Rome – The Eruption of Vesuvius

This painting by Pierre-Jacques Volaire shows the terror, violence and horror of the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79. Even now, it is a volcano that presents a threat to the millions of people who live in the region. 

1 A Simple Quiz

This quiz is based on the detailed description of the eruption provided at the Melbourne Museum Exhibition in 2009. After completing this task, you can also watch the simulation of that terrifying day in Pompeii when Vesuvius, seemingly a harmless mountain that had not erupted in living memory, suddenly poured out ash, gases and volcanic debris on the hapless residents of nearby cities and towns. 

Vesuvius: Hour by Hour

2 A Revealing Film

3 Other Videos

Focus on these words and numbers as you watch the last video in order to piece together what happened in Herculaneum:

  • What or who was suspended in the last moment of life?
  • What do the numbers 200 to 700 refer to?
  • It was hot enough to boil…
  • It was hot enough to vaporise…
  • What do the numbers 900 and 500 refer to?
  • What happened in a fraction of a second?

4 Handouts

5 A Quizizz Quiz

6 Recommended Websites

How Stuff Works: What would happen if Vesuvius erupted today? This link also includes a number of slides showing the site of Pompeii today.

The Atlantic: The Ancient Civilisation with Perfect Teeth

An Account from the Smithsonian

Excellent photos of Pompeii along with an artist’s reconstruction

Print Friendly, PDF & Email