The Destruction Of Pompeii

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Chris Ford Pompeii Pompeii is possibly the best-documented catastrophe in antiquity. Because of it, we now know how the Pompeians lived because they left behind an extensive legacy of art and “artyfacts” such as monuments, sculptures and paintings. Pompeii lay on a plateau of ancient lava near the Bay of Naples in western Italy in a region called Campania, less than 1.6 kilometers from the foot of Mount Vesuvius. With the coast to the west and the Apennine Mountains to the East, Campania is a fertile plain, traversed by two major rivers and rich soil. Its first inhabitants were an eighth century B.C. group of Italic people known as the Oscans; they most likely established Pompeii, although the exact date of its origin is unknown. “The root of the word Pompeii would appear to be the Oscan word for the number five, pompe, which suggests that either the community consisted of five hamlets or, perhaps, was settled by a family group.”[1] A group of warriors from Samnium, called Samnite, invaded the region in about 400 BC Pompeii thus remained a relatively unimportant village until the 200s BC, when the town entered a prosperous period of building and expansion. In the course of eighth century BC, Greek and Etruscan colonization stimulated the development of Pompeii as a city around the area of the Forum. A point for important trade routes, it became a place for trading towards the inland. Up until the middle of the 5th century B.C., the Etruscans dominated the city politically. In the course of the 6th century B.C., terracottas, ceramics and architecture also document the influence of Greek culture. The Romans defeated the Samnites, and Pompeii became part of the emerging Roman state. Pompeii joined the Italic revolt against Rome, the Social War of 91-87 B.C., and was crushed by Sulla. Although the city was not destroyed, it lost its
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