Oriental and Mystery Cults in Ancient Pompeii

Mystery cults have some characteristics not usually found in more traditional Roman religions. By Stephen Matthiesen The archaeological evidence in Pompeii can give us some information about oriental or mystery cults, mainly the cults of Isis and of Dionysos. There are different types of archaeological sources which differ in the kind of information they can[…]

Herculaneum: Pompeii’s Sister City in Destruction

Herculaneum had a long, rich history before its fall to the Vesuvian blast. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction Herculaneum, located on the Bay of Naples, was a Roman town which was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE. Like its neighbour Pompeii, the town was perfectly preserved by a metres-thick layer of volcanic[…]

When Did Vesuvius Erupt? The Evidence For and Against August 24

Clues from texts, objects, and science shed light on one of the greatest natural disasters in world history. By Kenneth Lapatin and Alina Kozlovski Introduction On August 24, 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted, destroying the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. At least, that’s the date inscribed in the history books. As well-publicized recent discoveries have suggested,[…]

Analysing the Rural Landscape around Pompeii before the Eruption of Somma-Vesuvius in AD 79

Pompeii; via di Mercurio with Mount Vesuvius. Photo: Carlo Mirante (Source: Flickr Creative Commons) By Dr. Sebastian Vogel Professor of Geoecology and Archaeology University of Potsdam eTopoi: Journal for Ancient Studies 3 (2012), 377-382 Introduction The Somma-Vesuvius volcano has affected the landscape of Campania (Italy) for tens of thousands of years and the fate of[…]