Friday, August 24, 2012
August 24 is the traditionally accepted date on which Mt. Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79. The volcano obliterated the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum with fast-moving currents of superheated gas and rock (pyroclastic flows). Scholars now believe the event occurred in October. Pompeii was lost for nearly 1700 years before its rediscovery in 1748. Excavations have revealed villas, businesses, public places, artifacts and well-preserved frescoes that provide detailed insight into everyday city life during the Pax Romana. Some aspects of the culture were unflinchingly erotic, including phallic worship. Pictured: two faces/theatrical masks, fresco detail, from the House of the Golden Bracelet, Pompeii.