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