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At the time of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79 the Roman fleet under the command of Pliny the Elder was stationed across the Bay of Naples at Misenum.
Pliny was a scientist, a historian and a naturalist and he felt the need to get closer to observe the phenomenon of the eruption.
He decided to land in Stabia, where lived his friend, but he died because of the toxic gases.
Pliny’s nephew, whom we know as Pliny the Younger, was with him at Misenum, but did not venture out on the ships with his uncle. He stayed back at Misenum and observed the events from there. He also received first-hand reports from those who had been with his uncle at his death. Based on this information Pliny the Younger wrote two letters to the historian Tacitus that recount the events surrounding the eruption of Vesuvius and the death of Pliny the Elder.
The letters survive and provide a vivid account of the events.
A brief tour with Emiliano Tufano at the Piscina Mirabilis.
Contact Emiliano http://www.pompeiin.com
In Miseno, on the north-west side of the gulf of Naples, there is the biggest Roman cistern of drinkable water ever built in Italy, realized during the Augustan period. Entirely excavated in the tufa rock, it has a capacity of 12.000 cubic meter of water, it’s 15 meters high, 72 m long and 25 m wide and it is covered by a vault, supported by 48 enormous cruciform pillars to form five long naves. The cistern was built to collect water for the Roman fleet docked in Miseno’s harbour. It represented the final tank of the Augustan aqueduct (Aqua Augusta) that, from its springs in Serino (100 kilometers away), brought water to Naples and the Phlegrean Fields.