Herculaneum is of Greek origin and the legend ascribes to Herakles (Hercules) himself its birth. From 500 BC the city was under Neaples and Cumae's influence, then under the Samnites. Submitted by Rome, it became a refined holiday resort for rich patricians. In 62 BC an earthquake damaged several buildings, and 17 years later, whilst the reconstruction was still underway, a terrible eruption of the Vesuvius buried the city under a layer of lava and mud. Thanks to the latter, unlike Pompeii, a large amount of wooden frames and furniture remained untouched, thus becoming an important document of the life, customs and arts of the Roman Age.

Many sculptures, paintings, ceramic wares and jewels are now kept at the National Archeological Museum in Neaples.


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