Pompeii: the day a doomsday volcano wiped a city off the map

December 5, 2013 NAPLES, ItalyMount Vesuvius, a volcano near the Bay of Naples in Italy, is hundreds of thousands of years old and has erupted more than 50 times. Its most famous eruption took place in the year 79 A.D., when the volcano buried the ancient Roman city of Pompeii under a thick carpet of volcanic ash. The dust “poured across the land” like a flood, one witness wrote, and shrouded the city in “a darkness…like the black of closed and unlighted rooms.” Two thousand people died, and the city was abandoned for almost as many years. The blast sent a plume of ashes, pumice and other rocks, and scorching-hot volcanic gases so high into the sky that people could see it for hundreds of miles around. As it cooled, this tower of debris drifted to earth: first the fine-grained ash, then the lightweight chunks of pumice and other rocks. It was terrifying–“I believed I was perishing with the world,” Pliny wrote, “and the world with me”–but not yet lethal: Most Pompeiians had plenty of time to flee. For those who stayed behind, however, conditions soon grew worse. As more and more ash fell, it clogged the air, making it difficult to breathe. Buildings collapsed. Then, a “pyroclastic surge”–a 100-miles-per-hour surge of superheated poison gas and pulverized rock–poured down the side of the mountain and swallowed everything and everyone in its path. –History
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6 Responses to Pompeii: the day a doomsday volcano wiped a city off the map

  1. bobby90247 says:

    Does anyone remember this? I certainly do! Whenever I see pictures of volcanoes erupting in the background shots taken from cities around these volcanoes, the first thought that comes to mind is…”RUN!!!”

    AND YET, in all of these cities and towns and villages…life goes on as usual!


  2. Moriah says:

    In 70 CE the Romans destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem and murdered a vast population of the Jews in Israel and exiled them and took them in captivity as depicted in the Arch of Titus. Nine years later…When Israel is persecuted there is no peace in the world. Remember that as volcanoes all over the world erupt and extreme weather wreaks havoc.


    • IMG
      Pompeii and Jerusalem’s destruction

      In August, A.D. 79, Italy’s famous volcano, Mount Vesuvius, erupted. It rained fire upon nearby cities, destroying the famous seaside city of Pompeii and killing many of Rome’s aristocracy, including politicians who lived in private villas in the plush resort community. Other nearby cities, including Herculaneum and Stabia, were also destroyed. The Roman historian, Seneca, wrote that the quakes lasted for several days. Oddly enough, the city was destroyed nine years, almost to the day, after the Roman legions destroyed Jerusalem and burned Herod’s Temple. Hershel Shanks, editor of Biblical Archeological Review magazine (July/August 2010 issue), raised the question of whether, in the first century, it was believed to be God’s revenge. Did the people of that generation see it as God’s judgment?

      First, Shanks quoted from Dio Cassius, author of Roman History, who described in detail the fire and smoke of Mount Vesuvius. Then he quoted from the writings of Pliny the younger, who told about the death of his uncle, Pliny the Elder, on board a ship that tried to escape the rain of fire and lava. But the thought that God had poured fire upon the Roman villas in revenge for their burning Jerusalem led him to Book 4 of the Sibylline Oracles. This ancient writing was the work of an aged Greek woman who uttered ecstatic prophecies that were composed around the years of the destruction of Jerusalem and the subsequent volcanic explosions of Mount Vesuvius. She wrote:

      “An evil storm of war will also come upon Jerusalem from Italy, and it will sack the great Temple of God … A leader of Rome [Titus] will come … who will burn the Temple of Jerusalem with fire [and] at the same time slaughter many men and destroy the great land of the Jews…. When a firebrand, turned away from a cleft in the earth [Mt. Vesuvius] in the land of Italy, reaches to broad heaven it will burn many cities and destroy men. Much smoking ashes will fill the great sky, and showers will fall from heaven like red earth. Know then the wrath of the heavenly God.”

      Shanks felt that this oracle reflected the feeling of many first-century people that God had judged Rome for destroying Jerusalem — the apple of God’s eye. Shanks also wrote:

      “After the destruction, the site was subject to looting. And people who had managed to flee came back to see whether they could retrieve some of their possessions. One such person came back to a house in an area of Pompeii, designated today as Region 9, Insula 1, House 26. After having walked through the desolation of the city, he looked about and saw nothing but destruction, where once there had been buildings and beautifully frescoed walls. Disconsolate and aghast, he picked up a piece of charcoal and scratched on the wall in large black Latin letters:



      • Irene C says:

        Thank you for this link. I hadn’t connected Pompeii with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. I do know about As America Has Done to Israel by John McTernan. I follow his blog regularly. For those who believe in “coincidences”, this is an excellent book to read. Genesis 12:3 is still in effect.


  3. mary says:



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