79 and 1944 AD


(and some less familiar eruption dates between).

VesuviusVesuvius: A Biography is a review of the geological past of Vesuvius in so far as it is known, its historical role, and the influence of Vesuvian eruptions on European culture, archaeology, and earth science. Scarth also elucidates a pattern of activity for the main volcano and other local geologically active sites.  Accounts of historical eruptions provide human colour and interest,  and as Vesuvius is one of the ‘type’ volcanoes it is easy for Scarth to incorporate a primer of volcanism into his main narrative.

We also receive a summary view of its likely future and the contingency plans which may mitigate the effects of the next eruption.  This latter makes for uncomfortable reading:  hands up who thinks that nearly two million people can be evacuated with maybe two weeks’ notice?

Nope: neither do I.


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