Pompeii in popular culture
- Rexford (Rex) Phillips, a.k.a. "Rexino Mondo", wrote, sang, narrated and produced a 210-minute audiobook entitled Messenger From Pei, in 1992.
Books and other printed works
Pompeii served as the background for the historic novels The Last Days of Pompeii (1834) by Edward Bulwer-Lytton (since adapted for film and TV), Arria Marcella (1852) by Théophile Gautier, The Taras Report on Pompeii (1975) by Alan Lloyd. Pompeii also appears in Shadows in Bronze (1990) and other novels in the Marcus Didius Falco series.
- Book I of the Cambridge Latin Course teaches Latin while telling the story of a Pompeii resident, Lucius Caecilius Iucundus, from the reign of Nero to that of Vespasian. The book ends when Mount Vesuvius erupts, where Caecilius and his household are killed. The books have a cult following and students have been known to go to Pompeii just to track down Caecilius's house.
- Louis Untermeyer wrote the short story, "The Dog of Pompeii", which centered on a blind orphan boy and his dog during the last days before Vesuvius erupted.
- A number of titles in The Roman Mysteries series of children's historical novels by Caroline Lawrence are set in Pompeii.
- The bestseller novel Pompeii (2003) by Robert Harris tells the story of a (fictional) aquarius of the real life Aqua Augusta named Marcus Attilius. The story itself also features a Pliny the Younger reference to the Estate of Julia Felix, as well as also including the Piscina Mirabalis in Misenum, Pliny the Elder, and his nephew Gaius Pliny.
- The story of the manga NG Life (serialized from 2005-2009) revolves around a Japanese student who has apparently retained his memories of having been a gladiator in Pompeii, who lost his wife in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
- In Theresa Breslin's Dream Master: Gladiator, Cy and the Dream Master travel back in time to the eve of the Mt. Vesuvius eruption.
- In Daniel Godfrey's New Pompeii (Titan Books, 2016), the population of ancient Pompeii is transported through time to the present day and into a replica of their town.
- 1900 - The Last Days of Pompeii (UK), directed by Walter R. Booth.
- 1908 - The Last Days of Pompeii (Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei) (Italy), directed by Arturo Ambrosio and Luigi Maggi.
- 1913 - The Last Days of Pompeii (Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei) (Italy), directed by Mario Caserini.
- 1926 - The Last Days of Pompeii (Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei) (Italy), directed by Carmine Gallone.
- 1935 - The Last Days of Pompeii, an RKO film, with Preston Foster and Basil Rathbone, which carried a disclaimer that, although the scenes of Vesuvius erupting had been inspired by the novel, the movie did not use its plot or characters.
- 1950 - The Last Days of Pompeii (Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei / Les Derniers Jours de Pompéi) (Italy/France), directed by Marcel L'Herbier and Paolo Moffa.
- 1959 - The Last Days of Pompeii (Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei) (Italy), directed by Sergio Leone.
Productions using Pompeii as a story backdrop include:
- 1958 - Curse of the Faceless Man
- 1971 - Up Pompeii a comedy which followed the eponymous TV series (see below), culminating in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
- 2007 – Pompei – an Italian historical drama directed by Giulio Base (TV mini series, 180 min.)
- 2014 - Pompeii a German-Canadian film set during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
Allusions to Pompeii
- Vesuvius is the name of the fictional glam metal band in the 2008 comedy The Rocker, which produces a hit song called "Pompeii Nights", depicting a glorified but grim version of the disaster.
- In the PC/Xbox 360 game Darkest of Days (2010), the player fights through the streets of Pompeii as the volcano is erupting, in an effort to save "The Father of Time".
- The storyline of a Macintosh and Windows computer game called TimeScape: Journey to Pompeii (2000), by DreamCatcher Interactive Inc., involves both time travel and ancient pagan gods.
- First level in the game Painkiller: Overdose is set in Pompeii as the volcano is erupting.
Pompeii is featured in many television biographies and documentaries. It is also featured in ABC's television series called Roman Mysteries.
- It was the setting for the British comedy television series Up Pompeii!, the 1971 movie of the series Up Pompeii, and its two one-off specials Further Up Pompeii! (1975) and Further Up Pompeii (1991). Only in the movie does Mount Vesuvius actually erupt.
- The Last Days of Pompeii (Italy/UK/U.S.) is a television miniseries from 1984 based on Edward Bulwer-Lytton's book The Last Days of Pompeii.
- In The Simpsons episode The Italian Bob the family visits the remnants of Pompeii where Lisa refers to the numerous victims whose bodies were preserved by the ash in the position they were in the moment they died. One group of plaster cast victims include a family exactly resembling the Simpsons with a Homer look-alike strangling a Bart look-alike. The couch gag from "Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words" is also a reference to Pompeii.
- Pompeii featured in the second episode of the fourth series of revived BBC drama series Doctor Who, named "The Fires of Pompeii", where it transpires that the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble caused the eruption in order to save the world from an alien invasion.
- "The Fires of Vulcan" - Doctor Who audio drama in the city just before the eruption with the Seventh Doctor.
- Within the universe of the Highlander franchise, immortals are not allowed to take heads on holy ground. According to the character Joe Dawson in the episode Little Tin God, there is a story that tells of how two immortals engaged on holy ground resulted in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
- In the television series Forever Knight, vampire Lucien Lacroix was a Roman general who returns home to Pompeii to find his daughter Divia has become a vampire. He is turned into a vampire by his daughter during the fall of Pompeii.
- Apocalypse Pompeii (2013) TV film - Mount Vesuvius erupts when a family visits Pompeii. A Former Special Ops commando visits the ancient city on business with his wife and daughter and become trapped as Mt. Vesuvius erupts with massive force. While his family fights to survive the deadly onslaught of heat and lava, he enlists his former teammates in a daring operation beneath the ruins of Pompeii.
- Ancient Mysteries: Pompeii: Buried Alive (1996), an A&E television documentary narrated by Leonard Nimoy.
- In the Shadow of Vesuvius (1997), a National Geographic special that explores the sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, interviews archaeologists, and examines the events leading up to the eruption of Vesuvius.
- Pompeii: The Last Day (2003), an hour-long drama produced for the BBC that portrays several characters (with historically attested names, but fictional life-stories) living in Pompeii, Herculaneum and around the Bay of Naples, and their last hours, including a fuller and his wife, two gladiators, and Pliny the Elder. It also portrays the facts of the eruption. It is heavily influenced by Edward Bulwer-Lytton's book The Last Days of Pompeii (see Pompeii in popular culture#Books and other printed works), which – while being responsible for the popularization of Pompeii in Western culture – has been dismissed for its lack of historical credibility. To give some historical reality to the characters, the death throes of the characters portrayed are based on actual skeletons and bodies found during excavations in the 18th century, while Pliny the Elder's death is shown as based on the accounts of how he actually died. Although in the story the narrator uses reports that Pliny the Elder died from inhaling the fumes of the final and greatest pyroclastic surge, as many reports have found, he most likely had suffered a heart attack or stroke.
- Pompeii and the 79 AD eruption (2004), a 120-minute Tokyo Broadcasting System 120’ documentary.
- Pompeii Live (June 28, 2006, 8 pm), a Channel 5 production featuring a live archaeological dig at Pompeii and Herculaneum
- Pompeii: The Mystery of the People Frozen in Time (2013), a BBC One drama documentary presented by Dr. Margaret Mountford.
- In 1769, the famous musical composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, visited the Temple of Isis, which had been recently unearthed. His visit and the memories of the site inspired him 20 years later in his composition of The Magic Flute (1791).
- In 1988 Heavy metal band Virgin Steele produced a song about the city called The Burning Of Rome (Cry For Pompeii) in their Album Age of Consent
- Giovanni Pacini's opera L'ultimo giorno di Pompei (1825) is noted for its special effects portraying the eruption of Vesuvius.
- E.S. Posthumus produced a musical track titled "Pompeii", which was used in the film Planet of the Apes (1968) and many others; it is included in the Unearthed album (2001).
- In October 1971, the band Pink Floyd performed at the vacant 2,000-year-old amphitheater in Pompeii, to an audience composed of film crew including camera operators. This performance, including some exterior shots of the ruins, was released as part of a movie entitled Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii (1972).
- Polish singer, songwriter, poet and author, Jacek Kaczmarski wrote two songs about Pompeii. The first, "Pompeja" (1978) depicts the last moments of Pompeii and later excavations of it, but allegorically also refers to Polish cities like Warsaw or Gdańsk, and talks about ignorance of warning signs and voices in times of crisis. Kaczmarski actually wrote this song before seeing Pompeii, which he visited a year later after winning a trip to Italy in the Students' Song Festival in Cracov in 1978 (or 1979?). The second song, "Pompeja Lupanar" (or just "Pompeja II") (1980), talks about live of various peoples in Pompeii before the Vesuvius eruption.
- The Siouxsie and The Banshees single "Cities in Dust" (1985) was also inspired by the destruction of Pompeii.
- Last Days of Pompeii (1991) is a rock opera by alternative rock band Nova Mob.
- The German progressive rock band Triumverat produced a concept album, "Pompeii" (1977), telling the story of both the 62 and 79 AD eruptions of Vesuvius.
- "American Pompeii" is the eighth track on the Anthrax album Stomp 442 (1995).
- "This Was Pompeii" is the name of a song by Dar Williams about the city, on the album Mortal City (1997).
- "Pompeii" is also the title of a song by indie-rock trio Sleater-Kinney off of their fifth album, All Hands on the Bad One (2000).
- The Mars Volta band mentions the city of Pompeii in the song, "Cicatriz Esp" from the album Deloused in the Comatorium (2003).
- "Pompeii" is a song by Seattle-based progressive rock band Gatsbys American Dream. It is the second track of Volcano (2005), and is based loosely around the story of Pompeii.
- "Pompeii am Götterdämmerung" is a song by the band The Flaming Lips on their album At War with the Mystics (2006). The song narrates the tale of a couple who, in reaction to their families' rejection of their love, commit suicide together by simultaneously jumping into a volcano.
- Frank Ticheli composed a song entitled "Vesuvius" (2007), which depicts the last days of Pompeii.
- The Decemberists' song "Cocoon", on the album Castaways and Cutouts (2009), is about the victims of Vesuvius who were encased in volcanic ash.
- Gordon Downie, the lead singer of the Canadian band The Tragically Hip, refers to a dying family member as "the rock-plug for all of us" and says, "in the conduit of Vesuvius you were far more unifying than you know" in the song "Toronto #4" (2010).
- Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice (2010), the seventh studio album by the Finnish rock band HIM, features a song entitled "Like St. Valentine" in which one line reads: "Like the couple from Pompeii, our drama's put on display".
- The British band Bastille released a single named "Pompeii" (2013) with lyrics that reference the destruction of the city. It reached number two on the UK Singles Chart.
- The Birmingham Museum of Art hosted "Pompeii: Tales from an Eruption" from October 2007 to January 2008. The show was earlier on exhibit in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, and after Birmingham moved on to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
- Charlotte, North Carolina held an exhibit of "A Day in Pompeii".
- The Naples National Archaeological Museum from October 2007 to March 2008 held an exhibition called "Alma Tadema e la nostalgia dell'antico" or "Alma Tadema and the longing for the antique", showing how Lawrence Alma-Tadema and other painters represented the ruins of Pompeii in their pictures. A book of this exhibition has also been published.
- The theme park Busch Gardens Williamsburg features an attraction entitled "Escape from Pompeii", which carries riders through the city as flaming ruins topple around them, ending in a fifty-foot plunge.
- Pompeii is the title of an Aristocrat Mark VI slot machine. It features a volcano wild symbol which erupts, as well as a free games scatter feature sounding "Veni, Vidi, Vici!"
- English comedian Al Murray's running gag about Italy's being lazy includes him saying, "Pompeii, clean up for god sake!"
- Entertainment, SeaWorld Parks &. "Escape from Pompeii". seaworldparks.com.
- Classics at RGSW
- "'The Dog of Pompeii' and study guide" (PDF). Sandersfeld.
- BBC - Doctor Who - News - Rome Sweet Rome
- "Ancient Mysteries: Season 3, Episode 22". A&E. Retrieved Feb 2, 1996. Check date values in:
- Shelley Hales; Joanna Paul (2011). Pompeii in the Public Imagination from Its Rediscovery to Today. Oxford University Press. p. 367. ISBN 9780199569366.
The recent UK Channel 5 programme, transmitted live from Herculaneum on 29 June 2006...
- pompeii live | revealed | five.tv
- "Pompeii: The Mystery of the People Frozen in Time". BBC. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
- ReverNation http://www.reverbnation.com/wearepompeii. Retrieved June 2014. Check date values in:
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- "Pompeja". Kaczmarski Art.
- Ticheli, Frank. Vesuvius by Frank Ticheli: Concert band. Suitable for high school, community, and college bands. Grade 4. Conductor score and set of parts. Duration 9:00. Manhattan Beach Music (MH.0-931329-15-9). ISBN 0-931329-15-9.
- "Toronto #4". The Tragically Hip. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
- Alma Tadema and the longing for the antique
- Eugenia Querci, Stefano De Caro, Alma Tadema e la nostalgia dell'antico (Milan 2007) 312 p., ISBN 978-88-370-5336-9.
- Entertainment, SeaWorld Parks &. "Escape from Pompeii". seaworldparks.com. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
- Romano-Campanian Wall-Painting contains chapters on: The Neoclassicising of Pompeii; Tourism, Romanticism and Pompeii; and Roman Wall-Painting and Film Culture