Pompeii and Herculaneum

Ref: C3747054

In this short course we will be looking at the destruction and preservation of two Roman towns, Pompeii and Herculaneum which were destroyed when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD. We will look at the evidence of the eruption itself, how it destroyed the two settlements and how their consequent preservation was consequently different. This will then allow us to look at daily life as it was lived in these two places in the first century AD, a period in which the Roman Empire was at its most successful. We will spend time reviewing the various archaeological excavations on the sites and then will investigate the social, religious and civic life of the towns. We will delve into the domestic world of wealth and poor Romans alike, looking at houses, baths, the forum and the temples. Paintings and other art work will, of course, be central to our study.

Course aim

This short course will investigate the archaeological remains of the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum with a view to better understanding their destruction and the way of life of the inhabitants in the first century AD.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify the amphitheatre and theatres at Pompeii.
  • Describe the layout of the forum in Pompeii.
  • Describe and discuss how Pompeii was destroyed.
  • Begin to discuss the different ways in which the artefacts in Pompeii and Herculaneum were preserved by the eruption.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

You do not need to bring anything else to this course.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Pompeii and Herculaneum

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has started and there are no online enrolment places available.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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