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date: 30 November 2022



  • Edward Togo Salmon
  •  and Nicholas Purcell


Vesuvius, the famous volcano on the bay of Naples, rises isolated out of the surrounding plain of *Campania. Its base is some 48 km. (30 mi.) in circumference, its central cone over 1,216 m. (4,000 ft.) high, and its general appearance picturesque since the mountain-sides have been largely blown away. Vesuvius is mentioned only twice during the Roman republic: in the Latin War of 340, where the allusion (Livy, 8. 8. 19) seems erroneous, and in the revolt of *Spartacus, who used its crater as a stronghold in 73. It appeared extinct (Diod. 4. 21. 5), and its fertile slopes were extensively cultivated, with vineyards mostly (Strabo 5. 4. 8, 247). On 5 February ce 63 a damaging earthquake presaged the first recorded eruption, the severe one of 24 August 79 that buried *Pompeii in sand, stones, and mud, *Herculaneum in liquid tufa, and *Stabiae in ashes, asphyxiated *Pliny(1) the Elder, and is described by *Pliny(2) the Younger, an eyewitness, in letters to *Tacitus(1) (Ep.


  • Ancient Geography
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine

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