Using Maps to Study Ancient History: Pompeii
It was on this day in 79 A.D. that the Mt. Vesuvius volcano in Italy erupted, burying with tons of ash the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The Ball State University Libraries Atlas Collection provides useful cartographic resources for studying historic events like the destruction of these Roman Empire cities.
The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome by Chris Scarre is available from the Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library. This atlas includes detailed maps of important places in the history of the Roman Empire, including this map (above, click to enlarge) of Pompeii. The map identifies the locations of streets, temples, brothels, and a large ampitheatre where gladiators competed. The Palaestra on the map was a gymnasium typically used for wrestling. And several baths are identified on the map.
Great Empires: An Illustrated Atlas by Stephen G. Hyslop was published in 2011 and includes maps about empires around the world, including Alexander’s, the Gupta Empire, and Aztecs. This atlas includes the illustration above of a typical villa in Pompeii. Pompeii was a popular resort city, and visitors to this heritage site today can view the remains of the lost city.
Atlases can be an excellent resource for research and learning projects. The Atlas Collection includes over 3,000 volumes depicting numerous eras of history, social topics, environmental issues, and unique places around the world. And the atlases can be circulated for 28 days or longer, or the pages can be scanned for inclusion in papers and presentations.
For more information about using atlases to study history, please contact the GIS Research and Map Collection at 765-285-1097.