When Did Pompeii Come Out

Pompeii is an ancient Roman city located a few miles south-east of Naples, Italy. It is widely known for the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD which covered the city in slabs of volcanic debris. So when did Pompeii come out? The answer to this is not as simple as it appears and it depends on what one means by coming out – was it when the city of Pompeii was founded, when it was destroyed or when it was rediscovered?
Pompeii was founded during the Roman Republic period around the 7th century BC though its precise date of establishment is unknown due to the lack of archaeological records. In 80BC Pompeii became part of the Roman Empire and it soon became a flourishing trading port, particularly due to its involvement in the transport of wine, fish and grain to Rome.
The destruction of Pompeii is one of the most iconic events of antiquity. In the Summer of 79AD Mount Vesuvius violently erupted and within a matter of hours the city was destroyed by an avalanche of ash, lava and rocks which covered the ancient city and left it buried for centuries.
The ruins of Pompeii were rediscovered in 1748 by workmen who stumbled across the archeological site while they were digging a canal. Since then, the ruins have undergone serious archaeological research as experts have sought to uncover the secrets of the famous ancient city including fully excavating and reconstructing over 2000 buildings.
Archaeological evidence from Pompeii has allowed us to explore a fascinating past, from the various customs of the ancient Romans to the people who lived in this fascinating place. Written graffiti and wall murals provide a unique viewpoint into the lives of the ancient inhabitants.
The film ‘Pompeii’, which hit cinemas in February 2014, brought the awe and history of the city to the mainstream. Starring Kit Harrington and Emily Browning, the movie is based upon the catastrophic eruption of 79AD and follows the story of a young slave-turned-gladiator as he tries to save his beloved during the chaos and devastation.

The Legacy of Pompeii

The legacy of Pompeii is profound; its legacy is the catastrophe of 79AD and the priceless insight the ruins give us into the society and culture of the ancient Romans. Historians use what they have learnt from Pompeii in combination with evidence garnered from other ancient sites to better understand the times before them.
Today, the site of Pompeii is a major tourist attraction, with almost 3 million visitors per year. The site is well-maintained and there are a certain amount of reconstructed buildings and accompanied plazas and gardens which help visitors to better understand the life in Pompeii.
Pompeii and the catastrophic events surrounding its destruction have inspired a variety of artists from Patricio Freire’s 1870 painting ‘The Destruction of Pompeii’ to modern films such as ‘Pompeii’.

Lessons from Pompeii

Pompeii teaches us a valuable lesson about the power of nature; it also serves to remind us about the futility of man. Even though the residents knew the danger of living on the slopes of Vesuvius, they never foresaw such a destructive volcanic eruption.
The era of Pompeii provides us with a powerful example of how such risk can be mitigated if taken seriously. Today emergency plans in volcanically active areas have been devised to minimise the risk of such an event happening again. These plans take into consideration the likelihood of such an event and how best to mitigate it.

The Mysteries of Pompeii

Despite our better understanding of ancient Roman society, there remain a large number of unanswered questions about the city of Pompeii. These range from the actual date of established to the exact composition of the city’s population.
We know that Pompeii had a temple dedicated to the goddess Isis, suggesting that the city was home to some sort of Egyptian cult, but why and how did this occur? We also know that the city contained several cemeteries, but we don’t really have any understanding of the purpose of the cemeteries or why so many people were buried there.

Momentous Finds of Pompeii

The ruins of Pompeii have provided us with some of the most amazing discoveries in history, from the plaster casts made from empty spaces left by the deceased until their patterns of life in the ancient Roman city. Houses, shops, bars and brothels were all discovered intact, providing us with a treasured insight into the daily life of the city’s citizens.
One of the most significant discoveries, however, was the discovery of the ‘Garden of the Fugitives’ in 1827. A group of 13 figures were unearthed here in the form of plaster casts made from the voids left by decomposing bodies. This provided the clearest evidence of just how terrible the eruption of 79AD truly was and brought the story of Pompeii now famous story to life.

The Future of Pompeii

Since its discovery, the ruins of Pompeii have been gradually decaying with weather and wear, leading to fears that the entire site could collapse. In the past few decades many efforts have been made to protect and restore the site, and indeed UNESCO have listed the site as a ‘world heritage site’. The on-going restoration is an important step in the preservation of one of the world’s most important archaeological sites.
Scientists and experts from all walks of life continue to visit Pompeii, from biologists researching the flora, to archaeologists unearthing forgotten objects and artefacts. Each of these teams brings a new insight into our understanding of the ancient world, and offers a unique consideration for the people of Pompeii.

Presence in Popular Culture

Though long forgotten and isolated after the eruption of 79AD, the city of Pompeii has gradually become a part of mainstream culture. The tragedy of the city has inspired a plethora of writers from Jules Verne to Mary Churchill; this literary legacy has cast the darkness of Pompeii’s destruction against the light of its cultural legacy.
The story of Pompeii has formed the basis of a myriad of films and artwork, bringing the stories of the victims of 79AD to life. Anything from theme parks in Italy to Volcano Bay in Orlando, Florida has capitalised on the power of the tragedy to engage, educate and entertain its visitors.

Source of Appreciation

When taking a closer look at the city of Pompeii we can’t help but be intrigued by the amount of love, hope and charity that were grounded in the hearts of its people who, despite the destruction, managed to make the city a source from which to draw ongoing appreciation.
The city has left behind tales of remarkable endurance, courage and fighter spirit that continue to mesmerise and inspire, as well as demonstrating the incredible esteem which the ancient Romans held for their heritage, their customs, and their beautiful city of Pompeii.
Undoubtedly the destruction of Pompeii is a dreadful episode in our history and its horrors are not to be forgotten. But the history of Pompeii also serves as a key point of learning for the modern world, reminding us of the potential power of nature and giving us an incredible understanding of a fascinating piece of Roman history.

Herman Shaw is a passionate traveler and avid photographer who has seen many of the world's most awe-inspiring monuments. He has developed expertise in various aspects of world architecture and culture which he enjoys sharing with his readers. With deep historical knowledge and insight, Herman's writing brings life to these remarkable artifacts and highlights their importance in the grand scheme of human history.

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