Rising from the ashes

This is a fantastic story: a huge mountain of works of Roman literature, thought to have been lost to an eruption of Vesuvius, might turn out to be readable. It includes half of Epicurus' entire opus and works of Philodemus. Apparently the eruption also caused the freak circumstance of papyrus being preserved, and modern technology has made it possible to read the carbonised books. As the article notes:
Even in our age of hyperbole, it would be hard to exaggerate the significance of what is at stake here: nothing less than the lost intellectual inheritance of western civilisation.
(Via Weekend Stubble)


Indri said…
Wow, that's amazing! For those of us who would use a time machine to check out the library at Alexandria before we did anything else, this is great news.
Daryl said…
A trapped echo from the past, freed like some sort of genie thanks to modern technology. Hope it all pans out.
calm one said…
this is cool. the last i heard is David W Packard, whose family helped to found the Hewlett Packard, is stepping up to fund the excavation effort.
looks like a lot of textbooks would need rewriting soon.

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