- from Pompeii
Most people who lived near Vesuvius in A.D. 79 saw it as just a very big hill. But it was really a sleeping volcano. Silently and slowly, it was building up pressure.
Vesuvius had been active in the eighth century B.C. But between that time and A.D. 79—over 800 years—it had been dormant. That means it was not active. That’s one reason people didn’t think much about it. They thought it was just a pretty hill outside town.
Those 800 years may have seemed calm. But inside, Vesuvius was quietly simmering. Gases were building up, and they had nowhere to go. The deadly pressure was growing.