Impressions on the veil of time

History Challenge

pompeii-garden-light2
The ghosts of Pompeii and one of the last wild roses of summer- ancient music below

The background of this image is a fresco on the wall of the House of the Golden Bracelet in Pompeii. Some years ago I visited Pompeii and Herculaneum. I remember wincing at the plaster impressions of the final agony of people felled by the suffocating ash as they tried to flee on August 24, 79 AD. muleteer However I was even more touched by the simple and human objects that had been chiseled out of the ancient Vesuvian layers. In one villa room in Herculaneum, an infant’s charred cradle lies next to it’s parent’s bed. The lines of raised stepping stones on the narrow roads are placed so that people won’t get their feet wet while crossing in the rain.  Loaves of bread now carbonized, still sit on shelves in bakery shops where they were placed for sale on the day that time stopped for the prosperous Roman city of Pompeii.

baths
the baths

 

street pf tombs png
The Street of Tombs

( my daughter declares the woman with stylus looks like me!! I know I’m reincarnated of course! lol)

Portraits of family members painted on the walls of homes in the manner of  today’s photographs seem to reach across time in a whispering “Ave” (this is us! we were here)! The frescoes are wonderfully preserved and often depict symbolic religious and mythological scenes as well as their beloved gardens.

The Romans  had made an art out of leisure time. Their houses were built around the garden and the gardens were filled with roses, lilies, violets, honeysuckle, rosemary, bird baths and fountains.

a-house-in-pompeii2

This is a beautiful virtual tour of a well-to-do Roman house. When I sat in the Garden of the Vetti I remember thinking that here, in this capsule of eerie stillness and profound silence, time was only a blink or a fold in the veil of cosmic vision and if I was alert I might from the corner of my eye catch the sweep of a toga or stola, and glimpse a sandaled foot passing by the columns of the surrounding peristyle. I too, am now stamped on a drift of this suspended tapestry.

beautiful re-creation and mood by “Ancientvine”

The Romans also loved to write about their gardens

With no cultivation
the earth pours forth it’s little gifts
climbing ivy everywhere with cyclamen
and colocasia mixed
with smiling acanthus.- Virgil

dawn2
Dawn and my ode to Sylvanus in the woodlands by my house

 “it is pleasing now to lie under an old oak tree,  in the clingy grass, And meanwhile waters flow into full streams,  and the birds are complaining in the woods”– Horace

We often think of the Romans historically as rather cruel and ruthless despots or immoral epicures, who sat cheering the bloodshed in Colosseum and arenas, but their poetry and essays on gardens, love, death and friendships are as moving and insightful as if written today. There is also Pliny the Younger’s eyewitness account  of the Vesuvius disaster and his escape with his mother from Misenum. Though his mother begged him to leave her and save himself he would not. He was the nephew of Pliny the Elder, a naturalist and philosopher who started out to scientifically observe the phenomenon, but eventually died heroically trying to rescue people from the area by ship. Volcanologists today still refer to the younger Pliny’s description of this catastrophic and tragic event. For years it was thought his incredible story was more a fiction but the observation of modern day volcanic eruptions verified and vindicated his account.

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Also check out this video from the Melbourne Museum Masterpiece Exhibit of the sequence of events of that day-

an absolutely terrifying (and amazing) reconstruction of the eruption

79 Comments Add yours

  1. Maria F. says:

    What a great idea of blending a fresco with your image. Very nice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. so glad you liked that!! Thank you!

      Like

  2. oldpoet56 says:

    Great article, thank you for posting it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. pleased you like it! Thank you!

      Like

  3. Renee Espriu says:

    Love history and have always found Pompeii to be both tragic and something that touches on a constant reminder of the powers of nature. Wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes!! thanks for that great comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love what you have done with the pompei pictures, I have tons of them and I have tried to keep them as real as possible. I should try this kind of editing…just beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it’s fun to try new things and thank you so much Ritva. I have some old pics pre digital but they don’t scan well so I try a little creativity lol!

      Like

  5. Truels says:

    Great photos. And I love the video of the wonderful Roman house.
    I’m sorry I haven’t been around here for a while:
    I’m in the middle of a process of selling house – and buying a flat – and I’m SO busy with all the things that must be done when you have lived somewhere for many years and you suddenly have to pack, clean up, throw out and move. And at the same time putting the new housing in order and prepare for arranging this. So I did not drop by your blog for a long time – but I soon hope I will have time to follow you more again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have just been going through the throes of moving too! No worries Truels! Thanks for visiting! Anytime!

      Like

  6. Ali Isaac says:

    Wonderful post, Cybele! I would be the same, sitting there, hoping for a fleeting vision of the past reaching out to me, and wondering at the sense of peace in a place once so devastated by trauma. Pompeii has fascinated me since childhood, yet still I’ve never made it there… one day, I hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh I hope you do! It really evokes so many thoughts and feelings! Thank you Ali! Glad you enjoyed the post!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. landacrystal says:

    Quite beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much for visiting!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Norma says:

    Wow! Romans, certainly were the masters and knew to live their lives artistically. Enjoyed the post Moon. 🙂 And the wild summer rose perfectly fits the post as homage to a lost city and its people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. pleased you enjoyed it Norma. Hope you are well!! you haven’t posted in awhile.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Norma says:

        Thanks for asking Moon.:) But I’m doing fine, just got busy with a lot of other things. I might soon do a post about it. I hope you too are doing good in your life. 🙂
        Hope you don’t mind my asking, have you shifted in your new house? I’d remember that you were looking for one at that time. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am way behind on WP anyway lol! Yes I’m moved and still so much to do!! Glad you are doing well!!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Norma says:

        That’s good to know. Congrats on moving to your new place, Moon. 😀
        Wish you great joyous memories in the new place. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. many thanks Norma- a lot of work still to be done here too!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. The famous Pompeii history, amazing. Love the first one photo. Dreaming about the past through your photos Cybele, awesome! ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. so glad you enjoyed it Della! Thank you!

      Like

  10. Olga says:

    Wow! I just finished watching the video at the end and I’m awestruck by the destructive powers of nature. The Earth is in a cycle that will surprise us one day. Love your post immensely, Cybele. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. so pleased you popped over to read it. Thank you for a lovely comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. lauramacky says:

    Your summary about the romans is exactly how I felt when I was reading your post about Pompeii etc. I was thinking…wow the romans were so violent but then as I was reading a long I noticed you were speaking about the beautiful things like the roses. Then at the end your summary. Voila!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you like that Laura. They were people – perhaps not much more cruel than we can be but definitely with a profound and sensitive side!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lauramacky says:

        I fear the more material and political the world gets, the farther we are from spirituality. imho

        Liked by 1 person

      2. very sadly true!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Such an interesting post .. I have been to Italy but missed Pompeii more the shame. Love your rose image

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Next time!! Thanks so much Julie!

      Like

  13. Adrian Lewis says:

    Ah well, you’ve got me here, Cybele, I’m a fan of Roman history anyway, and professionally previously into volcanoes too, albeit submarine ones. As usual, I very much like your images, and for me the final still here is really outstanding. A 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much my friend. I also find the history fascinating and complex! Were you a diver?

      Like

      1. Adrian Lewis says:

        No, not a diver – I can’t even swim! 🙂 Just worked on submarine lava flows many hundreds of million years old, and then some that are far younger – geochemistry of pillow lavas >>> how obscure is that??? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m impressed!!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Nurul Lubis says:

    Beautiful images, as usual, Cybele 👍👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Nurul!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. afairymind says:

    Pompeii and Herculanium are definitely places on my ‘to visit’ list. I’ve read so many articles and seen so many documentaries that I already feel like I know the place, but nothing ever comes close to physically visiting such places. It’s so easy to think of people of the past as being different to us, when they really weren’t in so many ways.
    I love the rose, by the way – a beautiful edit. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Louise! I agree about people being people. One future day we may be thought of as quite barbaric too! PS: I am still quite behind and will be for a bit more! So much work!!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Aquileana says:

    A most excellent post dear Cybele… I have been always thrilled by the statues from Pompeii´s lava flow… and how bodies and time remained “frozen” somehow. Sending love and wishing you a great tuesday (even if it is Tuesday 13th!) Aquileana 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. many thanks Aquileana! Enjoy the week!

      Like

  17. Everything is so beautiful and artistic. You’re right — it’s not how they are usually portrayed! What a sad and tragic event with so much of it locked in time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. so glad you saw their sensitivity too! Thank you Linda!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. sheldonk2014 says:

    The rose seems so alive to be the last
    Love the history lesson
    As always Sheldon

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sheldon! Still up to my ears so late in responding!

      Like

    1. many thanks Alchemi for popping over!!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. That’s a beautiful rose, Cybele! And thanks for the tour of the Roman house.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it is quite lovely isn’t it- the tour! Thank you Crow!

      Like

  20. sedge808 says:

    so beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. so glad you like it Gavin! Thanks!

      Like

  21. Maverick ~ says:

    Beautifully presented, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. and thank you Maverick! 🙂

      Like

    1. yes! thanks Sarah!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Emilio Pasquale says:

    Beautiful, Cybele!

    Like

    1. thanks so much Emilio!

      Like

  23. Sherry Felix says:

    Love what you did with the rose.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Sherry!

      Like

  24. milliethom says:

    A beautiful post, Cybele.The story of the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 is one that inspires a multitude of emotions in most people. Like you, I’ve visited Pompeii and Herculaneum, and the effects of that eruption are there for us all to see. Your write up about the event is lovely and it’s hard not to imagine ourselves in the place of these unfortunate people. The portraits and charred remains are heartbreaking as we imagine the happiness people shared before this tragedy struck. The virtual tour was excellent and I really enjoyed being transported 2000 years back in time.
    I watched a BBC documentary some years ago about Pliny the Younger. His story is one of bravery and dedication to science and learning, but it ends very sadly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s such a fascinating period of history and yes, the place is very poignant.There seems to have been a good and prosperous life there until the terror and chaos of that day and now the silence! It really affects the visitor, at least it did me. It always gives me shivers but I am so moved as you are by those human touches. I put a link to Pliny’s account as well and wonder if anyone else might read it. That virtual tour was amazingly done! I watched the series Rome a few years back. it was, though violent of course, so well done and really seemed to capture the mood and essence of the period. Thanks for reading Millie!

      Like

  25. DG Hardy says:

    Such beautiful, reflections in words & images. Thank you!

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much for stopping by!!

      Like

  26. Amy says:

    It’s amazing for what they had accomplished and the living standards they had. Great photos, as always.
    Thanks for the video link!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. they really were techs of their day! Thanks so much Amy!

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Your image is a tribute to time’s intrigue. I thoroughly enjoyed your homage to a period of history that has layer upon layer of insights into the human condition.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it does!! Thanks so much Sally!

      Like

  28. Sue says:

    Love the first and third images, Hannah!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. disperser says:

    We were in Italy in 2001 and visited Pompei. Other than a few electronic gadgets, people have not really changed much in the way they live and associate.

    Thanks for the virtual link.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. agreed!! thanks for popping over!

      Like

  30. Tiny says:

    What a beautiful post. Enjoyed the magic!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. brenda says:

    the last of the summer roses….beautiful image

    Liked by 1 person

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