Mount Vesuvius before eruption, 1767

Mount Vesuvius before eruption, 1767

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Caption: Mount Vesuvius before eruption. 18th-century illustration of an interior view of the crater of Mount Vesuvius, as it appeared before the eruption of 1767. This stratovolcano (1277 metres) rises above the Bay of Naples in Italy. It has erupted numerous times, the most famous being the eruption of 79 AD that destroyed the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Illustration published in 'Campi Phlegraei' (1776), a collection of letters on observations of volcanic eruptions sent to the Royal Society by British diplomat William Hamilton (1730-1803). Artwork by Pietro Fabris.

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