Life on the Bay of Naples came to an abrupt halt in 79, when Vesuvius erupted, preserving surrounding cities and villas with lava and ash. The rediscovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum since the eighteenth century had significant impact upon European art and literature. The seminar examines the surviving environment and artifacts created to Roman tastes in the late republic and early empire. It considers the history of archaeological and art historical methods and the romantic visions of art, theatre, and film up to the present. One highlight will be a visit the Pompeii exhibition at the National Gallery in Washington, DC.