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Thread: The Romans who escaped Vesuvius

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    The Romans who escaped Vesuvius

    I had no idea it would be possible to find out from contemporary sources, given that the whole event was essentially forgotten about until the ruins were discovered.


    "In a forthcoming open-access article in the journal Analecta Romana, archaeologist and historian Steven Tuck of Miami University explains how his creation of a database of Roman last names led him to match up records from Pompeii and Herculaneum with records from the parts of Italy unaffected by the destructive power of Vesuvius. Tuck's goal in doing this work was not just to identify refugees but also "to draw conclusions about who survived the eruption, where they relocated, why they went to certain communities, and what this pattern tells us about how the ancient Roman world worked socially, economically, and politically."In order to find refugees, Tuck needed to investigate inscriptions on public buildings and tombstones, because historical records only emphasized the physical damage of disasters. This may seem odd to us today, as our news reports tend to center the loss of human life as the main result of a catastrophe, but in Roman times only a handful of narratives, such as Pliny the Younger's account of his famous uncle's death near Pompeii, reflect the human toll of these ancient natural disasters."

    "As an example, there are six people from the family Caninia known from 2nd century A.D. inscriptions at Neapolis (modern Naples). That last name appears earlier at Herculaneum but essentially nowhere else, suggesting the family moved because of Vesuvius.

    Tuck makes an even stronger connection, though, for a particular member of this family: Marcus Caninius Botrio, whose name is recorded in the Album of Herculaneum. It is likely that Botrio "is the best surviving evidence of a specific individual from Herculaneum who resettled at Neapolis as a refugee, and then died there as attested by his tomb inscription," Tuck notes.
    Another example Tuck presents comes from Roman Dacia, an area of the Empire that is now Romania and Serbia. On a tombstone there dated to 87 A.D., an inscription lists one Cornelius Fuscus, who was a citizen at Pompeii, lived at Neapolis, and was stationed in Dacia as a praetorian prefect who led five legions in Domitian's war. Fuscus "seems to have resettled from Pompeii to Neapolis after the eruption," Tuck concludes."

    "In the end, Tuck finds it important to note the Roman government's reaction to Vesuvius. While in the contemporary U.S., our governors or president immediately declare a state of emergency and work to help people affected by a natural disaster, the Roman government didn't react until after people were resettled. Once refugees had moved, though, the emperor earmarked money to build new infrastructure in communities like Naples and Pozzuoli to accommodate the influx of people."

    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    Y-DNA haplogroup
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    Would like to see their Y-DNA, Mt-DNA and Autosomal DNA analyzed.
    This is a very precious material to find out some things about the genetics of those Romans.

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