Mt. Vesuvius Seen from the Ruins of Herculaneum, Italy

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
Mount Vesuvius (v-s´v-s) is about ten miles southeast of Naples. It is less than 4,000 feet high. It is the only active volcano on the continent of Europe, and is one of the most interesting in the world. It is a vast area of lava, sand and ashes. No grass or shrubbery grows on the mountain sides. Before 79 A. D. this mountain was covered with farms and gardens. Great grape vineyards, for which Italy is famed, grew on its sides and in the valley below. There were hot springs on the edge of the mountains, and the district roundabout was a favorite health and pleasure resort for the wealthy Romans of that age. Among the fashionable resorts near by was Herculaneum (hûr´kû-l´n-m). On August 24, 79 A. D., suddenly great volumes of steam, hot mud, ashes, and burning rocks were belched forth into the air from the top of Mount Vesuvius. So great was this eruption that the mud and smoke and rocks hurled into the air shut out the light of the sun and even in Rome, 190 miles north of Mount Vesuvius, the day was turned into darkness. Great rivers of molten rock, ashes and mud flowed down the mountain side, burying the farms, gardens and cities completely. In 203, 472 and 512 A. D. there were other eruptions. Then it was quiet for many centuries during which the mountain sides, even to the crater's edge, became overgrown with forests. In 1631 there was another eruption and in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries many more, the last one being in 1906. This eruption blew off the top of the cone, made the mountain much lower and completely changed its shape. Much of Herculaneum has been unearthed and we have been able to see just how the people of that day lived. Keystone ID: 7283 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.