The City of Pompeii

Pompeii is an Ancient Roman city that was located close to the volcano, Vesuvius, before 79 BC.

This was a city that was a Roman town.


Pompeii was considered a significant town because it was a resort city during Ancient Roman times.  Pompeii was settled in the 7th Century BC by people called the Oscan’s.

This city was important because it was a city that the Ancient Romans used for trading, and it was a vibrant farming city.

Popular City

Pompeii was very popular, and it was a place where many people would go to so that they could vacation.  The Romans loved to go to Pompeii, and wealthy Roman citizens would even have homes that were summer homes in the middle of Pompeii, and they would live there when the months were hot.

There were over 20,000 people that lived in Pompeii.

Roman City

Pompeii was a Roman city, and it was located on one of the sides of the Forum.  This was a city where the business of the Roman people was done.

Pompeii had temples that were inside of the city, and the temples were to worship the gods of Venus, Apollo, and Jupiter.

There were even aqueducts that were used to carry water in the city of Pompeii, and many of the wealthy people there had running water in their homes.

Natural Disasters

In 62 AD, Pompeii had a bad thing happen to them.  There was a massive earthquake that destroyed many of the homes and buildings.  It took over seventeen years to rebuild the city after this earthquake.

Even though that was a major earthquake for the city, there had been many other earthquakes that did not cause nearly as much damage as this one.

Volcanic Eruption

In the year 79 AD, devastation happened that caused Pompeii to be destroyed entirely.   Mount Vesuvius, an active volcano, erupted.

Many scientists believe that there were over 1 million tons of ash and rocks that shot out of the volcano for each second that it erupted.

The ash was so strong and powerful that it covered 20 miles of the sky, and it was seen even over the mountain.


The people of Pompeii knew that there were earthquakes that were leading up to the day of the eruption, but they did not understand that an earthquake could cause a volcano to erupt.

Even though some people were able to escape the volcanic eruption, more than 16,000 people died that day.

Even when the smoke came out of the volcano, most of the people were probably just curious as to what was happening and did not try to get out of the city.


Archeologists have found many things, but they did not discover Pompeii until the 1700s.  During this time, they realized that Pompeii was covered entirely under volcanic ashes and magma.

Some of the city was completely the same because the volcano erupted so quickly that it kept things exactly as they were.

Many of these items that scientists found were paintings, buildings, homes, workshops, and more.  Many of these things tell the story of the city of Pompeii.

Facts About the City of Pompeii

  • The people of Pompeii had a festival to honor the god of fire, Vulcan, one day before the eruption happened.
  • There was so much energy that came out of the volcano that it was more than a hundred thousand times the energy of the atomic bomb.
  • Herculaneum, a city close to Pompeii, was also destroyed by the volcano.
  • Scientists were able to make full casts of the people of Pompeii that were covered in volcanic ash.
  • Pompeii was only five miles from Mount Vesuvius.
  • Piles of ash were deeper than nine feet in some places.
  • By noon, residents of Pompeii could not even see the sun because the ash was so thick in the air.
  • It only took about 19 hours for Pompeii to be covered entirely in volcanic ash and rock.

What Did You Learn?

  1. What was Pompeii like?  Pompeii was a city that was very popular.  It was a trade city and a place where farming was important.
  2. What did the people of Rome think of Pompeii? The wealthy people of Rome would sometimes go to Pompeii to vacation and would even buy vacation homes there.
  3. What happened to Pompeii that caused the eruption? Pompeii had many small earthquakes leading up to the eruption.
  4. What volcano erupted? Mount Vesuvius erupted.
  5. How many hours did it take for Pompeii to be completely covered in ash and rocks? It took only 19 hours for Pompeii to be completely covered.