Blue Flower

 In the year after the eruption, AD 80, he faced another disaster, a great fire at Rome.


Rome suffered extreme fire damage in 64 A.D. Sixteen years later, another fire ravaged the city. Although the overall damage was not as extensive, the fire in 80 A.D. coincided with a plague outbreak. As a result, the full extent of the human toll is incalculable. Additionally, the fire obliterated many important public buildings. Taken in its totality, the fire in 80 A.D. proved as every bit as deadly to its victims as Nero’s fire even though it did not cause as much damage.


Emperor Titus left Rome to tour the damage caused in the Mt. Vesuvius eruption. While away, a fire erupted in the empire’s capital. Rome had always been susceptible to fire. Wooden structures and narrow streets courted disaster. The Great Fire of 64 A.D. destroyed three districts and decimated seven others. In 80 A.D., another fire befell the city.


Cheap wooden structures make good kindling. Carelessness could lead to disaster in such an environment. At various points in Roman history, cooking, heating, or lightning sparked infernos. During Titus’ reign, something ignited the tinderbox. The fire lasted three days causing extensive damage. Luckily, the fire spared the insulae, or apartment buildings, where the bulk of the populace lived. Rome built many of these structures of wood. Had the fire spread to these areas, the city could have suffered a repeat of Nero’s fire.


Despite the luck, disaster befell many public structures. Capitoline Hill suffered. In particular, the Temple of Jupiter, Pantheon, and Pompey’s Theater burned. Rome eventually rebuilt the hard hit public sector. However, the human toll proved incalculable.


The fire killed Romans, but many more died from the plague. Suetonius reported an outbreak that occurred simultaneously with the fire. Roman resolve helped the citizens cope with the twin disasters. There is no way to determine the exact illness or a full accounting of its victims. As a result, the full death toll is indeterminate.


Titus returned to his charred capitol and organized relief efforts. He donated both public and personal funds to aid victims and rebuild. The emperor supervised twin relief efforts as he coordinated both the Vesuvius and Roman reconstruction. Romans appreciated Titus’ work and credited his efforts in the crisis.



Rome suffered from fires from time to time. In 80 A.D., the city suffered another in a string of great fires. This tragedy coincided with a plague outbreak raising the death total. Emperor Titus organized government and private resources in relief and reconstruction efforts. His ingenuity in the face of crisis led to his deification upon death. Meanwhile, many ordinary Romans remain lost to history in the aftermath.

37. The Northern Transvaal:  Makapan's Graves Potgietersrus District

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28. The Western Transvaal:  The NFort, Potchefstroom