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Pliny the Younger, the eye witness of the eruption of the Mount Vesuvius in 79AD

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.

Miseno_Stabia

The route taken by Pliny the Elder from Miseno to Stabia during the eruption in 79AD

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.

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An ancient harbour brought to light in the center of Naples

Immagine

The realization of the Line 1 of Naples underground allowed the reconstruction of the landscape, the topography and the functions of the coast between the sites of Partenope and Neapolis.
The station of Piazza Municipio stands inside an ancient creek, that used to stretch out on a tuff promontory from Castel Nuovo to the Ferry station and the area around the Church di Santa Maria di Porto Salvo.
In the Piazza Municipio have been brought to light the I century A.C. ruins of an harbour (whose deepest seabed are notched by dredgings datable between the end of the IV century and the second half of the III century B.C.) with a quay in calcareous rock supported by wooden poles, perpendicular to the coastline, along which were abandoned two boats ( shipwreck A and C) and a third one (shipwreck B) of the end of the II and beginning of the III century A.C. At the beginning of the V century A.C., the harbor basin became swampy; the piazza Municipio, during the Middle Ages, was characterized by the presence of house ruins around the Castel Nuovo, destroyed at the beginning of the 16th century for the construction of bastions.

By http://www.incampania.com

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Piazza Municipio map

Piazza Municipio map

The Skeletons of Herculaneum

Skeleton Found in Herculaneum

 

 

Herculaneum was a prosperous resort town inhabited in summer by well-to-do Romans and their servants, in addition to the year-round resident.

When the Vesuiuv erupted in 79 A.D. they were all there for the season: aristocrats and slaves, young and old.

They fled the volcano’s eruption at the very last minute and were caugh on the beach by the flow of volcanic material.

Since few skeletons had ever been found in the town itself, historians long believed that the population had escaped the desctruction of the city.

It was a great surprise when the skeletons were accindentally found at the beach front of the adjacent chambers in the spring of 1982.

These skeletons are in good to excellent condition because they had remained in an environment of unchanging temperature and humidity, buried under 20 meters of volcanic material for some 1900 years.

The skeletons of Herculaneum are of utmost importance to anthropologist and historians, because they constitute a unique population: Romans of the time generally cremated their dead.

Herculaneum_Bootshaeuser

A boathouse on the ancient seafront of Herculaneum, Italy, which was buried by the eruption of Vesuvius.

Scavi_di_Ercolano_-_Vittime_dell'eruzione

A splendid day with Edward Norton at Pompeii

A splendid day with Edward Norton at Pompeii

I had the honour to spend half day with him and this nice girlfriend and adorable mother and sisters.

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