Pompeii & HerculaneumIn the summer of 79 BCE, one of the greatest natural disasters of antiquity happened: Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried several towns and countless farms and country mansions in ash.
Today, no other place gives us such a sense of the ancient world as the excavated remains of those towns. They provide a glimpse of the life of Romans of all classes: The city of Pompeii was an average provincial centre, neighbouring Herculaneum was a small fishing town; both of them were full with ordinary people living their everyday lives. But even then, the Gulf of Naples was a popular destination for the wealthy, many of whom had built splendid mansions in the area – such as the Villa dei Papiri just outside Herculaneum, the largest Roman “rural villa” ever discovered.
Life and Death in Ancient RomeThere’s no other place like Pompeii and Herculaneum. It’s a bitter irony that one of the most deadly disasters of antiquity helps us gain more insight into the life of ordinary people in a Roman provincial town than ever before.
Life and SocietyToday, the houses that line the streets of Pompeii and Herculaneum are empty – but once they were full of life. People had decorated their homes and filled them with their belongings from furniture to pots and pans. What do the finds tell us about their lives 2000 years ago?
The EndOut of the blue, the Pompeiians’ comfortable life came to a gruesome end. Many people living around the bay of Naples hadn’t even known that the mountain overlooking their homes was a volcano. One summer day, however, all hell broke loose...