Ch.4 : Eruption in Pompei  

In 62 AD. JC seventeen years before Pompeii buried by the catastrophic eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. JC, a strong earthquake caused considerable damage to the city. No doubt there were many deaths, but especially damage to homes, public buildings and temples were considerable.

With its booming economy and the contribution patrons with political ambitions, Pompeii itself, soon began to repair the damage to things public interest. The reconstruction work also interested dwellings which in some cases were not only rebuilt but also enlarged and embellished.

At the time of final destruction, reconstruction work was not yet completed as evidenced by the ongoing work traces found in several parts of the city. A recent hypothesis that would put into question some certainties about the chronological history of the city, Pompeii was hit by a violent earthquake void encor few years before the eruption of 79 AD. JC and several years after that of 62 AD. JC; he did not forget another in the great cataclysm known as the "Cataclysm Avelines, which caused incredible devastation. In fact, during recent excavations in some houses Street of Abundance and Rue de Nocera was found carpenter's tools and traces of cementum that would confirm the ongoing work for the recent damage, while one can recognize already avenues restorations following the earthquake of 62 AD.. An unrivaled cataclysm devastated and even wiped out whole cities, not only Pompeii but also Herculaneum, Stabiae, Oplontis, Nemis, Tertinium ... who was completely erased Roman cards. Up to Neapolis and its region, signs of the Mount Vesuvius have arises.

Lush vegetation mountain, considered calm and quiet, but that morning, showed all the strength hidden it and that accumulated over thousands of years, it appeared that the morning of the last day of Pompeii, 24 August of 79 AD. JC the eyes of the terrified inhabitants.

The description we just Pliny the Younger who in two letters to Tacitus tells of the end of his uncle, Pliny the Elder admired the military fleet of Misenum and expert naturalist. He, to rescue the Vesuvian populations and to observe closely the extraordinary volcanic phenomenon, left Misenum with some quadriremes and headed Stabiae in the villa of his friend Pomponien. Here he lived the emotion of the cataclysm. "In continuous and prolonged telluric tremors shook the house -écrit Pliny the Younger in his first letter to Tacitus - as if it were torn from foundations, it seemed that she sometimes raised, sometimes it sank the other. hand out, it was feared the rain of lapilli that light and porous; ... he chose to go outside ... after putting pillows on their heads tied with sheets ". The corpse of Pliny the Elder was found on the beach Stabiae;  it is uncertain whether he died because of the noxious exhalations of gas or for the consequences of a tidal wave that probably interested the Gulf of Naples during the eruption.

That August morning the "cork" of lava that obstructed the top of the volcano was torn by a considerable gas pressure. The roar was deafening and terrifying at the same time! Then there was a long rain of lapilli (pumice), supplemented by a fallen ash, which dropped to a radius of about 70 km south-east. Pompeii was buried by lapilli slick about two meters and a half thick, a first layer of about one meter, white color (typical of the eruption of 79 AD.) And a second gray. Sunset volcanic material lasted four days, during which frequent earthquake tremors provoked collapses of buildings and little opportunity for salvation for the people, which, according to estimates considered trustworthy, had to be about 10,000. Before burial, and the collapses, the death of Pompeii was caused by the exhalations of poisonous gas that disengaged themselves pumice stones. Some scenes of death came to us through the plaster casts made by archaeologists according to Giuseppe Fiorelli technique.

Archaeologist pulled the "volume" and the shape of the body flowing liquid plaster into the spaces left by the ash layer of the decomposition of the flesh. Cette technique, This technique, applied to any other kind of decomposable materials, especially wood, yielded casts of doors, windows, staircases and other parts of Pompeian houses. A recent development of this technique was adopted for the body of a woman found in the excavations of Oplontis in Torre Annunziata, where the molding was obtained glass resin allowing the vision of the skeleton and some jewelry that woman wearing at the time of the leak.
Vesuvius killed in a instant..une ten seconds were sufficient through carbon dioxide, suffocating and deadly, and Sulfureuse anhydride, an acid that burns the eyes and throat, silted form a lethal cocktail.

1 inhalation of hot ash and gas, the lungs fill with fluid, as if swallowed fire.
2 inhalation, the fluid-mixed ash formed a kind of wet cement that closed airways.
3. inhalation, cement thickening and victims died suffocated and strangled. La mort était immédiate. Death was immediate.

A few days after the disaster an imperial commission of senators arrived in the Vesuvian area to assess the damage and organize relief to the people. Naples to Stabiae territory presented itself covered with a sinister dark tablecloth. There were more houses, streets, trees: all life was erased. The commission asked the Emperor Titus interventions to repair the damage to the remaining cities. En 80 ap. In 80 AD. JC, the Emperor went personally in the localities affected by the eruption and decided intermission, taking no effort to recover irretrievably buried Pompeii and Herculaneum. The survivors, in the attempt to recover from the rubble statues of deities and sacred objects of the temples, began rifling of Pompeii.

No form of life reborn in this place. People sought refuge elsewhere, abandoning forever these places now inhospitable. Tacitus wrote his "Histories" by publishing the letters of Pliny the only eyewitness of the tragedy. L'empereur Marc-Aurèle (121-180 ap. JC).  The emperor Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD.) In one of his writings cited the destiny of the city as an example of "obsolescence and precariousness of life on earth."
 In the early third century, the historian Dio Cassius drew up a new report on this disaster, returned today because of another violent eruption of Vesuvius.  The Emperor Alexander Severus (208-235 AD.) Did resume excavations to recover the marble and statues, but the works were interrupted after a short time. Cities buried there remained only a few vague indications transmitted in Roman cartography, which was reproduced to the Middle Ages, as in the case of Tabula Peutingerienne. Subsequently, we also forget the exact places where towns and villages were located. Until the sixteenth century when the work on the Canal Sarno forced to work in this area.  And a marble plaque dates back to light or is clearly read "POMPEIIA", the ancient city had been found.

Ch.5 : The Vesuvius...