Escape from Pompeii. The Untold Roman Rescue
Many know that in August in 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted in one of the most infamous catastrophes of ancient history, resulting in the burial and obliteration of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Few know however of the untold tale of the heroic rescue attempt launched by Pliny the Elder, commander of the Roman fleet stationed across the Bay of Naples at Misenum.
We know of the rescue attempt through the letters of his nephew Pliny the Younger. Around 17 years old at the time, he was living with his uncle at the naval base. Later, he wrote about what happened to his uncle on that fateful day – it is the only surviving firsthand account of the disaster and the attempted rescue of civilians by the Roman navy.
Through a unique selection of +100 archaeological artifacts drawing from leading Italian institutions, like the National Archaeological Museum of Naples and the Archaeological Park of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and thanks to innovative multimedia devices and video-projections, this special, in-depth exhibition illustrates the cataclysm that hit Pompeii and the world it buried – from a simple loaf of bread to fine jewelry, from frescoes to mosaics – as well as the prowess, dominance, bravery of the Roman navy in the larger Mediterranean theater; bravery that Pliny embodied.