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Best Books about Pompeii

 

 

Seneca: the AD 62 earthquake
From Quaestiones Naturales, VI
Plaster Cast from Pompeii
Background Information
Where to see them
Pompeii Antiquarium
Garden of the Fugitives
Stabian Thermal Baths
Horrea and Olitorium
Macellum
Villa of the Mysteries
Caupona Pherusa
House of the Four Styles
Region I
Porta Nocera
Boscoreale Antiquarium
Historical Information
Younger Pliny's letters
Seneca's describes AD 62 earthquake
Gautier short story about Pompeii

Early account of making plaster casts

Charles Dickens describes Pompeii
Mark Twain describes Pompeii
William Dean Howells describes Pompeii
WW2 bombing of Pompeii
Visiting Pompeii and vicinity
visiting Pompeii
visiting Herculaneum
visiting Mt. Vesuvius
Further Information
books about Pompeii
touring Pompeii exhibitions
websites about Pompeii

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pompeii, the famous city in Campania, has been laid low by an earthquake which also disturbed all the adjacent districts. The city is in a pleasant bay, some distance from the open sea, and bounded by the shores of Surrentum and Stabiae on one side and of Herculaneum on the other; the shores meet there.

In fact, it occurred in days of winter, a season which our ancestors used to claim was free from such disaster. This earthquake was on the Nones of February, in the consulship of Regulus and Verginius. It caused great destruction in Campania, which had never been safe from this danger but had never been damaged, and time and again had got off with a fright. Also, part of the town of Herculaneum is in ruins, and even the structures which are left standing are shaky. The colony of Nuceria escaped destruction but still has much to complain about. Naples also lost many private dwellings but no public buildings, and was only mildly grazed by the great disaster; but some villas collapsed, others here and there shook without damage. To these calamities others were added: they say that a flock of hundreds of sheep was killed, statues were cracked, and some people were so shocked that they wandered about as if deprived of their wits. The thread of my proposed work, and the concurrence of the disaster at this time, requires that we discuss the causes of these earthquakes.

It is necessary to find solace for distressed people and to remove their great fear. Yet can anything seem adequately safe to anyone if the world itself is shaken, and its most solid parts collapse? Where will our fears finally be at rest if the one thing which is immovable in the universe and fixed, so as to support everything that leans upon it, starts to waver; if the earth loses the characteristic it has: stability? What hiding-place will creatures find, where will they flee in their anxiety, if fear arises from below and is drawn from the depths of the earth? There is panic on the part of all when buildings creak and give signs of falling. Then everybody hurls himself headlong outside, abandons his household possessions, and trusts to his luck in the outdoors. What hiding-place do we look to, what help, if the earth itself is causing the ruin, if what protects us, upholds us, on which cities are built, which some speak of as a kind of foundation of the universe, separates and reels?  

 

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