7. Seneca Topics in Natural History 6.1

To my good friend Lucilius:

Pompeii, so they tell me, has collapsed in an earthquake. It is a well-known city in Campania, with Surrentum and Stabiae on one side and Herculaneum on the other. The coastline here pulls back from the open sea and shelters Pompeii in a pleasant bay. Some areas near Pompeii were shaken as well. The earthquake occurred during the winter, though it had always been said that the winter was not the dangerous time of year. But it was on the fifth of February in 62 that this earthquake devastated Campania. The area never safe from this sort of danger, but it had escaped damage and outlived the scare many times before. Parts of Herculaneum collapsed, and those that remain standing are insecure, while the colony at Nuceria, though not devastated, has plenty to lament. In Naples the disaster struck pretty lightly. Many private buildings were lost, but no public ones. Some villas fell down. Everything shook, but for the most part it did no damage. Other effects: a flock of 600 sheep perished, statues shattered, and some people went mad and wandered about out of control.