By Seif Kamel
Pompeii was a Roman city with more than 20 thousand inhabitants and 40% of them were slaves. Today nothing remains of this ancient city is some of its remarkable ruins that many travelers visit until today as part of their Italy Travel Packages.
Being 1200 meters above the sea level, this was where the famous Mount Vesuvius was located. Most of the structures of Pompeii were destroyed from the fire caused by the great explosion of the Vesuvius volcano in the year 79.
The whole city was buried under the mud and sand for more than 16 centuries until it was rediscovered in the 18th century. The volcano has started its eruption on the 24th of August of the year 79 and many clouds of smoke spread all over the sky of Pompeii. The inhabitants of the city tried to resort to their homes and then it damaged the whole city.
The location of Pompeii was unearthed in 1738 when the city of Herculaneum was discovered. Afterwards and exactly in 1748 archeologists were able rediscover Pompeii, a city with rich history that has left many remarkable ruins. The site of the ancient city of Pompeii has become a major touristic attraction that is included in many Italy Tours.
The history of Pompeii
Pompeii was not a prestigious city but it was more famous than many other Roman rich cities because of its ruins that were finely preserved throughout time.
Pompeii was originally located near the Napoli Gulf about one and a half kilometers away from the bed of the Vesuvius Mountain. Scholars and historians were not able to indentify the inhabitants of Pompeii accurately. This region in the beginning of the 6th century BC was under the control of the Greek colonists.
Afterwards, groups coming from the mountains came and resided in the city in the 5th century BC. Pompeii remained a relatively unimportant city until the 3rd century when the city was widened and many structures were constructed in the city and Pompeii became part of the Roman Empire around the 1st century BC.
Pompeii at the time had an oval shape with a perimeter that was around three kilometers and it had a huge wall surrounding it with seven entrance gates.
There were many streets in the city perpendicular on each others. The guests can until today see the traces of these routs. There is also a wide square with a platform in the center of the city. The most important structures in the city were built to surround this square. There were also many other remarkable structures including a Roman theatre, many temples, and several public baths. Many of these structures were discovered in the 18th century and have become part of Italy custom tour.
The nice weather of Pompeii has attracted many of the wealthy Romans so they built many houses and villas in the city near the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The inhabitants of Pompeii at the time started erecting their own house with all modern facilities of the period.
Most of the buildings of the city of Pompeii were constructed in one floor and sometimes another wooden floor was added. This was the style that was dominant in France and England in the medieval period.
Pompeii was famous for its production of wine, different types of oil, and wheat. It was a popular market for the products of rural areas. Many other goods were produced in the city like fish sauces, perfumes, and cloths. The inhabitants of the city at the time consisted of wealthy tradesmen, nobles, stores owners, artists, and slaves.