John Martin, The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum, 1822

In 79 AD Pliny the Younger watched in horror from his ship on the Bay of Naples as Mt Vesuvius erupted and decimated the populations of Pompeii and Herculaneum. He wrote about it in a letter to Tacitus, a Roman senator. Pliny the Elder (a naval/army commander and the Younger’s uncle) stayed to help rescue people but succumbed to the disaster as well, seen here in front. Others are seen here carrying their most valuable possessions on their backs while other treasures have been abandoned. The scene is set from the town of Stabiae on the Bay of Naples, where we see rubble from the temple columns strewn on the ground and another crumbling from the force of the accompanying earthquakes.

Leave a Reply