Pyroclastic Cataclysm at 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.