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Pompeii was a city on the southwest coast of Italy (PROSE: A History of Humankind, PROSE: The Time Travellers' Almanac) remembered for its destruction by the volcano Vesuvius in 79 AD. (TV: The Fires of Pompeii; AUDIO: The Fires of Vulcan, PROSE: Timechase) Preserved over the centuries under volcanic ash, Pompeii came to provide a unique record of life in a Roman city. (PROSE: A History of Humankind) Before its name was dug up, the locals called it Civita. (AUDIO: Coming to Dust)

It neighboured the town of Herculaneum. (PROSE: A History of Humankind) The town stood in the shadow of Vesuvious, near the Southern Italian city of Naples. (PROSE: The Time Travellers' Almanac) At the centre of the town was the public Forum, with an ampitheatre nearby, along with three sets of public baths, a food market and an aqueduct. There was also a thermopolium - a bar that served as a gathering place for rebellious subcultures like Etruscans and Christians. Buildings in Pompeii used an underground heating system - a hypocaust - with heat carried in trenches from the hot springs around Vesuvius. (PROSE: The Time Travellers' Almanac)


A group of Pyroviles landed in the region and slept for thousands of years until awakened by an earthquake in 62 AD. They set in motion a plan to xenoform the Earth into a planet of fire, to become their new home. (TV: The Fires of Pompeii)

According to rumours in March 64 AD, Seneca had died in Pompeii the month before. (PROSE: Byzantium!)

By 79 AD, the city of Pompeii was still recovering from the effects of the earthquake. (PROSE: A History of Humankind) It was in this year, shortly before the volcanic eruption that was destined to destroy the city, that the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble arrived and foiled the Pyroviles' plan.

Unfortunately, to save the Earth, the Doctor and Donna were forced to trigger the eruption of the volcano, Vesuvius. The eruption completely destroyed the city and killed most of its population of twenty thousand people. Although Donna pleaded with the Doctor to rescue the population, he stated that the event was a crucial and unchangeable event in history, a fixed point in time. However, he agreed to save the Caecilius family from the destruction. (TV: The Fires of Pompeii)

For as much as 20 hours, flaming pumice rained down on the town, before the pyroclastic flow of hot gas and rock came streaming down the mountain to engulf Pompeii. Those still trapped in the area had already suffocated or been burnt to death by the time the lava flow reached the town. Some had fled to the beach, but failed to escape the devastation. (PROSE: The Time Travellers' Almanac) The eruption was so powerful that it briefly created a time rift, which by echoing back in time granted a number of Pompeii's citizens precognitive powers. (TV: The Fires of Pompeii) At the time of its destruction, Pompeii had a population of at least 20,000 people. (PROSE: The Time Travellers' Almanac)

The Seventh Doctor and Melanie Bush arrived in Pompeii on the day before the eruption and tried to escape from the coming eruption. The Doctor's TARDIS was buried in the city, but the Doctor and Mel were able to reach the ship before it was buried in the laval. (AUDIO: The Fires of Vulcan)

The Daleks once stole the Mark One model of a time machine called the Time-Conveyor, which was built by Peter and David's uncle. They hoped to reverse-engineer their own time machine from it. Peter and David pursued them through time in the Mark Two. They finally recovered it in Pompeii during the eruption of Vesuvius, having defeated the Daleks one-by-one along the way. (PROSE: Timechase)

In the 18th century, the ruins of Pompeii were called "Civita". Faction Paradox hid some of its biodata codices and remembrance tanks in the ruins after the Gregorian Compact. They were hidden in a cavern sealed behind a door like those in the Eleven-Day Empire, building not just bodies but entire timelines for new Faction "rugrats".

However, when the products were still just infants, the shrine was rededicated to Sutekh in a treaty between the Great Houses and the Osirian Court. Sutekh defiled the race banks stored there and smashed up the remembrance tanks. The Eye of Horus was scratched into the door, and instead of being opened by a Faction phrase, it would be opened by the Sign of the Eye, an Egyptian ritual gesture.

The rapid growth biomass in the broken remembrance tanks fed the local plants until the cavern was filled by the gigantic "Tree of Filth", twenty or thirty feet across, with pitch black skin. Shapes in its bark resembled human bodies. Its roots fed into the cracked remembrance tanks, and its branches merged into the cavern's ceiling, feeding the plant life above. By 1783, small black flowers called the "bugs of the hours" had begun to spring up. The locals collected the seeds of these flowers, ground them, and mixed them into wine; the mixture would promote visions that affected not only the memories of the intoxicated, but also the memories of the people around them, even if they'd never consumed the drink, as if the drinkers had too much history and it spilled into those around them.

Merytra Ellainya and her Mal'akh stole a creature from the shrine to sacrifice in order to open a time tunnel to the Osirian Court; Cousin Eliza described it as looking like a rabbit with its legs pulled. When Eliza entered the shrine with Cousin Justine and agents of the Society of Sigismondo di Rimini, she said it smelled of rotting history: not human flesh, but the potential for human flesh. (AUDIO: Coming to Dust)

After millennia of legend, archaeologists eventually rediscovered the lost city, and humanity remembered its fate. (TV: The Fires of Pompeii)

In 1980, an earthquake damaged Pompeii and uncovered the TARDIS, which had apparently been buried in the eruption. This discovery was reported to UNIT and investigated by the Fifth Doctor, but he departed before he could learn anything more about his future. In reality, however, the Seventh Doctor and Mel had simply entered the ship before the lava reached it, waited inside while the lava hardened around it, and then took the ship forward in time 1 900 years to the moment when it had been discovered. (AUDIO: The Fires of Vulcan)

By the 21st century, archaeologists had unearthed buildings and preserved items including utensils, furniture, ornaments, paintings, lamps and some foodstuffs, as well as roughly 1500 bodies from both Pompeii and Herculaneum. (PROSE: A History of Humankind)

It's never forgotten, Caecilius. Oh, time will pass, men'll move on, and stories will fade. But one day, Pompeii will be found again. In thousands of years. And everyone will remember you.The Doctor to Caecilius [The Fires of Pompeii (TV story) [src]]

Alternative timelines[[edit]]

A time disruption briefly changed history so that Vesuvius took longer to erupt, allowing the city's populace to evacuate in their boats. (PROSE: The Algebra of Ice)


On the planet Torcaldi, Barbara Wright was reminded of Pompeii when she found the inhabitants of Cantosi frozen in time. (PROSE: The Ruins of Time)

The Eleventh Doctor once commented that the victims of the Shroud, which lined the walls of its wormhole, looked a lot like the victims of Pompeii. (PROSE: Shroud of Sorrow)

Jack Harkness in his rogue days claimed that Pompeii was an excellent setting for a time agent con job, as long as you got out before "Volcano Day". (TV: The Doctor Dances)

From the graffiti in Pompeii, historians were able to learn a great deal about Roman life. (AUDIO: The Unwinding World)

Abby McPhail listed Pompeii among places where the Doctor's TARDIS was present. (AUDIO: Regrets [+]Loading...["Regrets (audio story)"])

Behind the scenes[[edit]]

One possible "game over" for the video game Don't Blink has the player being sent back in time by a Weeping Angel to the year 79 to die in Pompeii.