//
you're reading...
Daily History

August 24 79 Eruption of Mount Vesuvius


On August 24th 79, Mount Vesuvius near Pompeii, Italy, began to erupt; within the next 25 hours, it wiped out the entire town.

Hundreds of years later, archaeologists excavated Pompeii and found everything and everyone that had been there that day perfectly preserved by the volcano’s ash.

Pompeii, about 90 miles south of Rome, was established in 600 B.C.E. in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, which stood approximately 6,500 feet high. Apparently, no one was aware that Vesuvius was an active volcano, even after an earthquake in February of the year 63.

The preserved remains of Pompeii are not the only evidence of the disaster. Two authors who witnessed the eruption also recorded their observations. Pliny the Elder was across the bay from Vesuvius on the morning of August 24 when a large cloud was noticed emanating from the volcano.He dispatched several ships to the coastal town of Resina to investigate, but the ships could not land because they were pelted by flaming rocks from the volcano.

Pliny the Elder headed toward the town of Stabiae, where ash continued to fall through the night.By the following morning, the ash even obscured the sun from view. On August 25, Pliny the Elder died, apparently overtaken by sulphur gases released from the volcano.

Pliny the Younger, just 18 years old at the time, was also a witness to the eruption. He reported people climbing through waves of ash to escape. His account of the tons of pumice, rock and ash that Vesuvius pumped out over a 25-hour period, combined with the evidence left in Pompeii, indicates that about 2,000 residents of Pompeii survived the initial eruption of Vesuvius on August 24.

It was the following morning when another, more powerful eruption killed everyone in an instant. When rain mixed with the ash, it formed a sort of concrete, preserving the city. The town of Herculaneum was also buried on August 25, but by a mudslide set off by the eruption and accompanying tremors. It is estimated that 13,000 people in total died from the eruption.

It was not until 1595, during the construction of an aqueduct, that Pompeii was rediscovered. Unfortunately, what can be viewed today is only a small fraction of what was found then, as looting and pillaging over the years has greatly reduced the archaeological value of the site. Some scientists believe that there may still be other villages buried by Vesuvius that have yet to be discovered.

This Day In History

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

4 thoughts on “August 24 79 Eruption of Mount Vesuvius

  1. Hi Craig!

    Nice article, just a tiny correction though: Pompei is about 150 miles south of Rome. 🙂

    Cheers!

    Posted by Antonio | August 24, 2012, 00:08
  2. How interesting it must have been to first unearth the city – how intriguing to contemplate what other remains are still to be found.

    Posted by Anne Bonney | August 24, 2012, 00:08
  3. This is one of the most fascinating stories I’ve ever heard. It’s good to get a refresher again. I have trouble imagining the terror that must have been running through the town…

    Posted by bucketdave | August 24, 2012, 11:19

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: August 24 79 Eruption of Mount Vesuvius | The Great Tribulation is Coming - August 24, 2012

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 17,663 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

China flexes new nuclear sub ahead of Party Congress

China flexes new nuclear sub ahead of Party Congress

For the first time, China has released video footage of its latest Type 094A nuclear-powered ballistic missile sub (SSBN) and Type 093 nuclear attack sub (SSN), a potent show of naval might ahead of China’s 20th Communist Party Congress in October. Chinese state media featured the subs in a training video for Liaoning, China’s first […]

Coronation Of Emperor Xi and the world thereafter

Coronation Of Emperor Xi and the world thereafter

A few days ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping‘s arrest news took social media by storm. The atmosphere was jubilant as if the whole world looked forward to Xi’s exit. The rumor turned out to be fake news; Xi’s third term looks secured. Xi Jinping is all set to snatch the historic third term in the […]

China is coming for your land

China is coming for your land

Drought has plunged water levels to the lowest in China in decades. The temperatures have also soared to record levels, and hydropower plants failed to meet the sharp rise in power demand. However, this is just a glimpse of the worst things to come. Floods, droughts, and record-breaking temperatures would have a catastrophic effect on […]

Chinese drones now almost a daily appearance over Taiwan

Chinese drones now almost a daily appearance over Taiwan

The Chinese military has intensified its drone incursions into the skies above Taiwan with almost daily flights of combat and reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) TB-001 drone was spotted crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait, the de facto boundary between the island and China’s […]

India says disengagement along disputed area with China to be completed by September 12

India says disengagement along disputed area with China to be completed by September 12

India’s foreign ministry said on Friday that disengagement along a disputed border area with China will be completed by Sept. 12. Both countries began disengaging from the Gogra-Hot Springs border area in the western Himalayas on Thursday, over two years after clashes at the frontier strained diplomatic ties. The disengagement comes ahead of a meeting […]

How to make EVs without China’s supply chain

How to make EVs without China’s supply chain

Two electrifying moves in recent weeks have the potential to ignite electric vehicle demand in the United States. First, Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act, expanding federal tax rebates for EV purchases. Then California approved rules to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035. The Inflation Reduction Act extends the Obama-era EV tax […]

Anti-India forces: Techniques and agendas exposed

Anti-India forces: Techniques and agendas exposed

In the post-cold war era, India has moved from a policy of non-alignment to a policy of multi-alignment. This means that India has friendly relations with almost all-powerful and developing nations. Today India is carving out a unique path for itself. Such an approach provides prominence and exposes India to the harmful behind-curtain activities by […]

Taiwan’s Kinmen serves as a reminder of China’s aggression

Taiwan’s Kinmen serves as a reminder of China’s aggression

Taiwan’s frontline island of Kinmen was once again in the headlines when President Tsai Ing-wen paid tribute this week to the soldiers and civilians who “operated in solidarity and safeguarded Taiwan” 64 years ago. On Aug. 23, 1958 mainland Chinese troops attacked Kinmen in a key battle that marked the beginning of the Second Taiwan […]

Terrorism: The glue that holds China and Pakistan together 

Terrorism: The glue that holds China and Pakistan together 

The father of communism, Karl Marx, once famously said — “We have no compassion, and we ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror”. This statement summarises how terrorism and communism go hand in hand. Maoist China alone destroyed between 44.5 to 72 million lives. During […]

‘New normal’ across the Taiwan Strait as China threat looms ever closer

‘New normal’ across the Taiwan Strait as China threat looms ever closer

China is attempting to establish a “new normal” across the Taiwan Strait, eroding self-ruled Taiwan’s territorial control and increasing the threat of a strike with each military sortie, officials and analysts say. Beijing has ramped up military maneuvers in the 110-mile (180-kilometer) wide stretch of water that separates Taiwan from mainland China — and the […]

%d bloggers like this: