Herculaneum’s ‘Real’ Threatened Loyalties


Today’s politics are no match to Rome’s politics in ancient Herculaneum… as Alexius discovers all too well and almost too late. Then Vulcan’s wrath erupts and everything changes.

This  is where my book Threatened Loyalties happened. . August AD 79 the once thought as a mountain, Vesuvius did erupt and bury this magnificent city with its volcanic vomit for nearly two thousand years. In fact the city of Erlang settled on top of these buried treasures. You will see this city above the ruins.

What I wanted to do was bring life back to this buried city as it may have been before, during and well after this volcanic eruption. However, it is impossible to fathom the horror that happened that day but maybe my pictures will help you discover some of it.DSC00942  This was once a beachfront with soft lapping waves caressing the pebbled beach. To the left in this picture are the fishing shelters where people hid until they thought  Vulcan’s temper would cool. When it did cool, it left this 30′ wall you see to the right. That  is volcanic concrete that pushed the shoreline back four acres.  Inside the these shelters are the remains of those people, steamed alive like lobsters.  Boiling their blood.

Out in the city more horrors have been uncovered after men were digging a well and broke into the theater that remains buried to this day.   DSC00971This is a model that theater built by Marcus Nonius Balbus, Herculaneum’s first citizen.

This Roman is in my historical fiction story of Threatened Loyalties. Below is Balbus’s actual house/The House of Telephas. Much happens to Marcus Galerius Alexius and Messalina Claudia here as well as all about Herculaneum.

Herc balbus/house of telephas

Columns in Balbus's atrium

Columns in Balbus’s atrium

Balbus died just before Vesuvius blew its top. An honorarium was built just outside a bath he had built for the city. DSC00945 DSC00940

This is his statue with the memorial plaque with cupids near the entrance to the bath. He raises his arm to the wall of volcanic concrete, which should have been the bay.  Above the honorarium are the houses of Messalina ( House of the Mosaic Atrium) and Alexius (House of Stags) separated by a simple wall and once overlooked the Bay of Naples.

You can also see the stairs leading down to the beach and the shelters where people tried to escape this horror.

Their houses overlook the shelters and Balbus's sanctum.

Messalina’s house is left of the stairs. Alexius’s is to the right

And it was fun creating this story. I hope you enjoy reading it half as much as actually going to Herculaneum and writing about it..

Threatened Loyalties on Amazon Click here

Click here for all my stories set in Ancient Rome

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