The Frozen-in-time roman city of Pompeii Ruins!
Pompeii was a large Roman town in Campania, Italy which was buried in volcanic ash following the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE. Excavated in the 19th-20th century, its excellent state of preservation gives an invaluable insight into Roman everyday life. Pompeii is perhaps the richest archaeological site in the world for the volume of data available to scholars.
Settlement in Campania Region
The area was originally settled in the Bronze Age on an escarpment on the mouth of the river Sarno. The site of Pompeii and the surrounding area offered the twin advantages of a favourable climate and rich volcanic soil which allowed for the blossoming of agricultural activity, particularly olives and grapes. Little did the original settlers realise that the very escarpment on which they built had been formed by a long-forgotten eruption of the now seemingly innocent mountain that over-shadowed their town. However, in Greek mythology, a hint at the volcano’s power was found in the legend that Hercules had here fought giants in a fiery landscape. Indeed, the nearby town Herculaneum, which would suffer the same fate as Pompeii, was named after this heroic episode. In addition, Servius informs us that the name Pompeii derives from pumpe, which was the commemorative procession in honour of Hercules’ victory over the giants.
THE COAST OF CAMPANIA WAS A FAVOURITE PLAYGROUND OF ROME’S WELL-TO-DO & SO MANY OF THE VILLAS WERE PARTICULARLY GRAND WITH PANORAMIC SEA-SIDE VIEWS.
Greeks established colonies in Campania in the 8th century BCE and the Etruscans were also present until they were defeated by Syracusan and local Greeks at the battle of Cumae in 474 BCE. From then on the Samnite people from the local mountains began to infiltrate and dominate the region. The 4th century BCE saw Samnite infighting break out into the Samnite Wars (343-290 BCE) across Campania and the beginning of Roman influence in the region. Pompeii was favoured by Rome and the town flourished with large building projects being carried out in the 2nd century BCE.