Ashmolean After Hours: Carpe Diem!

Mount Vesuvius is thought to have begun erupting on 24 October AD 79. Almost two thousand years later, TORCH collaborated with the Ashmolean Museum for a special edition of After Hours as part of the Last Supper of Pompeii exhibition to celebrate all things Pompeii and ancient Rome - with bite-sized talks from students and researchers, and activities for all to enjoy.

This event was part of the Humanities Cultural Programme.



Please see below a short one minute highlights video from the evening.


Bite-sized Talks

A series of short bite-sized talks took place during the evening, delivered by researchers relating to the overall theme of the evening. 

Last Supper in Pompeii

Last Supper in Pompeii: An introduction to the Pompeii Exhibition -
exploring the narrative of the show through a selection of highlighted objects.

Ilaria Perzia, Antiquities, Ashmolean Museum


Discovering the Identity of Plants in Art

We are surrounded by artistic images of plants – whether these may be symbolic, decorative or functional. The challenge with such images is objectively associating them with 'real' plants. This talk illustrates how this can be done, using sixteen-century wall paintings in Oxford.  

Professor Stephen Harris, Druce Curator (Herbaria), Associate Professor in Plant Sciences


The Meaning of Carpe Diem

How "seize the day" does not get CLOSE to capturing the power of the poet Horace's words, and that is even before we realise that the words come from a love poem and are all about seduction... A quick introduction to the artistry of the greatest wordsmith in Roman poetry.

Dr Llewelyn Morgan, Classics fellow, Brasenose College


Supping and Sacrificing in Pompeii's Gardens

The archaeological evidence of garden dining spaces in Pompeii’s houses, restaurants, and tombs reveals complexities of both Roman dining practices and the meaning of the Roman garden, forcing us to reconsider questions of local identity and the connection between urban and rural in light of Pompeii’s destruction and preservation.

Janet Dunkelbarger, Doctoral candidate, University of Virginia


Gorgons, Gods and Gladiators: How to decorate a Pompeian wall

This interactive talk explores the myths, legends and scenes of daily life that Romans painted and scratched onto the walls of their houses. Surviving examples from Pompeii and the wider Roman Empire allow us to glimpse into the minds of Roman homeowners and look at graffiti in a whole new way.

Dr Alison Pollard, Assistant Curator (Ashmolean Museum) and Lecturer in Classical Archaeology, St John’s College