FROM THE ORIGINS TO THE ERUPTION OF 79 A. D.
Pompei was founded in the VII century B.C. by the Oscans who settled on the slopes of Vesuvius and in an area not far from the river Sarno. The first settlements are dating back to the Iron Age (IX-VII centuries B.C.).
In that period Pompei was an important trade centre so it became object of the Greek, Etruscan and Samnites expansionistic aims. Afterwards in the third century B.C. Pompeii was conquered by the Romans and in a short time it became very important for the Roman trade exchanges as it started to export wine and olive oil even to Provencal and Spain.
This was an excellent architectural period, the rectangular and triangular forums were rebuilt, and important buildings such as Jupiter’s Temple, the Basilica and the House of the Faun were erected.
To this same period belongs the Temple of Iside which is clear evidence of the trade and cultural exchanges between Pompeii and the middle east countries. Under the Roman domination Pompeii became at first a “municipium” and then a colony “Veneria Cornelia Pompeianorum”, as it was ruled by the dictator Publio Cornelio Silla who conquered it in 89 B.C.
In this period Pompeii was inevitably influenced by the Roman architectural and cultural styles and during the imperial age many families belonging to the Roman patriciate sojourned in Pompeii where they built the Temple of Augustus and the Building of Eumachia.
In 62 or 63 A.D. Pompei suffered heavy damages from an earthquake and the Roman senate ordered immediately the reconstruction of the town, but this was in vain because, while many works were under construction, on August 24th 79 a tremendous eruption of the volcano Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabiae and Oplonti.
Pompeii was completely submerged by a flow of lava which cancelled all forms of life.
Vesuvius: FROM 79 A.D. TO NOWADAYS
Besides the eruption of 79 A.D. another devastating eruption took place in 472, but it was only after the eruption in 1631 that the authorities and the experts understood the real danger represented by Vesuvius.
For the first time the local authorities enacted an edict in which the population was invited to evacuate the area in the presence of an active signal of the volcano.
The last eruption happened in 1944. Today, even though people are fully aware of the of the gravity of the situation, the area around the volcano is densely populated and as of today political have yet to prepare complete precautionary measures which involves the inhabitants, schools, scientific departments.