Monday, August 24, 2009

O Sad Pompeii!

Today in AD 79, poor Pompeii was destroyed.

The Destruction of Pompeii in 79 AD
Karl Pavlovich Bryullov

From Pliny the Younger's letter to Tacitus:
[snip] They tied pillows on top of their heads as protection against the shower of rock. It was daylight now elsewhere in the world, but there the darkness was darker and thicker than any night. But they had torches and other lights. They decided to go down to the shore, to see from close up if anything was possible by sea. But it remained as rough and uncooperative as before.

Resting in the shade of a sail he (Pliny the Elder) drank once or twice from the cold water he had asked for. Then came an smell of sulfur, announcing the flames, and the flames themselves, sending others into flight but reviving him. Supported by two small slaves he stood up, and immediately collapsed. As I understand it, his breathing was obstructed by the dust-laden air, and his innards, which were never strong and often blocked or upset, simply shut down. When daylight came again 2 days after he died, his body was found untouched, unharmed, in the clothing that he had had on. He looked more asleep than dead.[snip]
Our Lady of Pompeii, pray for them!

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