classical-world

Mount Vesuvius was blazing in several places … A black and dreadful cloud bursting out in gusts of igneous serpentine vapor now and again yawned open to reveal long, fantastic flames, resembling flashes of lightning, but much larger … Cinders fell … then pumice-stones too, with stones blackened, scorched and cracked by fire.
—  Pliny the Younger, on the 79AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius which destroyed the Roman settlement of Pompeii and Herculaneum, among others. (x)