Jupiter Fires Vesuvius

“What do I gain if I grant you life?”
“I make a solemn vow, the ground will tremble, and seas will boil. I’ll blanket the earth and sky in darkness all in your name, and deliver a feast of innocent souls to you.”
“Daughter.” Jupiter called. Minerva who was overseeing the region nearby, rode the breeze to her father’s side.
“Tell me.”
“No sacrifices have been made in seven moons. Perhaps a reminder for your dominion is in order.”
He nods.
Jupiter returns his gaze to vesuvius, lightning crackling in his upturned palms. The sparks fizzle to dust. With a thunderous clap of his hands jupiter ignites a blinding fire, molten magma seeping between his fingers sizzles through the darkening clouds below.
“You will be true to your oath. I demand no less than a thousand souls.” Jupiter tilts in his throne, then pauses.
“If you fail me, you will fall silent. The earth is pockmarked with the dead of your kind. I have no qualms adding you to their number.”
Vesuvius nods in agreement. He bows his head and raises his hands to accept the gift of fire.


79AD

Mount Vesuvius erupts, burying Roman Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis and Stabiae.
More than 1,000 people died in the eruption. Exact numbers are unknown.


‘Broad sheets of flame were lighting up many parts of Vesuvius; their light and brightness were the more vivid for the darkness of the night… it was daylight now elsewhere in the world, but there the darkness was darker and thicker than any night.’

– Pliny the Younger.



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