The Site Of Pompeii History Essay

1963 words (8 pages) Essay in History

5/12/16 History Reference this

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The curiosity of hidden or forgotten cities is captivating. Pompeii was completely buried in a matter of seconds, when Mount Vesuvius erupted. The ash and “mephitic gas” preserved everything in sight (EyeWitnesstoHistory). Even after at least 2000 years of being buried you can see people in the middle of living their lives, working on their farm, or just going to the market place . “Portions of the site remain uncovered, and excavation and research teams are still attempting to reveal this mysterious city’s secrets.” (EyeWitnesstoHistory) It is sad to say that “the memory of Pompeii and the surrounding cities faded into a vague legend about the lost treasure of la Citta (“the City”).” (EyeWitnesstoHistory) Pompeii was a very prosperous land, very rich, in money and crops, the people there had a unique way to “style” their houses, using tiles made of lava and also colored stones to make mosaics.

“The site of Pompeii is located in western Italy in a region called Campania, with the coast to the west and the Apennine Mountains to the east. Campania is a fertile plain, traversed by two major rivers and blessed with soil rich in phosphorus and potash.” (EyeWitnesstoHistory) Pompeii is on a “a plateau formed by an ancient lava deposit southeast of the volcano Mt. Vesuvius. The city’s site is also a short distance north of the Sarno River and east of the Bay of Naples. This location insured the city’s role as a center of commerce. Pompeii was a land with fertile grounds, due to the volcano and a trade center.” (Archive.Pompeii) “Pompeii was considered a rather large city at the time, more cosmopolitan than Rome. It held control over city-states near it and was a center for trade in crops, due to the fertile grounds, wine and olive oil.”(Stories form an Eruption) Pompeii was a very Rich culture.

“Pompeii grew from a settlement of Oscan speaking descendants of the Neolithic inhabitants of Campania. Pre-Roman Pompeii, as a part of Campania, was a recipient of a complex set of cultural influences: Etruscans from the north, Greek colonists from the south, and Samnites and other Italic peoples all around.” (Archive.Pompeii) where Pompeii is located, “it was a Samnite city for centuries before it passed under Roman rule at the time of Lucius Cornelius Sulla (1st cent. B.C.).”(Free Encyclopedia) “In 80 BCE Pompeii became integrated into Rome as a colony; Pompeii’s citizens received Roman citizenship and the city’s institutions, architecture, and culture were Romanized. At its height, Pompeii had a thriving economy based on trade and agriculture, and the city supported between 10,000 and 20,000 inhabitants.” (Archive.Pompeii) “As Rome herself became more prosperous, her citizens began to look up on Pompeii as a luxury resort and soon luxury country homes of the most powerful people in the world began to hug the shoreline.”(Cornellia)

The worship of gods and goddesses in this time are varied, depending on where you were. Isis, an Egyptian goddess, was very highly worshipped, as religion spread through Greco- Roman culture, through the taking over of countries or city-states and slaves taking their culture with them. “The Temple of Isis in Pompeii was small but ornate. There were temples dedicated to Isis and her brother/husband Osiris throughout the Greco-Roman world. These temples were the sites of elaborate daily and annual rituals and were administered by an educated priesthood skilled in music and medicine. Isis worship was especially popular with women and with the new elite who gained wealth and prominence as the Roman Empire expanded.”(AnceintVine) And there are many other gods they worshipped in Pompeii. Pompeii was a polytheistic nation. “First there are the Oscan gods, eg Flora, the spirit of Agriculture. The Greek gods Apollo, Dionysus, Zeus, Athena and Heracles are frequently depicted in wall paintings. The special guardian of the colony of Pompeii was Venus. The older Roman gods, the Triad of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva had their prominent place at the Temple of the Capitoline, near the Forum.”(Gods & Goddesses)

Pompeii’s building technique was interesting. In Pompeii, they used lava to craft and create bricks and many other things. “The streets of Pompeii were filled with blocks of lava melted into stone. The people would use “gravel or ash”, whatever they could to build walls for a house or bakery. (Ancient Times) “They would align the bricks on the wall, in diagonal rows.” Using the colors of the cement and putting them in various patterns. (Ancient Times) The houses in Pompeii each had a unique flow to them. One thing that attributed to that was the floors, “made of colored stones that formed a picture, called a mosaic.” (Ancient Worlds) Mosaics were very popular in Pompeii to decorate houses, “mosaic ornamentation was widely used in the decoration of the houses.” (Mosaics) Another thing they used the lava bricks for is public baths. “The habits and manners of life in Roman times have been revealed in great detail at Pompeii by the plan of the streets and footpaths, the statue-decorated public buildings, and the simple shops and homes of the artisans. The houses and villas have yielded rare and beautiful examples of Roman art. Among the most famous are the houses of the Vetti, the villa of the Mysteries, and, in the suburbs of Pompeii, the villa of the Boscoreale.” (Free Dictionary)

“On August 24, 79 a.d. Mount Vesuvius literally blew its top, spewing tons of molten ash, pumice and sulfuric gas miles into the atmosphere.” (EyeWitnesstoHistory) “Some people of Pompeii grabbed their beasts of burden and attempted to flee the area; others perhaps chose to wait until the streets were clear of the panicked masses; still others sealed themselves up in rooms” (Archive Pompeii) Pompeii, covered completely in ash in a matter of seconds, was preserved for many years before being discovered, being a well preserved nation. “Volcanic activity can be something as simple as a mild rumble or a puff of smoke, on up to a full blown eruption of magma or mud. It can also slowly emit or explode quickly.”(Answers) “Smoke, mud, flames and burning stones spewed from the summit of the mountain, sending a rain of ash and rock through the surrounding countryside. The mud seeped down the sides of Vesuvius, swallowing nearby farms, orchards and villas. Adding to the destruction were the mephitic vapors that accompanied the falling debris; the fumes first caused deliriousness in their victims, then suffocated them.” (Archive Pompeii) “Before the eruptions in 79, earthquakes occurred for some time, but were disregarded by local inhabitants because of their familiarity with the phenomenon,” it was usual to feel tremors in that area. (EruptionofVesuvius)

“The site of Pompeii is located in western Italy in a region called Campania. Campania is a fertile plain, traversed by two major rivers and blessed with soil rich in phosphorus and potash.” (MNSU,Pompeii) Since the eruption long ago, the civilizations on the fertile land fear the next eruption. “Campania’s first settlers, the first people to settle in this region were probably prehistoric hunters, gatherers and fishers. The region also hosted some of Italy’s chief olive groves, and the mountains nourished thousands of sheep.” (MNSU,Pompeii) Pompeii, a well preserved civilization, is now toured by many people; they go to see the wonderful crops, and the beautiful preserves. “Based on artifacts discovered by people who lived on the land, scholar humanists hypothesized that the ancient objects they found came from the famous la Citta . Excavations did not occur, however, until the eighteenth century, when Herculaneum was rediscovered by a peasant digging a well. Pompeii itself was found during an excavation that began on March 23, 1748.” (MNSU, Pompeii)

“Though Mt. Vesuvius had once been a very active volcano, it had remained dormant for as long as humans could remember. Since no legacy of destruction had been passed down from their ancestors, the people living near the mountain didn’t realize there was any potential for danger. The first warning sign came on February 5th, A.D. 62.” (MNSU,Pompeii) The town also “flooded, it was horrifying, though the earthquake only lasted a few moments, but there was one after the other and nobody knew when there was going to be a quake,” people did not know how to feel, hopeful or as if they were about to die . On August 24,there were more tremors and the mountainous volcano erupted, “the unfortunate people who could not escape in time to avoid disaster were killed by falling buildings, overcome by the mephitic gas, or simply buried by the rapidly falling ash. Their bodies were quickly covered by the volcano’s mineral deposits, which covered Pompeii in a layer more than 30 feet thick.” (EyeWitnesstoHistory)

Pompeii was forgotten, due to being covered completely, in with ash and “mephitic gas” because of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 a.d. The ash preserved the entire land. There were many things that lead up to the eruption, including a flood. Pompeii was a very prosperous land, very rich, in money and crops, the people there had a unique way to “style” their houses, using tiles made of lava and also colored stones to make mosaics.

Comments: This report is short by 5 inches. There are several things that need to be addressed:

Obviously, as a new student, I don’t know how much previous research and report writing you have done. It appears that you have done a fair amount of research for this report, based upon your citations page and quotations in your report. You use a very large number of cites within the body of your report which should be reduced. Your report needs to be in your own writing, summarizing what you have read, with the occasional quotation to support your writing. If anything, it is the other way around here. We need to work on this.

Although you have good information, it is not well organized. As I had stated in my comments in your rough draft, your writing needs to be better organized. Further, there are explicit areas where you neglected to make changes based upon my comments (“…being a well preserved nation.” Pg 4)

Again, obviously you put a lot of work into this, and I don’t want you to be disheartened. We just have to work on your writing style so that what you have to tell us makes the greatest impact.


Brion, Marcel, Michael Grant, John Ward-Perkins, and Amanda Claridge. “Pompeii.” Web. 01 Nov. 2010. .

“The Destruction of Pompeii, 79 AD.” EyeWitness to History – History through the Eyes of Those Who Lived It. Web. 01 Nov. 2010. .

“How Often Do Volcanoes Erupt | Ask Kids Answers.” AskKids Answers | Web. 03 Nov. 2010. .

Institutions, City’s. “Pompeii Information.” CyArk. Web. 01 Nov. 2010.

O’Neill, Amanda. Ancient times. London: Bramley, 1992. Print

“Pompeii.” People and Places in the Ancient World. Web. 03 Nov. 2010. .

“Pompeii Definition of Pompeii in the Free Online Encyclopedia.” Encyclopedia. Web. 02 Nov. 2010. .

“Pompeii Mosaics.” Pompei La Citta’ Di Pompei, Gli Scavi Archeologici Ed Il Santuario. Web. 02 Nov. 2010. .

“Pompeii: Stories From an Eruption.” Welcome to The Field Museum. Web. 03 Nov. 2010. .

“Temple of Isis.” AncientVine.Com. Web. 02 Nov. 2010. .

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