The appearance of Mount Vesuvius and its surrounding area before that catastrophic eruption has been – and still is – a debated topic for geologists and archaeologists alike. But it’s not a purely speculative topic – we not only have some geological clues about the area, but also written descriptions and some contemporary drawings as well. Roman authors who cite Vesuvius in their works include Strabo, Vitruvius and Diodorus Siculus.
In his Geographia, Strabo describes the “burned” rocks of the mountain and compares Vesuvius to the more active Mt. Etna. Additionally, Diodorus and Vitruvius seem to have grasped the volcanic origin of the mountain: "It is said, that once a fire burned below Vesuvius and spilled out a boiling flood, inundating the nearby countryside: so that the rock now called Pompeian Pumice, once was another sort of rock, reduced by fire to its actual quality."


  1. http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidbressan/2015/08/25/the-enduring-mysteries-of-mount-vesuvius-and-the-destruction-of-pompeii/


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