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Monday, 30 November 2020 at 8 p.m.


Dr Paul Roberts 



Last supper in Pompeii

For the Romans, life meant getting together to eat and drink, in a pub or at a banquet. This talk, based on the 2019-2020 exhibition Last supper in Pompeii  at the Ashmolean Museum Oxford, celebrates the Roman love affair with food and drink - a journey, from fields and vineyards to markets and shops, from tables to toilets and the tomb. 

We see the influence of the Greeks and mysterious Etruscans, and  visit fertile Vesuvius to see how Romans got their food and drink (and a Roman vineyard buried in AD79!). Into the bustling city, past hawkers, shops and bars we enter the house, visit the shrine of the gods (with a chicken head!) and the gorgeous garden with its flowers and fountains. We recline in the dining room, with exotic food and fine wine, and surrounded by Greek-style luxury – fine silver, mosaics and frescoes.  A skeleton mosaic reminds us that death is always at the feast…saying to us loud and clear “Seize the day -  Carpe diem!!”  Dare we see the kitchen? No fridge, no running water, no hygiene –  and there is the toilet, feeding into a cess pit below….

Lastly we look at how Roman ideas and customs on food caught on in Roman Britain. Along with Roman gods of fertility and wine, come  exotic imports like pepper, figs and finest fish sauce. We witness the birth of the British beer industry with the first brewer, cooper and beer deliveryman and even see the British dead, feasting into the afterlife, like all good Romans.

Dr Paul Roberts is the newly appointed Sackler Keeper of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University. From 1994 to 2014 he was Senior Roman Curator in the Department of Greece and Rome at the British Museum, where he was the driving force behind the major exhibition 'Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum'. He studied at the Universities of Cambridge, Sheffield and Oxford and lived in Italy for several years. He has excavated in Britain, Greece, Libya, Turkey and in particular Italy, where he directs excavations in the Sabine hills near Rome. His research focuses on the day-to-day lives of ordinary people in the Greek and Roman worlds. 

If you wish to register and receive the link that enables you to get into the live Zoom lecture, please click here.


Schweren Herzens mussten wir die Vorträge im 2. Quartal 2020 bedingt durch die Corona-Pandemie absagen, da die Gesundheit unserer Mitglieder und Gäste die höchste Priorität genießt.

Wir freuen uns aber Ihnen mitteilen zu können, dass die geplanten Vorträge für das 2. Halbjahr 2020 stattfinden werden. Leider nicht wie gewohnt im Fritz-Haber-Institut, jedoch online über Zoom. So kommen wir in den Genuss einer Live Lecture und haben darüber hinaus die Möglichkeit uns im virtuellen Raum zu begegnen und Gespräche zu führen.

Wir werden Sie über die weitere Entwicklung sowohl auf unserer Homepage als auch per E-Mail auf dem Laufenden halten.


Due to the Corona pandemic heavy-heartedly we had to cancel our lectures in March, April and May 2020.  The health of our members and guests has top priority.

We are very glad that the lectures in the second half of 2020 can take place as planned.  Unfortunately, we are not able to hold them at the Fritz-Haber-Institut but we offer the lectures live via Zoom where we also have the chance to meet each other and have a chat via virtual exchange.

We will keep you posted on our homepage and via email about any further developments.




We have changed our name to The Arts Society Berlin in line with recent changes to The Arts Society in the UK, who provides us with the wonderful choice of lecturers to come to Berlin.


















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