Sun 24 Aug, 2003 10:19 am
On saturday the 24th of August in the year 79 AD at approximately 4pm in the afternoon, mount vesuvius erupted with such ferocity that it wiped out almost all of the inhabitants of the great cities of pompeii and herculinium.
This terrible tragedy happened one thousand nine hundred and twenty four years ago to within one hour of this posting.
I was there last summer.
It is quite an incredible place to visit.
What a coincidence.! My sons and I were discussing Pompeii at dinner last night and how we'd like to visit it. I probably have some ancestors there!
It's an amazing place. We were there when I was 6 and I remember it a lot better than anywhere else we went in Europe that year.
Very eerie, seeing the remnants of what once was, and knowing how it all ended.
And, one of the reasons why we know so much about it is because of some early reportage from, I believe, Pliny the Elder, who happened to be vacationing nearby.
The destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum was a terrible tragedy in human terms, of course. But, perversely, excavating the ruins has been a godsend for archeologists. We have probably learned more about the daily living conditions of ancient Rome from those digs than from any other source. Because of the incredibly swift flow of lava down the Vesuvius mountainside, everything was spledidly preserved.