Vesuvius, Campi Flegrei and Ischia: the names alone evoke tales of the growth of European culture from Ancient Greece and Rome to the Grand Tour of the aristocracy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Even more, the consequences of eruptions can be traced back at least 40 millennia, when the eruption of the Campanian Ignimbrite, from within or near Campi Flegrei, heralded the demise of Neanderthals in Europe.
From a volcanological perspective, outbursts from Vesuvius in particular have provided the template for understanding common styles of eruption observed around the world.  Most famous is the first written account of the style of explosive eruption that overwhelmed Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 A.D., now described as Plinian.


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