Published: September 2007
Learn More
In Learn More the National Geographic magazine team shares some of its best sources and other information to expand your knowledge of our featured subjects. Special thanks to the Research Division.
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The Destruction of Pompeii
Read excerpts of Pliny the Younger's account of the A.D. 79 eruption that buried Pompeii and Herculaneum and claimed the life of Pliny's uncle, Pliny the Elder.

Eyewitnesses to Vesuvius
Explore the accounts of several witnesses to Vesuvius's eruptions, from Hannibal in 215 B.C. to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1787.

Vesuvius, Italy
Learn about the ancient history of Vesuvius and see pictures of more recent eruptions and artifacts from its most famous eruption in A.D. 79.

Vesuvius Observatory
Explore the website of the observatory that monitors Vesuvius 24/7. See real-time seismic readings as well as a catalog of past seismic activity at Vesuvius. Learn about the history of Vesuvius and the research being conducted to increase our understanding of this volcano.


Lancaster, Jordan. In the Shadow of Vesuvius. I. B. Tauris, 2005.

Ling, Richard. Pompeii: History, Life and Afterlife. Tempus, 2005.

Pellegrino, Charles. Ghosts of Vesuvius. William Morrow, 2004.

Zeilinga de Boer, Jelle, and Donald Theodore Sanders. Volcanoes in Human History: The Far-Reaching Effects of Major Eruptions. Princeton University Press, 2002.

NGS Resources

Fradin, Dennis Brindell, and Judith Bloom Fradin. Volcanoes: Witness to Disaster. National Geographic Books, 2007.

Halpern, Monica. Rivers of Fire: The Story of Volcanoes. National Geographic Books, 2006.

Balog, James. "Back to the Blast." National Geographic Adventure (December 2004/January 2005), 74-80, 92-95.

Burgan, Michael. "The Day of Disaster." National Geographic World (December 1999), 10-14.

Grove, Noel.  "Volcanoes: Crucibles of Creation." National Geographic (December 1992), 2-41.

Gore, Rick.  "The Dead Do Tell Tales at Vesuvius." National Geographic (May 1984), 556-613