In A.D. 79, Herculaneum, a small resort town on Italy's western coast, was buried, along with its larger neighbor Pompeii, under an avalanche of lava and ash by Mount Vesuvius. So deep were the towns buried that over the centuries even the memory of them faded. It was not until early in the eighteenth century that evidence of the towns was accidentally discovered. For the next fifty years, haphazard excavations and looting began to hint at the extent of what still lay buried. Only in the middle of the nineteenth century were systematic excavations begun, revealing the astonishing remains of the two Roman towns. Written especially for young adults, The Town of Hercules tells the tragic story of the eruption of Vesuvius and explains, through the example of the town itself, how life was lived in the Roman Empire during the first century A.D.
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