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The most interesting, amazing and strange facts about Pompeii








There is a legend, this city of Pompeii got its name in honor of Hercules. The Romans believed that the hero defeated the giant Gerion, who lived on the slopes of Vesuvius. After his victory, he walked with a triumphal procession (or "pompe" in Greek) to the Bay of Naples, where he founded nearby Herculaneum. The place that Heracles had visited, they say, was the future of Pompeii.

During the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius Pliny the Elder tried to help the people of the city. A few months before the eruption, he was appointed by emperor Titus as a head of the navy of the Roman fleet. Pliny the Elder suffocated and died. His death, like the whole eruption, was described by his nephew Pliny the Younger.


Additionally Drusilla died along with her son Mark Antony Agrippa. She was daughter of Herod Agrippa and a  granddaughters of Herod the Great himself. That same Herod, who tried to find and execute Jesus Christ. She was mentioned in the Bible as a wide of Judea’s prosecutor Anthony Felix.

Acts of the Holy Apostles (24:23-25):

23 He ordered the centurion to keep Paul under guard, but to allow him some freedom and permit his friends to minister to his needs.
24 After several days, Felix returned with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess. He sent for Paul and listened to him speak about faith in Christ Jesus.
25 As Paul expounded on righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgment, Felix became frightened and said, "You may go for now. When I find the time, I will call for you."




Emperor Nero owned a villa in Pompeii, and his second wife Poppa Sabina was born in Pompeii and was even considered the most beautiful girl in the city.


Emperor Titus ascended the throne in June 79 after the death of his father, the emperor Vespasian. He personally assisted refugees from Pompeii and visited the region in 79 and again in 80. He care for Pompeii citizens impressed the Romans, according to historians.

The holiday of Vulkanal (dedicated to the god Vulcan) was celebrated in the Roman Empire on August 23. The eruption began on 24 August. Someone didn't pray well enough. It is possible that some residents of Pompeii stayed believing that it was actually a good sign from the gods.

The Romans did not have the word "volcano" in our modern understanding. The volcano was a god, and eruptions were too rare to get their own term.


No one even thought that Mount Vesuvius is an active stratovolcano. The last time before the destruction of Pompeii, it erupted 1800 years before. Then he incidentally destroyed several cities and villages of the Bronze Age. Since then, people have forgotten about the death of people and settled the territory again.

One of the important evidence of the presence of the Christian community was found in 1962 on the wall of one of the buildings, which became known as the Hotel of the Christians. It is difficult to say if the hotel really belonged to a Christian religious group, but the graffiti painted in coal on the outer wall of the building clearly belongs to Christians. It states: "Strange ideas have captured the mind" A "(the unspecified name of a person with the first letter A), who is now a prisoner of Christians."

Христианство в Помпеях

Amphitheater Pompeii is the most ancient stone structure, designed for games. Prior to that, they were made of wood. Amphitheater Pompeii is dated to 80 BC.


In 1863, Giuseppe Fiorelli realized that some of the voids and gaps in the layers of ash were left by the decaying bodies of the inhabitants of Pompeii. He poured gypsum into the holes and obtained exact casts of the inhabitants of Pompeii. A similar process is carried out today, but uses transparent rubber instead of gypsum.

Not all residents were killed during the eruption. According to some estimates, out of a population of 20,000, 2,000–10,000 people died during the eruption.

The first attempts to excavate Pompeii were carried out immediately after the eruption. It did last too long. Collapses buried many thieves.

After seismic activity and coastal changes, Pompeii is currently located 2 km inland. In ancient times, the city stood much closer to the sea, and the mouth of the Sarno River.


If the eruption happened on any other day, the inhabitants of Pompeii would have a better chance of escape. Usually the wind blows in a southwesterly direction, which would have blown the volcanic cloud and the wave in the direction of the Gulf of Naples. But on that fateful day, the wind suddenly changed direction to the north-west direction toward Pompeii.


The famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart visited the Temple of Isis in Pompeii in 1769, just a few years after it was excavated. Mozart himself was then only 13 years old. His visit and memories of the place later inspired him to write the Magic Flute 20 years later.

Today, more than 3 million people live at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. Last time Vesuvius erupted in 1944. Although in the 17th century it erupted 6 times, in the 19th century 8 times, and in the 20th three times.



Pompeii was discovered only in 1748 during the reign of King Charles III. Then his workers were digging a canal to the Sarno River and accidentally stumbled upon a part of the wall.

The eruption lasted for several hours from 24 to 25 August and in two days covered the city of Pompeii and the adjacent cities and villas with geological sediments 6 meters or 20 feet deep.

The first frescoes in Pompeii, found by the architect Domenico Fontana, were buried soon after the discovery. The reason is simple. Erotic themes were not accepted by a society.

In 1819, King Francis I, together with his wife and daughter, visited an exhibition in Pompeii. There was a scandal. Again, erotic frescoes were deemed offensive and the king ordered to hide them in the Secret Office. Access to which was open exclusively to "persons of mature age and impeccable reputation." In fact, even to the standards of our century, the acts of bestiality or pedophilia depicted in some frescoes are quite seditious.


During the excavations, gypsum was used to fill the voids between the ash layers, thanks to which it was possible to reconstruct the death poses of the victims of the eruption. In total, more than a thousand casts of the bodies were found in Pompeii, including entire families, groups of friends and couples who died in the arms of each other.

The archaeological park of Pompeii covers an area of ​​65 hectares. This park, which is 250 years old, is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is visited by 2.5 million tourists every year.

Vesuvius, whose age is estimated at 17,000 years, remains the only active volcano on the European continent. Scientists suggest that the entire volcano erupted about 100 times, but only a few eruptions in their scale surpassed the eruption of 79 years. The heat energy emitted by Vesuvius during the eruption was 100 thousand times more than the energy from the bomb dropped on Hiroshima!