BEANERY ONLINE LITERARY MAGAZINE
THE BURIED CITY
What am I thinking of? I’ll give you three hints: a thriving city, a settlement for disaster, and finally, a city ending in a pitfall. Ok…I’ll tell you…Pompeii.
Before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii’s history was short and sweet. First of all, Pompeii is situated by the bay of Naples in western Italy. Natural Resources in the region allowed this city to thrive. Wealthy citizens of Rome saw Pompeii as a beautiful vacationing hot spot and became home to the most powerful people in the world. As far back as the people of Pompeii could remember, there was no threat for potential danger close in the future.
The first warnings came on February fifth, 62 AD. Around the middle of the day an earthquake shook the town and chaos broke loose. Buildings collapsed and a reservoir broke, which added flooding. But it didn’t stop here. One hour later another tremor frightened the city, and intervals of these continued until nightfall. For the next seventeen years, the people of Pompeii made their city more splendid than it was before. Yet again, on August 79 AD minor tremors made an appearance but were paid no attention. These warnings gave sight to what was to come.
On August 20th the Earth rumbled and cracked, the tranquil sea became violent with waves until the morning of the 24th. On this day, Mount Vesuvius had different plans for the city. Vesuvius split open with the wicked cry that could be heard hundreds of miles out of city boundaries. The volcano spewed flaming stones, scorching mud, toxic smoke, burning flames, black ash, and scolding hot rocks. Bystanders from across the river wrote about what they saw, including Pliny the Younger, and the few brave souls risked their lives to go save the others trapped by the bay. From the rescue boats they wrote up close encounters, and sent them back, only for the writers to be engulfed by the toxic fumes and die on the rescue mission. One of the rescuers was Pliny the Elder. These letters entailed the people running from the wall of ash that was consuming the city and of the people failing in doing so as the toxic air won the battle. The unexpected and chaotic day ended with the funeral of the tortured souls and the once thriving city felled by the wall of ash, burying its legacy.
Today, Pompeii is an archaeologist haven, an architect’s praying ground and, plainly, a historical ruin. Pompeii was rediscovered on accident in the late 16th century. Before this it remained buried for hundreds of years. When the ashes and stones were removed, the archaeologists filled the mystical empty spots, that were located sporadically, with plaster and these plastered figures formed the people that were buried. These molds and other artifacts that were found are history’s keys in finding out how these people once lived long ago.
All in all, the town of Pompeii was a hot spot…thrived…and was destroyed by nature, and only then did that reveal the enchanting stories that this piece of history has brought us.