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A nondescript green door at the end of a cul-de-sac features a stunningly well-framed, if comically tiny, view consisting of two nation-states and one country, with the dome of St. Peter’s perfectly situated in the center. The doorway in question leads to the Priory of the Knights of Malta, the legendary crusader knights and religious...
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For three days in August of 79 AD, death rained down on the Roman towns surrounding Mount Vesuvius, as the volcano’s epic eruption laid waste to everything in its path. Buried a few days after Pompeii, the small but wealthy village of Herculaneum, on the north side of the volcano, had more time to panic...
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Roman sexuality was a big problem for the 19th-century archaeologists and curators responsible for excavating and preserving the remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Romans in general, and citizens of Pompeii and nearby Herculaneum in particular, had a robust appreciation for the erotic in art and everyday objects. The enormously well-endowed god Priapus was a common good-luck symbol, seen...
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Those that did not flee the city of Pompeii in August of 79 AD were doomed. Buried for 1,700 years under 30 feet of mud and ash and reduced by the centuries to skeletons, they remained entombed until excavations in the early 1800s. As excavators continued to uncover human remains, they noticed that the skeletons...
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