Friday Floyd

The story of Pompeii, which appears to have been a thriving Roman city until it was destroyed by the sudden volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79AD, has fascinated me since I first learned about it in grade school.   The lava and ash spewed by Vesuvius froze in tableau a city going about its daily grind: working, playing, sleeping, perusing a little pron, enjoying restaurant meals, relaxing with a beer (or whatever they drank in those days). Like this guy:

At least that’s what it looks like to me 😉

Some Pompeiians also appear to have been running away from the monstrous lava-and-light show on the mountain nearby, but most of them perished, pets and all…

…and the city lay quietly under metres of ash and lava until it was rediscovered over 1500 years later.

In 1972, Pink Floyd put the Pompeii amphitheatre to good use with a concert featuring music from a new album called “Meddle”.  I can’t think of a better backdrop for a song like “Echoes”:

8 Responses to “Friday Floyd”


  1. 1 J. A. Baker Friday, October 22, 2010 at 9:00 am

    The story of Pompeii, which appears to have been a thriving Roman city until it was destroyed by the sudden volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79AD, has fascinated me since I first learned about it in grade school.

    I know what you mean, JJ. As you may have guessed from my earlier “borrowing” from the Aeneid, I studied Latin in high school. One of the first things the teacher showed us was an excerpt (in the original Latin) from Pliny the Younger’s account of the destruction of Pompeii.

    One part of the excerpt still sticks in my mind because of the way the teacher read it – the part where Pliny describes hearing “the screams of women, the whimpering of infants, and the shouts of men.” He read it thusly: “audivimus ULULAAAATUS feminarum, *sotto voce* vagitus infantum, *returning to normal* CLAMORES virorum.”

  2. 2 B York Friday, October 22, 2010 at 9:03 am

    That puppy – so sad.

    Great vid.

  3. 3 JJ Friday, October 22, 2010 at 10:55 am

    JAB – 😆 I remember that! Great post!

    Thanks for the link to that story, too. It’s awesome!

  4. 4 JJ Friday, October 22, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Beijing – I know 😦 The first thing I thought when I saw it was Awwwwwwwww….

  5. 5 Niles Friday, October 22, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    If you want the pron, you want Herculaneum and its artifacts. There’s the nice family town and there’s the party town. They both were buried.

    Apparently, the theory now is that those found at the sites weren’t killed by the ash, they were cooked by super hot temps rolling in waves down over them.

    Take a look at modern Naples and area and just think what would happen now.

  6. 6 Niles Friday, October 22, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Sorry, I mean to say, There’s the nice family town and there’s the party town. They both were buried. I suppose the Christian doomsayers would point out God’s wrath doesn’t have fine targeting, so everyone gets it.

  7. 7 JJ Friday, October 22, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Niles – So Pompeii was actually collateral damage in God’s Wrath against the sins of the neighbouring party town?

    I was looking at a bit of their pron, it’s so cool! They look like they really liked to party down 😯 Oh, my virgin eyes.

  8. 8 J. A. Baker Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 8:45 am

    I should’ve mentioned this earlier, but now’s as good a time as any. It was Pliny the Younger’s description of the eruption of Vesuvius (translated into English at the link above) that inspired volcanologists to refer to sufficiently large volcanic eruptions as “Plinian.”


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