‘Ash was already falling, hotter and thicker as the ships drew near, followed by bits of pumice and blackened stones, charred and cracked by flames;: then suddenly they were in shallow water, then the shore was blocked by debris from the mountain…’
Thanks to Pliny the Younger, we have a vivid description of the fateful day in 79 AD when Naples’ Vesuvius erupted and, over two days, totally buried the nearby town of Pompeii.
He describes the fate of his uncle, Pliny the Elder ‘Then the flames and smell of sulphur which gave warning of the approaching fire drove the others to take flight and roused him to stand up. He stood leaning on two slaves and then suddenly collapsed, I imagine because the dense, fumes choked his breathing by blocking his windpipe which was constitutionally weak and narrow and often inflamed. When daylight returned on the 26th – two days after the last day he had been seen – his body was found intact and uninjured, still fully clothed and looking more like sleep than death.’
If you’d like an article written on the history or the site of Pompeii, please contact me.