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Roman empire quiz 3

Updated on December 2, 2014

Pompeii, its history and ruin

We had been in Italy just a day and a half when we headed south to Naples and the ruined city of Pompeii. Here one gets the sense of how easily a community can be destroyed, how total the devastation, and how tragic the aftermath of a natural event.

With the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March, 2011, still flooding the media with images of death, heartbreaking stories of loss and even worst tragedies unfolding of entire families wiped out, one realises that nature is more powerful than man and that anything we build is only temporary. No matter how strong and grandiose we might appear every nation is there only until Mother nature, or the Spirit of the Universe, decides otherwise.

The image shows a street with ruts made by chariot wheels as a reminder that when this tragedy occurred there were no engines, no cars, no public transport, no escape and, although the buildings were of brick, there was little to hold them together in the face of what they faced. The street also shows us that this was the sewer, the place where waste once ran out and down to the sea. One can almost smell the stench of the flow and crossing here meant stepping across on the stones that appear regularly along the length of it.

Andrew resting in the foot bath
Andrew resting in the foot bath

Pompeii was Awesome

Pompeii's history began around 70 BC (Before Caesar) and was established as a city by the Oscans. Built on a popular trade route, at that time, it was also used as a port by Phonecians and Greek sailors. There is evidence that it was also captured or used by the Etruscans whose pottery is found there.

At the same time as this was happening the Amorites or Phonecians, as they are also called, were setting their sites on a location further north. It had the perfect setting of seven hills, which was the same as their Capital, Mari, in the middle East Assyrian region. They were a violent, merciless raider, who killed, maimed, tortured and overpowered their victims as they stole land, women and slaves.

Much of early Roman history will not tell you these things because this is from my research. The Amors, or Amorites, left their calling cards behind as 'amor' reversed is 'roma;' and 'amore' in Italian is 'love'. It was the normal thing to use the term of their goddess, the sun, for love. It is known in all ancient societies.

The people of the Italian peninsula were hostile towards the Romans and resisted their invasion. Nothing much was resolved until Juilius Caesar went forth with his murdering raiding parties and virtually annihalated or enslaved people who put up any resistance to Rome, He then went further into Europe and devastated the tribes of what is now Germany and around the Rhone. The violence and murderous onslaught is partially told in the history that has survived,

Pompeii was one such area that resisted and fought bitterly until it was conquered in 80BC. It was then called Cornelia Veneria Pompeianorum and was a vital link for trade north and south on the Appian Way.

At the time of its destruction it was estimated to have had some 20,000 inhabitants and was an important holiday resort for Romans who had Villas and holiday homes in the area. Its sister town of Herculaneum, whose history parallels that of Pompeii, was also destroyed in the volcanic eruption.

The picture is of my son, Andrew, taking a rest in the foot bath in one of the villas in Pompeii. (Photo is copyright)

A look around Pompeii

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The Appian Way Catacombs

It was Just too Hot

Although it has long been considered that the people died of ash suffocation and poisoning from gasses emitted by the volcano it is now revealed that they died of heat. Wikipedia notes that recent studies by bio-anthropology and volcanology researchers concluded this in a joint multidiciplinary study, The heat was estimated at 250* C which, at a distance of 10km from the vent, would have killed them instantly,

This would rule out Hollywood's version of events that show people rushing to get away from falling lava and such, as shown in several movies on the eruptiont. It is also noted from that same source that people and buildings were covered with 25m layers of mixed ash, pumice, and up to 12 different layers of soil.

After this the towns were abandoned and their names forgotten.

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Mount Vesuvius Explosion 1944

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The Gulf of Naples
The Gulf of Naples

What About Naples?

This city dates from 2,800 BC (before caesar) and has a turbulent history, by all accounts, It was an important port situated on the west coast of Italy it saw the transfusion of Greek culture into Roman society. It is still a very busy one.

While many civilisations have come and gone it is mainly the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque forms of architecture that features most prominently in the city today. It was the capital city of the Kingdom of Naples from 1282 until 1816. At that stage it became the capital of the 2 Sicilies and pushed for unification of Italy through the Neapolitan War, It is heralded as the most populated metropolitan city in Italy and the most densely populated major city in the country (Wikipedia),

Its population is somewhere around 3-4 million people taking into account the surrounding districts, It consists of a thriving black market empire and is notorious for the corruption in its economic affairs. Sicily is, of course, the home of the Mafia and Naples is also father to much of that organisation, which even controls its waste disposal services.

The city was the most bombed in Italy and it is synonomous with Pizza, which was invented here. We stopped at a pizza parlour and had a tradition Naples pizza for lunch the day we went to Pompeii,

Tour of the streets of Naples

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Still images from Dreamstime - click here

© 2011 norma-holt

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    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Very educational lens. Many thanks for the points!

    • blestman lm profile image

      blestman lm 4 years ago

      Awesome. Always something good to learn on your lenses. thank you

    • profile image

      RuralFloridaLiving 4 years ago

      Well done! Very interesting and informative quiz. Really enjoyed my time here

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      @VspaBotanicals: Glad you could make it and thank you for visiting. Hugs

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 5 years ago

      Loved my visit here.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      Good job keeping our minds active.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      This was a wonderful trip to Italy - bravo!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      You spent hours and hours and you have a masterpiece quiz as a result! More quizzes, you say, well you just twisted my arm....

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 6 years ago

      Very informative lens and quizzes on Rome.

    • Jhangora LM profile image

      Jhangora LM 6 years ago

      Thanx a lot for a fantastic quiz. Didn't score well but l like to know more about History.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      Keep them coming!

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      Lensrolled to my Italy Quiz

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      Great and varied quiz - lovely stuff.