Earthquake Damage in Pompeii Ancient Places and/or Civilizations Disasters

Around 16 or 17 years before Vesuvius destroyed Herculaneum and Pompeii, a major earthquake shook Campagnia. This image depicts damage inflicted on a Pompeii building as a result of that prior earthquake. Photo by Robert Decker, all rights reserved. Provided here as fair use for educational purposes.


Sixteen or seventeen years (depending on the historical account) before Vesuvio (meaning smoke) destroyed Pompeii, a major earthquake shook Campagnia.

Seneca wrote about it. Pompeii was damaged by it. Perhaps because of it, residents thought their homes would be the best place for families when the mountain came alive that summer day in 79 AD. People, after all, tend to stay where they feel most safe.

An eyewitness, Pliny the Younger, saw what happened as Vesuvius first started to erupt. Historians still rely on his account.

A 17-year-old whose uncle (a commander of the Roman fleet) died as a result of the disaster, Pliny watched the eruption from nearby Misenum, across the bay.

Later, in an effort to reliably describe events for Tacitus (the Roman historian), Pliny wrote (in his second letter):

There had been tremors for many days previously, a common occurrence in Campagnia and no cause for panic.

Panic, however, was not far off.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Dec 12, 2016

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"WARNING SIGNS" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 01, 2002. May 31, 2020.
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