The Places You Will Go.

Pyroclastic Cataclysm at Pompeii.

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Image of Mt Vesuvius’ most recent eruption in 1944.
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Temple of Apollo: Pompeii

Pompeii was settled around 8th Century BC by the Greeks but by the 2nd Century BC it was under Roman influence. The Bay of Naples area attracted the wealthy and most distinguished citizens of Rome and by the first century AD Pompeii was a flourishing resort town. A mixture of elegance and debauchery, Pompeii was known for its wealthy citizens, tourists, townspeople, slaves, gladiators, artisans, factories, shops, taverns, cafes, brothels, bath-houses and temples to the pagan gods. In a nutshell Pompeii was a melting pot of the Graeco-Roman world and all its accompanying hedonism.

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The Forum with Mt Vesuvius in the background.

On the eve of that fateful day in AD 79 life in Pompeii was going on as normal.

We took the high speed train from Rome to Naples, about a 70 minute trip, and at Naples changed to the Circumvesuviana which took us through Herculaneum and onto Pompeii.

Map from Naples, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy to Pompei, 80045 Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy

Both cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii were destroyed in AD 79 when Mt. Vesuvius erupted. Although there had been an earthquake in the region some 17 years earlier, the people did not suspect that Vesuvius was a volcano as it had been silent for over 300 years (Weldon.O. Volcanoes and Earthquakes, 1995). Anyone who had not left the cities at the first sign of the volcano’s rumble was killed as six different pyroclastic surges of super heated molten rock and gasses engulfed the cities in metres of hot ash and dust burying and preserving them in situ.

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The Forum was the public square of the city; business, politics, gossip and all the day to day affairs of the Roman world occurred here. Mt Vesuvius always in the background.
Communal toilets in Pompeii; males and females all in together; no privacy. In the pagan world the human body was not shameful and was celebrated.
Theatre, Pompeii
The Theatre. Perfectly preserved.

Pompeii, which covers an area of about 66 hectares was re-discovered in 1755 AD. Approximately 44 hectares have been excavated to reveal an extraordinary wealth of architectures, sculptures, paintings and mosaics. It truly is a step back in time.

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The roads. The rocks were for the people to walk across when rain sluiced down the roads and the spaces were for chariot wheels to pass through.

For the people living in Pompeii and Herculaneum in AD 79 all hell had broken loose and for them it truly was the end of the world and here we are 1941 years later and the world is still spinning.

History. What an amazing thing? If only we could learn something from it.

Pompeii Victim "The Muleteer"
A cast of a citizen waiting for death.
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A city ‘frozen’ in time. That mountain always in the background.

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