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History of Landscape Architecture Colloquium: Volume 7: Ancient Roman Gardens

History of Landscape Architecture Colloquium: Volume 7: Ancient Roman Gardens

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The nineteen-hundredth anniversary in 1978 of the eruption of Vesuvius was a particularly appropriate time for the Dumbarton Oaks Symposium on Ancient Roman Gardens, for it was this tragedy, which overwhelmed Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the many villas in the surrounding area, that preserved for us such a precious chapter in the history of gardens. It is here that we must start if we would study and understand the development of the Roman garden. Elsewhere throughout the Roman Empire fragmentary remains have survived by chance. In the area destroyed by Vesuvius living cities and villas were preserved, just as they were at the moment of destruction. Only at Pompeii, which is now three-fourths excavated, is it possible to get the feel of an entire city, to study its plan and land use and to experience the role of the gardens and green spaces in the life of the people.