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Pompeii

An article about a volcano eruption resulting in a ruined city.

By SRenaSPublished 8 months ago 4 min read
Pompeii
Photo by Andy Holmes on Unsplash

Pompeii is a preserved ancient Roman City in Naples in the Campania region of Italy. Which was once a thriving and sophisticated city, is now buried under metres of ash and pumice after the calamitous eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Pompeii along with Herculaneum and other surrounding cities were all buried in this ash.

The thick layer of ashes helped to preserve the unique building and structures of the ancient city. This largely preserved town offers a quick and extravagant snapshot of the Roman Life, frozen in time at the very moment it was buried. Scholars estimate that about 12,000 people lived in Pompeii before the eruption and roughly 2,000 people lost their lives.

Name:

Pompeii is a Latin word. According to Theodor Kraus, “The word Pompeii originated from the Oscan word for number five, Pompe, which suggested either the community consisted of five hamlets or perhaps it was settled by a family group, Gens Pompeia, a plebeian family at ancient Rome, first appearing in history during the second century BC, and occupying the highest offices of the Roman state from then until imperial times.

History:

Nearly 2,000 years ago, when Pompeii still was a bustling city, the nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted. It ejected smoke and toxic gas 20 miles into the air, which soon spread all over the city. And almost overnight, the city was covered in thick blanket of ash, covering it in at least 19 feet dept of ash and toxic gas

From there, Pompeii was lost and forgotten until finally discovered in 1748. Some sources say, Pompeii was first discovered in the 16th century by an architect, Domenico Fontana. But systematic excavation works did not start until 1748.

Thanks to the excavations, which are still going on today, scientists can explain almost everything that happened on that catastrophic day.

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius:

Scientists believe, After the volcano first erupted shortly after noon, the thick ash turned everything black, resulting in people not even being able to see the sun. The ash kept falling, piles of ash grew as deep as 9 feet in some places, blocking doorways and footpaths.

Around midnight, the first four hot clouds of ash, rock and toxic gas, also called surges, rushed down the volcano and towards Pompeii about 180 miles and hour. The surges incinerated everything in its way. Around 7 am, almost 19 hours after the initial volcano eruption, the city was covered in the deadly mix of ashes, toxic gases and rocks. Many of the inhabitants of Pompeii fled before things escalated, while some stayed hidden in their homes. This eruption lasted for two days.

An heroic figure:

During this catastrophic, Pliny The Elder, became a heroic figure in peoples eyes, when he made a great attempt to rescue the civilians by using ships of the Roman Navy and eventually which cost his life. His nephew, Pliny The Younger, survived. And has shared the tale of his bravery, in hopes of keeping alive the heroic tale of his uncle’s bravery.

Sin city:

Pompeii was often referred as the Sin City, as the Romans committed many unjust and evil crimes which led many to believe the disaster was a punishment of god to the Romans for their doings.

Discoveries:

Based on what scientists have discovered till now, they believe Pompeii was a prosperous town with many wealthy Romans. They had well-paved streets, high sidewalks and stepping stones to keep pedestrians out of mud.

It was a wealthy town with many fine buildings and luxurious private houses with extravagant decorations, furnishings and many works of art, which were one of the main attraction of early excavations.

The numerous graffiti carved on the wall and inside rooms show a great example of the wealth of the Ancient Rome.

Tourism:

The ancient Roman City has become and open air museum and a archaeological site. Pompeii has been a popular tourist spot for more than 250 years, making it one of the most popular tourists spots of Italy with about 2.5 million visitor annually.

Pompeii is a must visit historical attraction. It’s archaeological site is the best way to get a glimpse of the daily life of aniciant Romans. People from all over the world visit this ancient city to see the Roman life and the ruins of the city. Although most of Pompeii is still buried under the ash, and heavily guarded, but visitors are free to explore the area.

Building, shops, workshops:

Pompeii had many public buildings, shops, workshops. There were swimming pools, two theatres, the Emachia building and at least four public baths. Other buildings like, Macellum, a meat market; Pistrinum, a bakery; and many others. An aqueduct provided water to the public baths, to more than 25 street fountains, and to many private houses and businesses.

Wool processing was well developed with 13 workshops that worked the raw material, seven that did the spinning, nine the dyeing, and 18 the washing. There were at least 31 bakeries in the town, each with wood-burning ovens, millstones and a sales counter. There are also many more other significant structures, but these were some of the notable ones.

To this day, about a third of Pompeii is still underground. The portion of the city that is still underground is closely guarded but open for visitors to explore. In 1977 pompeii was named a UNESCO world heritage site, granting even more protection. Pompeii is a archaeological historical site. It is our duty to protect these places as it serves as a great moral and wisdom to our future generations. By visiting these places we learn about the significant events which helped shape our society, and Pompeii is one of them.

Sources of information: Wikipedia and news paper articles

Author’s note: This is just a submission article for a local article writing contest in my country. Sadly, I wasn’t selected as one of the winners. So I thought sharing it among other fellow readers in hopes of them learning something new and might be more useful to them. Thank you for reading!

PerspectivesDiscoveriesAncient

About the Creator

SRenaS

Writing is one of my many hobbies. I love writing stories whether it is fiction or horror, everything is written from the top of my imagination. I occasionally write on other communities and topics aswell.

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Comments (1)

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran8 months ago

    Whoaaaaa, this was so fascinating! I'm so sorry you weren't selected as a winner but I enjoyed reading this!

SRenaSWritten by SRenaS

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