The last XXIV hours of Pompeii on Twitter today!

Pliny the Elder's first tweet

Today is the 1933rd anniversary* of the eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Starting at 8:00 AM MT, Pliny the Elder will tweet the eruption live just as it all went down.


I felt this was a fitting occasion for my first tweet, which was actually a retweet. It’s a little strange and offputting, but then again, so are tremors in the earth and a Vulcan’s forge inside a mountain belching smoke.

Twitter Pliny is a feature of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s A Day in Pompeii exhibit which runs from September 14th, 2012 to January 13th, 2013. They have some neat companion events for children and adults, from a toga party to lectures by volcanologists.

Click to follow Pompeii's last XXIV hours!

*According to traditional dating based on a letter Pliny the Younger, nephew of the elder Pliny who was visiting his uncle on that fateful day, wrote to the historian Tacitus describing the events 25 years later. Archaeological evidence suggests the eruption took place later, sometime in November. A second letter from Pliny to Tacitus puts the date at November 23rd.

SPOILER ALERT: Here are Pliny the Younger’s letters to Tacitus. Do not read if you want to be surprised by Twitter Pliny’s live updates.

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Comment by Karen
2012-08-24 09:36:12

I don’t do Twitter but this sounds like a fantastic use of it!

I got to A Day In Pompeii in Cincinnati over the summer, and boy is it a neat exhibit. (I got extra credit for my Rhetoric class, too!) I’d heard about the plaster casts but was still surprised how powerful they are to see in person.

I highly recommend the exhibition to anyone and everyone.

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Comment by miss sophie
2012-08-24 10:20:14

Gaius @Infirmofpurpus 18h
expand wavegoodbye shutdown


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Comment by livius drusus
2012-08-24 10:29:42

😆 That is some Goscinny and Uderzo-level quipping right there. :notworthy:

Comment by Blake
2012-08-24 10:39:28

10 min. ago:

Enjoying lunch on the balcony after a cold bath. #pompeii24

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Comment by livius drusus
2012-08-24 10:49:38

I saw that. I like the link to the street view map of Pliny’s sea view.

Comment by LadyShea
2012-08-24 10:50:56

What fun! Looks like I started using Twitter about the right time 😉

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Comment by livius drusus
2012-08-24 11:01:54

That makes up for when you picked the wrong time to stop sniffing glue.

Comment by LadyShea
2012-08-24 11:03:59

2 tweets and almost 1800 followers already

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2012-08-24 17:52:31

1979 was the 2000 anniversary of the eruption

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Comment by livius drusus
2012-08-24 18:01:58

The 1900th, actually. The eruption happened in 79 A.D.

Comment by bort
2012-08-24 23:51:00

You are the reason I got a twitter thing and only after did I think to discover that you never use it. So, now that I don’t really watch the twitter except when I’m bored you go and start tweeting. But Pliny’s missive is on a one of the days of the year bort’s heart is soft, so I can’t even offer a judicious harumph at you.

So there.

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Comment by livius drusus
2012-08-25 05:00:34

I’ll take it. How did you even know I had a Twitter account? Did I announce it and forget?

Comment by Ambrosius
2012-08-25 04:39:14

Pliny the Younger : “As he was leaving the house, he was handed a message from Rectina, wife of Tascius whose house was at the foot of the mountain, so that escape was impossible except by boat. She was terrified by the danger threatening her and implored him to rescue her from her fate”. :confused:
Why didn’t she just leave with the letter?

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Comment by livius drusus
2012-08-25 04:59:26

We can’t know for sure since we don’t have her side of the story. My guess is she didn’t want to leave without her valuables, belongings, extended family and/or staff.

Comment by Eususas
2014-03-01 20:19:11

The new 3D movie “Pompeii,” is a tremendous testimonial and remembrance of the people who perished in the hand of natures wrath. A reminder of the destructiveness and power of nature unleashed. One I am sure the people of the Philippines know well as they face tornado after tornado and suffer heartbreaking loss.

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