Facts about Pompeii

We found 18 facts about Pompeii

Ancient city enclosed in a time capsule formed by volcanic ash

Pompeii is a city founded at the turn of the 9th and 8th centuries BC. It was one of the largest and most developed cities of the Roman Empire, distancing even Rome. A large port city specialized in trade, agriculture, viticulture and olive growing grew rich and flourished. For centuries city grew and operated without any warning from a nearby volcano. The first warning was an earthquake that destroyed much of the city, then came 79 AD, and Pompeii ceased to exist.
Pompeii was built on the slope of a hill formed from volcanic lava.
Situated on the warm waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, it was a thriving port city that received enormous amounts of money from trade, allowing it to grow without disruption.
The period of the city's most remarkable and dynamic development was the 1st century AD.
Fertile soils and excellent geographical location favored economic growth.
Along with the general increase in wealth, the living standards of most social classes rose.
Numerous bourgeoisie with merchants and entrepreneurs built Pompeii's fortune.
The city's wealth encouraged the development of architecture and influenced its appearance.
Wealthy townspeople competed with the aristocracy in building magnificent villas and their decoration.
A favorite place for recreation for the Pompeian patricians were the baths.
There were several in Pompeii, but the most popular were those located under the city because women could also use them.
Numerous lupanars (brothels) were also very popular.
Pompeians paid from two to eight times more for sex than for good wine.
The city was surrounded by a fortified wall about 3 km long.
It had a sewerage system running along the streets.
Protruding boulders that were "pedestrian crossings" rose across the streets.
Water was brought to the rich houses, street fountains and baths by aqueducts.
All buildings had rainwater tanks.
A Theater, Amphitheater and Palestrina were built on the outskirts of the city.
Pompeian houses were decorated with magnificent mosaics. One can see inscriptions on the facades of the buildings, which may have been something like advertisements.
The first destruction of the city happened in 62 AD.
An earthquake destroyed over 60% of the city. It was quickly rebuilt, without fear that the same tragedy would happen anytime soon.
Pompeians were unaware that Vesuvius was a volcano.
Seventeen years after the earthquake, in 79, an unexpected Vesuvius eruption annihilated Pompeii entirely.
The city was covered with a nearly 6 m (20 ft) layer of volcanic ash.
On the city fell glowing stones (lapilli), causing fires. The clouds of poisonous gases killed all who remained in Pompeii. The so-called burning cloud had a temperature of up to 600 °C (1112 °F).
The eruption lasted three days.
Huge amounts of ash reached Egypt, Syria, and Rome.
The gigantic cemetery was considered a cursed place.
It was not until 1711 that a villager digging a well accidentally discovered the buried city.
Excavation began in 1748 and continues to this day.
Little more than half of the town has been unearthed so far.
Pompeii was bombed during World War II.
Most of the buildings were rebuilt.
The original artifacts found in Pompeii are in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples.
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