ITALY Eruption of Vesuvius antique print 1855
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Home > Prints and Maps by Country > Europe > Italy

ITALY: Eruption of Vesuvius, antique print, 1855

Price: £12.99

CAPTION BELOW PICTURE: 'Eruption of Vesuvius, May 4, 1855'


Eruptions of Mount Vesuvius
The eruption of AD 79 was documented by contemporary historians and is universally accepted as having started on 24 August. However the archeological excavations of Pompeii suggest that the town was buried a couple of months later. For example, people buried in the ash appear to be wearing warmer clothing than the light summer clothes that would be expected in August. The fresh fruit and vegetables in the shops are typical of October, and conversely the summer fruit that would have been typical of August was already being sold in dried, or conserved form. Wine fermenting jars had been sealed over, and this would have happened around the end of October. The coins found in the purse of a woman buried in the ash include a commemorative coin that should have been minted at the end of September. So far there is no definitive theory as to why there should be such an apparent discrepancy.

Later eruptions from the 3rd to the 19th century
Since the eruption of 79 AD, Vesuvius has erupted around three dozen times. It erupted again in 203, during the lifetime of the historian Cassius Dio. In 472, it ejected such a volume of ash that ashfalls were reported as far away as Constantinople. The eruptions of 512 were so severe that those inhabiting the slopes of Vesuvius were granted exemption from taxes by Theodoric the Great, the Gothic king of Italy. Further eruptions were recorded in 787, 968, 991, 999, 1007 and 1036 with the first recorded lava flows. The volcano became quiescent at the end of the 13th century and in the following years it again became covered with gardens and vineyards as of old. Even the inside of the crater was filled with shrubbery.
Vesuvius entered a new and particularly destructive phase in December 1631, when a major eruption buried many villages under lava flows, killing around 3,000 people. Torrents of boiling water were also ejected, adding to the devastation. Activity thereafter became almost continuous, with relatively severe eruptions occurring in 1660, 1682, 1694, 1698, 1707, 1737, 1760, 1767, 1779, 1794, 1822, 1834, 1839, 1850, 1855, 1861, 1868, 1872, 1906, 1926, 1929, and 1944.

Eruptions in the 20th century
The eruption of 1906 was particularly destructive, killing over 100 people and ejecting the most lava ever recorded from a Vesuvian eruption. Its last major eruption to date came in March 1944, destroying the villages of San Sebastiano al Vesuvio, Massa di Somma, Ottaviano, and part of San Giorgio a Cremano, as well as all 88 planes in a U.S. B-25 bomber group, as World War II continued to rage in Italy.
From 6 January to 23 February 1944, lava flows appeared within the rim and there were outflows. The activity paused on 23 February and resumed on 13 March. Small explosions then occurred until the major explosion took place on 18 March 1944. The eruption could be seen from Naples and several photos have been taken.
The volcano has been quiescent since then. Over the past few centuries, the quiet stages have varied from 18 months to 7½ years, making the current lull in activity the longest in nearly 500 years. While Vesuvius is not thought likely to erupt in the immediate future, the danger posed by future eruptions is seen as very high in light of the volcano's tendency towards sudden, extremely violent explosions, and the very dense human population on and around the mountain.

(Source Wikipedia)

Notes on the historical context / background to the print can be viewed at: Eruptions of Mount Vesuvius

DATE PRINTED: 1855    

IMAGE SIZE: Approx 17.5 x 23.5cm, 6.75 x 9.25 inches (Medium)

TYPE: Antique wood engraved print

CONDITION: Good; suitable for framing. However, please note: Tight top margin; The image shown may have been scanned from a different example of this print than that which is offered for sale: The print you will receive is in Good condition but there may be minor variations in the condition compared to that shown in the image. Please check the scan for any blemishes prior to making your purchase. Virtually all antiquarian maps and prints are subject to some normal aging due to use and time which is not obtrusive unless otherwise stated. We offer a no questions asked return policy.

AUTHENTICITY: This is an authentic historic print, published at the date stated above. It is not a modern copy.

VERSO: There are images and/or text printed on the reverse side of the picture. In some cases this may be visible on the picture itself (please check the scan prior to your purchase) or around the margin of the picture.

ARTIST/CARTOGRAPHER/ENGRAVER: Unsigned

PROVENANCE: Illustrated London News



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ITALY: Eruption of Vesuvius, antique print, 1855
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