The Summer Of 79 was earthshattering and tragic to civilized people on the Italian peninula. I’m not refering to 1979, I mean the year 79. On August 24, 79 Mount Vesuvius catasrophically erupted over the Roman town of Pompeii.
As a history buff and a lover of ancient civilizations in particular, I have long enjoyed following the research and discoveries about the town of Pompeii. The various accounts of the tragic disaster were not only preserved by the volcanic ash that buried the town, but the historian and Roman Admiral Pliny wrote about his own encounter with the historical event.
One of the best adaptations of Pliny the Elder’s and his nephew Pliny the Younger’s writings combined with archaeological findings is in an historical novel by Robert Harris. *Pompeii* remains one of the books I return to over and over. The narrative is so very compelling that I feel like I’m part of the action. The book speculates on the larger Roman and Pompeiian culture and political figures of the day. Since I have the audiobook, I can just sit back in my chair, close my eyes and enjoy true theater of the mind.
Because August 24, 79 was such a massive occurrence, I can only hope to write a thumbnail sketch. If you love ancient history, you likely know how the events unfolded. But to refresh your memory, 1932 years ago, today, Vesuvius’ mountaintop exploded. Tons of molten rock, ash, sufphuric gas and other poisonous vapors were spewed into the atmosphere and then to the nearby land. The cities of Herculaneum, Pompeii and Stabiae along with other surrounding villages were buried.
It wasn’t until 1748 that excavation of Pompeii was commenced. These diggings continue today. The artifacts provide archaeologists and historians priceless glimpses of daily life in the Roman Empire.
If history astonishes you and you haven’t investigated the eruptions of Vesuvius throughout the years, I recommend you go ahead and look into the many stories.
The Blue Jay of Happiness thinks that history can provide many hours of enjoyment.