Pompeii (/pɒmˈpeɪi/) was an ancient Roman city near modern Naples in the Campania region of Italy, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area (e.g. at Boscoreale, Stabiae), was buried under 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) of volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Volcanic ash typically buried inhabitants who did not escape the lethal effects of the earthquake and eruption.
Largely preserved under the ash, the excavated city offers a unique snapshot of Roman life, frozen at the moment it was buried and providing an extraordinarily detailed insight into the everyday life of its inhabitants. Organic remains, including wooden objects and human bodies, were entombed in the ash and decayed away, making natural molds; and excavators used these to make plaster casts, unique and often gruesome figures from the last minutes of the catastrophe. The numerous graffiti carved on the walls and inside rooms provides a wealth of examples of the largely lost Vulgar Latin spoken colloquially, contrasting with the formal language of the classical writers.
Aerial view of Pompeii
Shown within Italy
|Location||Pompei, Province of Naples, Campania, Italy|
|Area||64 to 67 ha (170 acres)|
|Founded||6th–7th century BC|
|Official name||Archaeological Areas of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Torre Annunziata|
|Criteria||iii, iv, v|
|Designated||1997 (21st session)|
Pompeii (pronounced [pɔmˈpɛjjiː]) in Latin is a second declension plural noun (Pompeiī, -ōrum). According to Theodor Kraus, "The root of the word Pompeii would appear to be the Oscan word for the number five, pompe, which suggests that either the community consisted of five hamlets or perhaps it was settled by a family group (gens Pompeia)."
The ruins of Pompeii are located near the modern town of Pompei and about 8 km (5.0 mi) away from Mount Vesuvius. It stands on a spur about 40 m above sea level formed by an ancient lava flow to the north of the mouth of the Sarno River (known in ancient times as the Sarnus). Three sheets of sediment from large landslides lie on top of the lava, perhaps triggered by extended rainfall.
Today, Pompeii is some distance inland, but in ancient times it overlooked the coast and had a port. It covered a total of 64 to 67 hectares (170 acres) and was home to 11,000 to 11,500 people, on the basis of household counts.
With the arrival of the Greeks in Campania from around 740 BC Pompeii entered into the orbit of the Hellenic people and the most important building of this period is the Doric Temple, built not near the centre, but in a more isolated position in what would later become the Triangular Forum, as the Greeks wanted to control just the streets and the port. At the same time the cult of Apollo was introduced. Greek and Phoenician sailors used the location as a safe port.
Around the 6th century BC, it merged into a single community on the important crossroad between Cumae, Nola and Stabiae and was surrounded by a tufa city wall (the pappamonte wall). It began to flourish and the first maritime trade started with the construction of a small port near the mouth of the river. The earliest settlement was focussed in regions VII and VIII of the town (the altstadt) as identified from stratigraphy below the Samnite and Roman buildings.
524 BC saw the arrival and settlement of the Etruscans in the area including Pompeii, finding in the river Sarno a communication route between the sea and the interior. Similarly to the Greeks, the Etruscans did not conquer the city militarily, but simply controlled it and Pompeii enjoyed a sort of autonomy. Nevertheless, Pompeii became a member of the Etruscan League of cities. Recent excavations have shown the presence of Etruscan inscriptions and a 6th-century BC necropolis. Under the Etruscans a primitive forum or simple market square was built, as well as the temple of Apollo, in both of which objects including fragments of bucchero were found by Maiuri. Several houses were built with the so-called Tuscan atrium, typical of this people.
The city wall was strengthened in the early 5th century BC with two façades of relatively thin, vertically set, slabs of Sarno limestone some 4 m apart filled with earth (the orthostate wall).
The period between about 450–375 BC witnessed large areas of the city being abandoned while important sanctuaries such as the Temple of Apollo show a sudden lack of votive material remains.
The Samnites, people coming from the areas of Abruzzo and Molise, and allies of the Romans, conquered Greek Cumae between 423 and 420 BC and it is likely that in advance, all the surrounding territory, including Pompeii, was conquered around 424 BC. The new rulers gradually imposed their architecture and enlarged the town.
From 343 BC the first Roman army entered the Campanian plain bringing with it the customs and traditions of Rome and in the Roman war against the Latins the Samnites were faithful to Rome. Pompeii, although governed by the Samnites, entered in effect in the Roman orbit, to which it remained faithful even during the third Samnite war and in the war against Pyrrhus.
The city walls were reinforced in Sarno stone in the early 3rd century BC (the Limestone enceinte, or the first Samnite wall). It formed the basis for the currently visible walls with an outer wall of rectangular limestone blocks as an enormous terrace wall supporting a large agger, or earth embankment, behind it.
From the outbreak of the Second Punic War (218–201 BC) in which Pompeii remained faithful to Rome, an additional internal retaining wall was built and the agger and outer façade raised resulting in a double parapet with wider wall-walk. Despite the political uncertainty of these events and the progressive migration of wealthy men to quieter cities in the eastern Mediterranean, Pompeii continued to flourish due to the production and trade of wine and oil with places like Provence and Spain, as well as to intensive agriculture on farms around the city.
In the 2nd century BC, Pompeii enriched itself by taking part in Rome's conquest of the east as shown by a statue of Apollo in the Forum erected by Lucius Mummius in gratitude for their support in the sack of Corinth and the eastern campaigns. These riches enabled Pompeii to bloom and expand to its ultimate limits. The forum and many public and private buildings of high architectural quality were built, including the large theatre, the sanctuary to Jupiter, the Basilica, the Comitium, the Stabian baths and a new two-story portico.
Pompeii took part in the Social Wars that the towns of Campania initiated against Rome, but in 89 BC it was besieged by Sulla. Although the battle-hardened troops of the Social League, headed by Lucius Cluentius, helped in resisting the Romans, in 89 BC Pompeii was forced to surrender after the conquest of Nola, culminating in many of Sulla's veterans being given land and property, while many of those who went against Rome were ousted from their homes. It became a Roman colony with the name of Colonia Cornelia Veneria Pompeianorum. The town became an important passage for goods that arrived by sea and had to be sent toward Rome or southern Italy along the nearby Appian Way. Cicero, in one of his speeches, mentioned that there were lot of disputes between the native Oscans and the newly arrived Latin colonists, who seemed to have taken full control of the politics in Pompeii, until Sulla himself stepped up and resolved the issue. Couple of decades later, the Oscan names started appearing frequently in the local government, suggesting that the native inhabitants had become assimilated into their city's new status as a Roman colony. Also some of Pompeii's old airstocratic families Latinized their names as a sign of assimilation, and there are evidence of marriages between the Oscans and Latins. 
From c. 20 BC, Pompeii was fed with water by a spur from the Serino aqueduct or Aqua Augusta (Naples) built by Agrippa; the main line supplied several other large towns and the important naval base at Misenum. The castellum aquae is well preserved, and includes many details of the distribution network and its controls.
The inhabitants of Pompeii had long been used to minor earthquakes (indeed, the writer Pliny the Younger wrote that earth tremors "were not particularly alarming because they are frequent in Campania"), but on 5 February 62, a severe earthquake did considerable damage around the bay, and particularly to Pompeii. It is believed that the earthquake would have registered between about 5 and 6 on the Richter magnitude scale.
On that day in Pompeii, there were to be two sacrifices, as it was the anniversary of Augustus being named "Father of the Nation" and also a feast day to honour the guardian spirits of the city. Chaos followed the earthquake. Fires, caused by oil lamps that had fallen during the quake, added to the panic. Nearby cities of Herculaneum and Nuceria were also affected.
Temples, houses, bridges, and roads were destroyed. It is believed that almost all buildings in the city of Pompeii were affected. In the days after the earthquake, anarchy ruled the city, where theft and starvation plagued the survivors. In the time between 62 and the eruption in 79, some rebuilding was done, but some of the damage had still not been repaired at the time of the eruption. Although it is unknown how many, a considerable number of inhabitants moved to other cities within the Roman Empire while others remained and rebuilt.
An important field of current research concerns structures that were being restored at the time of the eruption (presumably damaged during the earthquake of 62). Some of the older, damaged paintings could have been covered with newer ones, and modern instruments are being used to catch a glimpse of the long hidden frescoes. The probable reason why these structures were still being repaired around 17 years after the earthquake was the increasing frequency of smaller quakes that led up to the eruption.
By the 1st century AD, Pompeii was one of a number of towns near the base of the volcano, Mount Vesuvius. The area had a substantial population, which had grown prosperous from the region's renowned agricultural fertility. Many of Pompeii's neighbouring communities, most famously Herculaneum, also suffered damage or destruction during the 79 eruption.
A multidisciplinary volcanological and bio-anthropological study of the eruption products and victims, merged with numerical simulations and experiments, indicates that at Pompeii and surrounding towns heat was the main cause of death of people, previously believed to have died by ash suffocation. The results of the study, published in 2010, show that exposure to at least 250 °C (482 °F) hot surges (known as pyroclastic flows) at a distance of 10 kilometres (6 miles) from the vent was sufficient to cause instant death, even if people were sheltered within buildings. The people and buildings of Pompeii were covered in up to 12 different layers of tephra, in total 25 metres (82.0 ft) deep, which rained down for about six hours.
Pliny the Younger provided a first-hand account of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius from his position across the Bay of Naples at Misenum but written 25 years after the event. His uncle, Pliny the Elder, with whom he had a close relationship, died while attempting to rescue stranded victims. As admiral of the fleet, Pliny the Elder had ordered the ships of the Imperial Navy stationed at Misenum to cross the bay to assist evacuation attempts. Volcanologists have recognised the importance of Pliny the Younger's account of the eruption by calling similar events "Plinian". It had long been thought that the eruption was an August event based on one version of the letter but another version gives a date of the eruption as late as 23 November. A later date is consistent with a charcoal inscription at the site, discovered in 2018, which includes the date of 17 October and which must have been recently written.
Further support for an October/November eruption is found in the fact that people buried in the ash appear to have been wearing heavier clothing than the light summer clothes typical of August. The fresh fruit and vegetables in the shops are typical of October – and conversely the summer fruit typical of August was already being sold in dried, or conserved form. Wine fermenting jars had been sealed, which would have happened around the end of October. Coins found in the purse of a woman buried in the ash include one with a 15th imperatorial acclamation among the emperor's titles. These coins could not have been minted before the second week of September.
Soon after the burial of the city, some survivors or thieves came to salvage valuables, including marble statues from buildings. They left traces of their passage, as in a house where modern archaeologists found a wall graffitus saying "House dug". During the following centuries, its name and location were forgotten. The earliest any part was unearthed was in 1592, when the digging of an underground channel to divert the river Sarno ran into ancient walls covered with paintings and inscriptions. The architect Domenico Fontana was called in; he unearthed a few more frescoes, then covered them over again, and nothing more came of the discovery. A wall inscription had mentioned a decurio Pompeii ("the town councillor of Pompeii") but its reference to the long-forgotten Roman city was missed.
Fontana's covering over the paintings has been seen both as a broad-minded act of preservation for later times, and as censorship of the hedonistic sexual wall images, which he would have known would scandalize counter-reformation Italy.
Herculaneum was properly rediscovered in 1738 by workmen digging for the foundations of a summer palace for the King of Naples, Charles of Bourbon. The Spanish military engineer Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre then undertook excavations to find further remains, discovering Pompeii in 1748. Charles of Bourbon took great interest in the findings, even after leaving to become king of Spain, because the display of antiquities reinforced the political and cultural prestige of Naples.
Karl Weber directed the first serious excavations; he was followed in 1764 by military engineer Franscisco la Vega. Franscisco la Vega was succeeded by his brother, Pietro, in 1804. During the French occupation Pietro worked with Christophe Saliceti.
Giuseppe Fiorelli took charge of the excavations in 1863. During early excavations of the site, occasional voids in the ash layer had been found that contained human remains. It was Fiorelli who realised these were spaces left by the decomposed bodies and so devised the technique of injecting plaster into them to recreate the forms of Vesuvius's victims. This technique is still in use today, with a clear resin now used instead of plaster because it is more durable, and does not destroy the bones, allowing further analysis.
The discovery of erotic art in Pompeii and Herculaneum left the archaeologists with a dilemma – between the mores of sexuality in ancient Rome and in Counter-Reformation Europe lay a clash of cultures. An unknown number of discoveries were hidden away again. A wall fresco depicting Priapus, the ancient god of sex and fertility, with his extremely enlarged penis, was covered with plaster. An older reproduction was locked away "out of prudishness" and opened only on request—and only rediscovered in 1998 due to rainfall. In 2018, an ancient fresco depicting an erotic scene of "Leda and the Swan" was discovered at Pompeii.
A large number of artefacts from the buried cities are preserved in the Naples National Archaeological Museum. In 1819, when King Francis visited the Pompeii exhibition there with his wife and daughter, he was so embarrassed by the erotic artwork that he decided to have it locked away in a so-called "secret cabinet" (gabinetto segreto), a gallery within the museum accessible only to "people of mature age and respected morals". Re-opened, closed, re-opened again and then closed again for nearly 100 years, the Naples "Secret Museum" was briefly made accessible again at the end of the 1960s (the time of the sexual revolution) and was finally re-opened for viewing in 2000. Minors are still allowed entry only in the presence of a guardian or with written permission.
Under the Romans, Pompeii underwent a vast process of urban development especially in the Augustan period. Public buildings include an amphitheatre, a palaestra with a central natatorium (cella natatoria) or swimming pool and an aqueduct that provided water for more than 25 street fountains, at least four public baths, and a large number of private houses (domūs) and businesses. The amphitheatre has been cited by modern scholars as a model of sophisticated design, particularly in the area of crowd control.
Besides the forum, many other service areas were found: the Macellum (great food market), the Pistrinum (mill), the Thermopolium (a fast food place that served hot and cold dishes and beverages), and cauponae (cafes or 'dives' with a bad reputation as a hang out for thieves and prostitution services). An amphitheatre and two theatres have been found, along with a palaestra or gymnasium. A hotel (of 1,000 square metres) was found a short distance from the town; it is now nicknamed the "Grand Hotel Murecine". Geothermal energy supplied channelled district heating for baths and houses. At least one building, the Lupanar, was dedicated to prostitution.
Modern archaeologists have excavated garden sites and urban domains to reveal the agricultural staples in Pompeii's economy. Pompeii was fortunate to have a fruitful, fertile region of soil for harvesting a variety of crops. The soils surrounding Mount Vesuvius preceding its eruption have been revealed to have good water-holding capabilities, implying access to productive agriculture. The Tyrrhenian Sea’s airflow provided hydration to the soil despite the hot, dry climate. Barley, wheat, and millet were all produced along with wine and olive oil, in abundance for export to other regions.
Evidence of wine imported nationally from Pompeii in its most prosperous years can be found from recovered artefacts such as wine bottles in Rome. For this reason, vineyards were of utmost importance to Pompeii's economy. Agricultural policymaker Columella suggested that each vineyard in Rome produced a quota of three cullei of wine per jugerum, otherwise the vineyard would be uprooted. The nutrient-rich lands near Pompeii were extremely efficient at this and were often able to exceed these requirements by a steep margin, therefore providing the incentive for local wineries to establish themselves. While wine was exported for Pompeii's economy, the majority of the other agricultural goods were likely produced in quantities relevant to the city's consumption.
Remains of large formations of constructed wineries were found in the Forum Boarium, covered by cemented casts from the eruption of Vesuvius. It is speculated that these historical vineyards are strikingly similar in structure to the modern day vineyards across Italy.
Carbonised food plant remains, roots, seeds and pollens, have been found from gardens in Pompeii, Herculaneum and from the Roman villa at Torre Annunziata. They revealed that emmer wheat, Italian millet, common millet, walnuts, pine nuts, chestnuts, hazel nuts, chickpeas, bitter vetch, broad beans, olives, figs, pears, onions, garlic, peaches, carob, grapes, and dates were consumed. All except the dates could have been produced locally.
Pompeii has been a popular tourist destination for over 250 years; it was on the Grand Tour. By 2008, it was attracting almost 2.6 million visitors per year, making it one of the most popular tourist sites in Italy. It is part of a larger Vesuvius National Park and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997. To combat problems associated with tourism, the governing body for Pompeii, the Soprintendenza Archaeological di Pompei, have begun issuing new tickets that allow for tourists to also visit cities such as Herculaneum and Stabiae as well as the Villa Poppaea, to encourage visitors to see these sites and reduce pressure on Pompeii.
Pompeii is also a driving force behind the economy of the nearby town of Pompei. Many residents are employed in the tourism and hospitality business, serving as taxi or bus drivers, waiters or hotel operators. The ruins can be easily reached on foot from Pompei Scavi-Villa dei Misteri station by Circumvesuviana commuter rail Naples – Sorrento route, directly at the ancient site. There are also car parks nearby.
Excavations in the site have generally ceased due to the moratorium imposed by the superintendent of the site, Professor Pietro Giovanni Guzzo. Additionally, the site is generally less accessible to tourists, with less than a third of all buildings open in the 1960s being available for public viewing today. Nevertheless, the sections of the ancient city open to the public are extensive, and tourists can spend several days exploring the whole site.
Objects buried beneath Pompeii were well-preserved for almost 2,000 years. The lack of air and moisture let objects remain underground with little to no deterioration. Once excavated, the site provided a wealth of source material and evidence for analysis, giving detail into the lives of the Pompeiians. However, once exposed, Pompeii has been subject to both natural and man-made forces, which have rapidly increased deterioration.
Weathering, erosion, light exposure, water damage, poor methods of excavation and reconstruction, introduced plants and animals, tourism, vandalism and theft have all damaged the site in some way. Two-thirds of the city has been excavated, but the remnants of the city are rapidly deteriorating.
The concern for conservation has continually troubled archaeologists. The ancient city was included in the 1996 World Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund, and again in 1998 and in 2000. In 1996 the organisation claimed that Pompeii "desperately need[ed] repair" and called for the drafting of a general plan of restoration and interpretation. The organisation supported conservation at Pompeii with funding from American Express and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.
Today, funding is mostly directed into conservation of the site; however, due to the expanse of Pompeii and the scale of the problems, this is inadequate in halting the slow decay of the materials. An estimated US$335 million is needed for all necessary work on Pompeii. A recent study has recommended an improved strategy for interpretation and presentation of the site as a cost-effective method of improving its conservation and preservation in the short term.
The 2,000-year-old Schola Armatorum (House of the Gladiators) collapsed on 6 November 2010. The structure was not open to visitors, but the outside was visible to tourists. There was no immediate determination as to what caused the building to collapse, although reports suggested water infiltration following heavy rains might have been responsible. There has been fierce controversy after the collapse, with accusations of neglect.
Pompeii was the setting for the British comedy television series Up Pompeii! and the movie of the series. Pompeii also featured in the second episode of the fourth season of revived BBC science fiction series Doctor Who, named "The Fires of Pompeii", which featured Caecilius as a character.
In 1971, the rock band Pink Floyd filmed a live concert titled Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii, in which they performed six songs in the ancient Roman amphitheatre in the city. The audience consisted only of the film's production crew and some local children.
Siouxsie and the Banshees wrote and recorded the punk-inflected dance song "Cities in Dust", which describes the disaster that befell Pompeii and Herculaneum in A.D. 79. The song appears on their album Tinderbox, released in 1985, on Polydor Records. The jacket of the single remix of the song features the plaster cast of the chained dog killed in Pompeii.
Pompeii is a novel written by Robert Harris (published in 2003) featuring the account of the aquarius' race to fix the broken aqueduct in the days leading up to the eruption of Vesuvius, inspired by actual events and people.
In 2016, 45 years after the Pink Floyd recordings, band guitarist David Gilmour returned to the Pompeii amphiteatre to perform a live concert for his Rattle That Lock world tour. This event was considered the first one in the amphiteatre to feature an audience since the AD 79 eruption of Vesuvius.
Giuseppe Fiorelli directed the Pompeii excavation from 1863 to 1875
During Roman times, warm water was circulated through open trenches to provide heating for buildings and baths in Pompeii.
the city's most extravagant brothel, the Lupanare – from the Latin word lupa for prostitute
It is the first time since the eruption of Vesuvius in AD79 that there has been an event with an audience in the venue.
The recent UK Channel 5 programme, transmitted live from Herculaneum on 29 June 2006...
The 62 Pompeii earthquake occurred on 5 February 62 AD. It had an estimated magnitude of between 5 and 6 and a maximum intensity of IX or X on the Mercalli intensity scale. The towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum were severely damaged. The earthquake may have been a precursor to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79, which destroyed the same two towns. The contemporary philosopher and dramatist Seneca the Younger wrote an account of the earthquake in the sixth book of his Naturales quaestiones, entitled De Terrae Motu (Concerning Earthquakes).Alvinella pompejana
Alvinella pompejana, the Pompeii worm, is a species of deep-sea polychaete worm (commonly referred to as "bristle worms"). It is an extremophile found only at hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean, discovered in the early 1980s off the Galápagos Islands by French marine biologists.Amphitheatre of Pompeii
The Amphitheatre of Pompeii is the oldest surviving Roman amphitheatre. It is located in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, and was buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, that also buried Pompeii itself and the neighbouring town of Herculaneum.Apocalypse Pompeii
Apocalypse Pompeii is a 2014 American disaster film produced by The Asylum and directed by Ben Demaree. The film stars Adrian Paul, Jhey Castles, John Rhys-Davies, Dylan Vox, Dan Cade. It was filmed in Sofia, Bulgaria, and Pompeii, Italy.
The film was released direct-to-DVD on 8 February 2014. In the tradition of The Asylum's catalog, Apocalypse Pompeii is a mockbuster of the Paul W. S. Anderson film Pompeii.Conservation and restoration of Pompeian frescoes
The conservation and restoration of Pompeian frescoes describes the activities, methods, and techniques that have historically and are currently being used to care for the preserved remains of the frescoes from the archeological site of Pompeii, Italy. The ancient city of Pompeii is famously known for its demise in A.D. 79 after the fatal eruption of Mount Vesuvius wiped out the population and buried the city beneath layers of compact lava material. In 1738, King Charles III or Charles of Bourbon, began explorations in Portici, Resina, Castellammare di Stabia, a Civita, where it was believed that the ancient cities of Pompeii, Stabiae, and Herculaneum were buried beneath. The first phase of the excavations at Pompeii started in 1748, which lead to the first conservation and restoration efforts of the frescoes since their burial, and in 1764, open-air excavations began at Pompeii. Pompeii has a long history of excavation and restoration that began without a strong foundation or strategy. After centuries of cronyism, recurring financial shortages, and on-again-off-again restoration, the city's frescoes and structures were left in poor condition. In 1997, Pompeii was added to the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites.Conservation issues of Pompeii and Herculaneum
Pompeii and Herculaneum were once thriving towns, 2,000 years ago, in the Bay of Naples. Though both cities have rich histories influenced by Greeks, Oscans, Etruscans, Samnites and finally the Romans, they are most renowned for their destruction: both were buried in the AD 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius. For over 1,500 years, these cities were left in remarkable states of preservation underneath volcanic ash, mud and rubble. The eruption completely obliterated the towns but ironically was the cause of their longevity and survival over the centuries.
However, for both cities, excavation has brought with it deterioration, as both natural forces and human activity (whether accidental or deliberate) have played their part in the slow disintegration of the sites. Problems range from paintings being exposed to light and buildings being worn away by weathering, erosion and water damage to inappropriate excavation and reconstruction methods to outright theft and vandalism. As stated by Henri de Saint-Blanquat:
The ancient city was included in the 1996 World Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund, and again in 1998 and in 2000. In 1996, the organization claimed that Pompeii "desperately need[ed] repair" and called for the drafting of a general plan of restoration and interpretation.Erotic art in Pompeii and Herculaneum
Erotic art in Pompeii and Herculaneum has been both exhibited as art and censored as pornography. The Roman cities around the bay of Naples were destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, thereby preserving their buildings and artifacts until extensive archaeological excavations began in the 18th century. These digs revealed the cities to be rich in erotic artifacts such as statues, frescoes, and household items decorated with sexual themes. The ubiquity of such imagery and items indicates that the treatment of sexuality in ancient Rome was more relaxed than current Western culture. (However, much of what might strike modern viewers as erotic imagery (e.g. oversized phalluses) could arguably be fertility imagery.) This clash of cultures led to a large number of erotic artifacts from Pompeii being locked away from the public for nearly 200 years.
In 1819, when King Francis I of Naples visited the Pompeii exhibition at the Naples National Archaeological Museum with his wife and daughter, he was embarrassed by the erotic artwork and ordered it to be locked away in a "secret cabinet", accessible only to "people of mature age and respected morals". Re-opened, closed, re-opened again and then closed again for nearly 100 years, the Secret Museum, Naples was briefly made accessible at the end of the 1960s (the time of the sexual revolution) and was finally re-opened for viewing in 2000. Minors are still only allowed entry to the once-secret cabinet in the presence of a guardian, or with written permission.Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79
Mount Vesuvius, a stratovolcano in modern-day Italy, erupted in AD 79 in one of the most famous and deadly volcanic eruptions in European history, which was witnessed and documented by Pliny the Younger, a Roman administrator and poet. Mount Vesuvius violently spewed forth a deadly cloud of super-heated tephra and gases to a height of 33 km (21 mi), ejecting molten rock, pulverized pumice and hot ash at 1.5 million tons per second, ultimately releasing 100,000 times the thermal energy of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombings. Several Roman settlements were obliterated and buried underneath massive pyroclastic surges and ashfall deposits, the best known being Pompeii and Herculaneum. After archeological excavations revealed much about the lives of the inhabitants, the area became a major tourist attraction, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and part of Vesuvius National Park.
The total population of both cities was 16,000–20,000. The remains of over 1,500 people have been found at Pompeii and Herculaneum, but the death toll is still unclear. The event is the namesake for the Vesuvian type of volcanic eruptions, characterized by eruption columns of hot gases and ash exploding into the stratosphere, although the event also included pyroclastic flows associated with Pelean eruptions.Gladius
Gladius (; Classical Latin: [ˈɡladiʊs]) was one Latin word for sword, and is used to represent the primary sword of Ancient Roman foot soldiers. Early ancient Roman swords were similar to those of the Greeks, called xiphos. From the 3rd century BC, however, the Romans adopted swords similar to those used by the Celtiberians and others during the early part of the conquest of Hispania. This sword was known as the gladius hispaniensis, or "Hispanic sword".A fully equipped Roman legionary after the reforms of Gaius Marius was armed with a shield (scutum), one or two javelins (pila), a sword (gladius), often a dagger (pugio), and, perhaps in the later empire period, darts (plumbatae). Conventionally, soldiers threw pilae to disable the enemy's shields and disrupt enemy formations before engaging in close combat, for which they drew the gladius. A soldier generally led with the shield and thrust with the sword.Herculaneum
Located in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, Herculaneum (Italian: Ercolano) was an ancient Roman town destroyed by volcanic pyroclastic flows in 79 AD. Its ruins are located in the comune of Ercolano, Campania, Italy.
Herculaneum is one of the few ancient cities to be preserved more or less intact, with no later accretions or modifications. Like its sister city, Pompeii, Herculaneum is famous for having been buried in ash, along with Pompeii, Stabiae, Oplontis and Boscoreale, during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.
Unlike Pompeii, the pyroclastic material that covered Herculaneum carbonized and thereby preserved wood in objects such as roofs, beds and doors as well as other organic-based materials such as food. Although most of the residents had evacuated the city in advance of the eruption, the first well-preserved skeletons of some 400 people who perished near the seawall were discovered in 1980.Although it was smaller than Pompeii, Herculaneum was a wealthier town, possessing an extraordinary density of fine houses with, for example, far more lavish use of coloured marble cladding.Mount Vesuvius
Mount Vesuvius ( ; Italian: Monte Vesuvio [ˈmonte veˈzuːvjo]; Neapolitan: Vesuvio; Latin: Mons Vesuvius [mõːs wɛˈsʊwɪ.ʊs]; also Vesevus or Vesaevus in some Roman sources) is a somma-stratovolcano located on the Gulf of Naples in Campania, Italy, about 9 km (5.6 mi) east of Naples and a short distance from the shore. It is one of several volcanoes which form the Campanian volcanic arc. Vesuvius consists of a large cone partially encircled by the steep rim of a summit caldera caused by the collapse of an earlier and originally much higher structure.
Mount Vesuvius is best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the burying and destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis and Stabiae, as well as several other settlements. The eruption ejected a cloud of stones, ashes and volcanic gases to a height of 33 km (21 mi), spewing molten rock and pulverized pumice at the rate of 6×105 cubic metres (7.8×105 cu yd) per second, ultimately releasing a hundred thousand times the thermal energy released by the Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombings. More than 1,000 people died in the eruption, but exact numbers are unknown. The only surviving eyewitness account of the event consists of two letters by Pliny the Younger to the historian Tacitus.Vesuvius has erupted many times since and is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years. Today, it is regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of the population of 3,000,000 people living nearby, making it the most densely populated volcanic region in the world, as well as its tendency towards violent, explosive eruptions of the Plinian type.Our Lady of Pompeii Church (Manhattan)
Our Lady of Pompeii Church, or more formally, the Shrine Church of Our Lady of Pompeii, is a Catholic parish church located in the South Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, in the United States. The church is staffed by Scalabrini Fathers, while the Our Lady of Pompeii School is staffed by Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The church was founded in 1892 as a national parish to serve Italian-American immigrants who settled in Greenwich Village, eventually becoming the American counterpart to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompei in Italy and a shrine in its own right. The church has resided at its present location since 1926, when construction on its current edifice began. While it has remained a largely Italian American parish, the church has come to incorporate many other immigrant groups.Our Lady of the Rosary
Our Lady of the Rosary, also known as Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary in relation to the Rosary.
The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, formerly known as Our Lady of Victory and Feast of the Holy Rosary, is a feast day of the Roman Catholic Church, celebrated on 7 October, the anniversary of the decisive victory of the combined fleet of the Holy League of 1571 over the Ottoman navy at the Battle of Lepanto.Pompeii (film)
Pompeii is a 2014 romantic historical disaster film produced and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. An international co-production between the United States, Germany and Canada, it is inspired by and based on the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. that destroyed Pompeii, a city of the Roman Empire. The film stars Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Carrie-Anne Moss, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jessica Lucas, with Jared Harris, and Kiefer Sutherland.
Pompeii premiered in France, Belgium, and Russia on February 19, 2014, and was released over the course of the next day in Argentina, Greece, Hungary, Italy and later in the United States and Canada on February 21, 2014.This is FilmDistrict's last film before it merged with Focus Features.Pompeii (song)
"Pompeii" is a song by British band Bastille. It is the fourth single from their debut studio album Bad Blood and was released on 12 January 2013. The song's title and lyrics refer to the Roman town of the same name that was destroyed and buried in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79."Pompeii" became the band's breakthrough hit, peaking at number two on the UK Singles Chart and became the eleventh best selling song that year and, until June 2014, was the country's most streamed single of all time. It was also successful worldwide, reaching the top ten in fifteen countries worldwide, including the United States where it peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming their most successful single to date, until "Happier" reached number two on both the UK and US charts in October 2018 and February 2019 respectively.
The song was nominated for British Single of the Year at the 2014 BRIT Awards. A mashup of the song with Rudimental and Ella Eyre's "Waiting All Night" was performed live by Rudimental, Eyre and Bastille at the aforementioned ceremony, which reached number 21 in the UK.Pompeii Airfield
Pompeii Airfield is an abandoned World War II military airfield in Italy, located approximately 1 km south of Terzigno, a few kilometers east of the base of Mount Vesuvius, and approximately 20 km east-southeast of Naples.
The airfield was an all-weather temporary field built by the XII Engineering Command of the United States Army Twelfth Air Force using a graded earth compacted surface with a prefabricated hessian (burlap) surfacing known as PHS. PHS was made of an asphalt-impregnated jute which was rolled out over the compacted surface over a square mesh track (SMT) grid of wire joined in 3-inch squares. Pierced Steel Planking was also used for parking areas and dispersal sites when it was available. Dumps for supplies, bombs, ammunition, gasoline drums, drinking water, and an electrical grid for communications and lighting were also constructed. Tents were used for billeting and support facilities, and an access road was built to connect the airfield facilities with existing roads.
The Twelfth's 340th Bombardment Group with their North American B-25 Mitchell medium bombers occupied the airfield on January 2, 1944. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in March 1944, the B-25s were covered with hot ash that burned the fabric control surfaces, glazed, melted, or cracked the Plexiglas, and even tipped some B-25s onto their tails from the weight of the ash and tephra. The eruption destroyed the base and nearly all of the 340th's planes. Estimates vary from 70-90 aircraft.
No lives were lost at Pompeii Airfield and the only casualties in the 340th were a sprained wrist and a few cuts, but the effects of the volcano on the aircraft proved insurmountable despite a major effort by the 12th Air Force to repair and salvage the damaged planes. The airfield was dismantled and the 340th relocated to Paestum Airfield on March 23, 1944.
Now overgrown with vegetation, Pompeii Airfield's main runway can still be detected in aerial photographs.The Fires of Pompeii
"The Fires of Pompeii" is the second episode of the fourth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 12 April 2008. Set shortly before and during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79, this episode depicts alien time traveller the Doctor (David Tennant) and his new companion Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) on a trip to Pompeii, where they uncover an alien invasion. Their clashing worldviews present an ethical dilemma for the Doctor.
The episode was filmed in Rome's Cinecittà studios, and was the first time the Doctor Who production team took its cast abroad for filming since its revival. The production of the episode was impeded by a fire near the sets several weeks before filming and by problems for the production team crossing into Europe.
Critics' opinions regarding the episode were generally mixed. The premise of the episode—the moral dilemma the Doctor faces, and Donna's insistence that he save a family from Pompeii—was widely praised. However, the episode's writing was criticised, in particular, for the characterisation of the supporting cast: The dialogue was described as "one-dimensional" and Peter Capaldi and Phil Davis's dialogue as "whimpering and scowling".The Last Days of Pompeii
The Last Days of Pompeii is a novel written by the baron Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1834. The novel was inspired by the painting The Last Day of Pompeii by the Russian painter Karl Briullov, which Bulwer-Lytton had seen in Milan. It culminates in the cataclysmic destruction of the city of Pompeii by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.
The novel uses its characters to contrast the decadent culture of 1st-century Rome with both older cultures and coming trends. The protagonist, Glaucus, represents the Greeks who have been subordinated by Rome, and his nemesis Arbaces the still older culture of Egypt. Olinthus is the chief representative of the nascent Christian religion, which is presented favourably but not uncritically. The Witch of Vesuvius, though she has no supernatural powers, shows Bulwer-Lytton's interest in the occult – a theme which would emerge in his later writing, particularly The Coming Race.
A popular sculpture by American sculptor Randolph Rogers, Nydia, the Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii (1856), was based on a character from the book.
Archaeological sites in Campania
|Province of Avellino|
|Province of Benevento|
|Province of Caserta|
|Province of Naples|
|Province of Salerno|
|Villas of Pompeii|
|Domus of Pompeii|
|Public buildings of Pompeii|
|Recreational buildings of Pompeii|
|Temples of Pompeii|
|Other sites destroyed in the 79 Eruption|
|Art in Pompeii|
Landmarks of Campania
Ancient Rome topics
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