The City of Pompeii | History, Volcano, Population, Ruins, & Facts

In ancient Rome, Pompeii was a significant tourist destination. Disaster hit the city in 79 AD though, when Mount Vesuvius, a nearby volcano, erupted, burying it under 20 feet of ash and debris.

The Oscan peoples first inhabited Pompeii around the seventh century BC. The port city was situated in an ideal area for both trade and agriculture. Prime field for grapes and olive trees was formed by the rich volcanic soil left over from prior Vesuvius eruptions.

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The Samnites took control of the city in the fifth century, and the Romans eventually occupied it. In 80 BC, it received the name Colonia Veneria Cornelia Pompeii and became a recognized Roman colony.

The Town

For Roman tourists, Pompeii was a well-liked vacation spot. The city had a population of between 10,000 and 20,000, according to estimates. Pompeii was home to many affluent Romans who spent the sweltering summers there in their vacation residences.

A typical Roman metropolis, Pompeii was. The forum was located on one side of the city. A large portion of the city’s business was conducted here. Near the forum, there were also temples dedicated to Jupiter, Venus, and Apollo. Water for the city’s fountains and public baths was brought in via an aqueduct. Even their dwellings had running water for the wealthy.

Pompeii residents delighted in their amusement. For the gladiator matches, there was a sizable amphitheater with room for about 20,000 spectators. Several theaters were available for plays, religious ceremonies, and musical performances.


There were numerous earthquakes in the Pompeii area. A significant earthquake that occurred in 62 AD significantly damaged many of Pompeii’s structures. When calamity struck seventeen years later, the city was still rebuilding.

Volcano eruption

In the year 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted on August 24. According to scientists, the volcano ejected 1.5 million tons of rock and ash every second. Over 20 miles high, the ash cloud was probably visible above the peak. Although most people didn’t make it out alive, some did. An estimated 16,000 persons passed away.

Did they know what was coming?

Pliny the Younger, a Roman administrator, wrote down the days before the eruption. Several earth tremors were reported by Pliny in the days before the eruption, but Roman science was ignorant of the possibility that earthquakes may herald the beginning of a volcano eruption. They were only intrigued when they initially noticed smoke coming from the mountain’s summit. Till it was too late, they were unaware of what was about to happen.

A Fantastic Archeologists’ Discover

Pompeii was buried and no longer existed. Eventually, people stopped remembering it. The city wasn’t rediscovered until the 1700s, when archaeologists started to unearth it. They made a remarkable discovery. Under the ashes, most of the city was still there. Even after all these years, structures, artwork, homes, and workshops remained intact. As a result, Pompeii is where we learn most of what we do about daily life in the Roman Empire.

Interesting Details About Pompeii City

The volcanic explosion took place the day following a religious celebration honoring the Roman god of fire Vulcan.

About a hundred thousand times as much energy as the thermal energy of the atomic bomb unleashed on Hiroshima was released during the eruption.

Herculaneum, a neighbouring city, was also completely devastated.

Archaeologists discovered holes in the ashes that once contained human remains that had been buried during the eruption. Scientists have been able to create accurate castings of several Pompeii residents by putting plaster into these holes.

One of the most well-liked tourist destinations in Italy is the city of Pompeii, which has been excavated.

The distance between the city and Mount Vesuvius was about 5 miles.