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Approval Process: Approval certified

Call for review: Richard Nevell 20:44, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Approval Notice: Anthony.Sebastian 03:24, 1 February 2013 (UTC) | Expect to certify Revision as of 23:13, 1 February 2013 ( on Tue., Feb. 12, 2013. Anthony.Sebastian 22:42, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Certification of Approval:, Revision as of 23:13, 1 February 2013 Anthony.Sebastian 14:31, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Please discuss the article below, Pompeii/Approval is for brief official referee's only!



As I read through this, I can see that it is currently under-linked. Every topic, whether a current CZ article or not, should be linked. Russell D. Jones 17:18, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Also, the article uses direct hyperlinks to some sources (e.g., Project Gutenberg). I think it is preferable to link to those sources from the notes. It also gives you the opportunity to comment on the source in the notes. Russell D. Jones 20:22, 25 October 2012 (UTC)


I wonder if it's possible to get a map of the place to help a reader situate where Pompeii is. If the map has Cumea, Naples, Misenum, Stabiae and Herculaneum on it too, it could be used on those pages too. Russell D. Jones 20:04, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

A map of the Bay of Naples with Pompeii, Vesuvius, and settlements mentioned in the text highlighted would be an excellent addition, the problem is finding a free one. Flickr's advanced search tool has been very useful in finding pictures with creative commons licences, but falls down when it comes to maps. Any ideas where to look? The same can be said for a plan of the town, but the bibliography does at least link to a couple of volumes on Google books with plans (the preview worked for me at least). Richard Nevell 20:31, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
There's a map here--but that's just of pompeii. Russell D. Jones 21:12, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
What about this? Does it have all the places you need? Russell D. Jones 21:17, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
That's a useful looking map, and I tried uploading it (Pompeii and environs.jpg) but the aspect ratio has become distorted when uploading. I thought it might be the file format, so uploaded it a different type of file (Pompeii and environs.png) but it hasn't fixed the problem. So at the moment we've got two slightly squished plans, and at least one needs deleting. Richard Nevell 22:04, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
Is there any reason why this image will not work? Russell D. Jones 01:19, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
That's great. It now sits at the start of the 'history' section so is fairly prominent, and replaced a fairly nondescript photo. Richard Nevell 12:13, 10 November 2012 (UTC)


The caption to the amphitheater reads like the photo is actually of the riot. It's not, it's a photo of "The amphitheater in which a riot occurred between Roman soldiers and Campanians in 59BC." Also, it's not clear in the text that the riot was in the amphitheater which is what the caption seems to say. Russell D. Jones 20:20, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

I've changed the caption so it's clearer and added a bit more text explaining what happened in the riot, and clarifying that gladiatorial games were banned rather than simply closing the amphitheatre (which was still used on occasion). Richard Nevell 21:22, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

Textual criticisms

Regarding in the Vesuvius section:

"Project Gutenburg hosts a free early 20th-century translation of Pliny the Younger's letters, including his account of Vesuvius' eruption [7]. A more recent translation can be found in Cooley & Cooley, Pompeii: a sourcebook, from page 32 onward [8]

I'm not sure that the textual criticism belongs in the article text itself. It seems out of place here. The article is talking about the vesuvius eruption and starts talking about Project Gutenberg. I think the comments about the sources would be better located in the notes or in the bibliography. See above for comment about the links. Russell D. Jones 20:20, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

That's a fair point, it does disrupt the narrative. I've moved the note to the bibliography subpage for now, although that may be a bit out of the way. Richard Nevell 21:22, 27 October 2012 (UTC)


"This stage of activity, in which Vesuvius produced 2.6m3 of pumice," Does the article really mean "2.6 cubic meters of pumice?" If so, that doesn't seem like a lot. Russell D. Jones 20:25, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Woops, that should be 2.6 million cubic metres. Richard Nevell 20:35, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Now that's a lot! Russell D. Jones 20:41, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

The Buildings

Suggestions (20:41, 25 October 2012 (UTC)) from Russell D. Jones:

  1. The first paragraph in this section isn't about the buildings at all. It seem like this paragraph should go earlier in the article.
  2. Earlier the article talked about the city walls built against the Etruscans and the "new walls" (presumably built after the Etruscan threat). Which walls are being talked about in the "Buildings" section?
  3. I'm baffled by this sentence: "The settlement was extended in stages, from the 5th century B.C. and according to Michael Grant this "provides the earliest known systemic urban layout in Italy".[27]" Grant's point is not clear to me. How can extending a city in stages (which seems to me to be haphazard) be "systematic"? Does Grant know of a central plan that our readers should know about?
  4. "Though nothing stands of the first buildings" ==> "thought nothing stands of the earliest buildings." But then also be mindful of the repeated use of "early"...
  5. "Pompeii offers insight into the latest building fashion" ==> "Pompeii offers insight into the building fashions of the late first century."
  1. That's a fair point. When I was writing that I envisaged that it would be setting the scene for the layout of the city, but in the end it talked more about the landscape. It is now the second paragraph of the 'history' section, as I think it fits better there.
  2. The "new walls" are those built against the Etruscans. It probably wasn't clear because I started talking about the damage done by Sulla and later additions. I've rearranged those sentences so it now reads: "With the threat from the Etruscans, town walls were built around Pompeii. They reflected the growth of Pompeii from a settlement covering about 14 hectares, to 66 hectares. The walls are still visible today, though with later additions and damage from by a siege in the 1st century B.C." Hopefully this is clearer.
  3. I think the detail about expansion in stages muddied the waters here, so I've removed it. The point about the streets being laid out in a grid is more important.
  4. I've made the change, and replaced the second "earliest" with "oldest", which I think still works in this context.
  5. A point worth clarifying, and I have made the change. Richard Nevell 21:22, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

Rediscovery and Investigation

Suggestions <20:55, 25 October 2012 (UTC)> from Russell D. Jones:

  1. Shouldn't this heading be "Discovery" since Pompeii was only discovered once. <Technically, it should probably "Uncovery" since Pompeii literally had its cover removed .... HA! >
  2. "19763"?
  3. " considered by Beard " ==> " considered by Mary Beard "
  4. "The majority of archaeological in Pompeii " ==> "The majority of archaeological remains in Pompeii ..." or some other noun. "Archaeological" is an adjective--it needs a noun.
  5. "... the "Old Town" (in the south-west corner of the archaeological site)..." ==> "Old Town" -- the article explained what and where this was earlier. No need to repeat it here. It seems also that the sentences following also are describing Old Town but not its "rediscovery" ; so shouldn't that information be with the earlier discussion of Old Town?
  6. The last paragraph under this heading doesn't seem to be about either rediscovery or investigation, but instead is about preservation. This article needs a conclusion, and it seems like this last paragraph would do okay for a conclusion under a different heading such as "Pompeii today" or "Pompeii in the 21st century" or the "Preservation of Pompeii Today" or something like that.
1-5. I've made these changes, they're fairly minor so I won't go into detail.
6. I've put the last paragraph in its own section with the title 'Preservation'. I'm not sure if that quite covers it since the bombing in WW2 effected preservation, but I'll leave it until I think of something better. Richard Nevell 21:22, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Oh right. Maybe "Preservation" isn't the best heading here. Russell D. Jones 20:02, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
The bombing is still in the 'discovery and investigation' section. It needs to be included somewhere of course as it effected the preservation of the site (and doesn't seem to be a particularly well known event). Richard Nevell 20:46, 28 October 2012 (UTC)


Wikipedia cites some authorities as dating the eruption in November rather than August, or maybe lasting 3 months. Have these been considered? Peter Jackson 09:50, 26 October 2012 (UTC)


Should, or indeed could, anything be said on the relation between the city's name and that of the Pompeian gens? Peter Jackson 09:50, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Hi Peter, sorry I've taken so long to get to your points. I've not been ignoring them, I was working through the comments here when I got interrupted. Grant mentions that Pompeii may derive from the word pompe meaning five in the Oscan language or may have been a personal name. I've asked someone with expertise on Pompeii if they can help and hopefully they'll be able to provide further information in the next couple of days. The same goes for the possible date of the eruption in November, which is an interesting point. Richard Nevell 20:10, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately the person I contacted never got back to me. However, I have been able to add something on the derivation of the name Pompeii. In a nutshell, there are several plausible theories including it being from a Roman name (I didn't want to complicate things by discussing gens). I was able to find less on dating the eruption in November. In archaeological texts it seems to only be mentioned in passing (if at all). There was one source which kept cropping up as the main place this was proposed but it's in Italian. However, since the sources generally don't go into much detail I don't think there's any harm in emulating this approach. Richard Nevell 19:48, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

History section

Suggestions 15:20, 1 February 2013 (UTC) from Russell D. Jones :

I keep tripping over this line: "In the 7th and 6th centuries B.C. the Etruscans emerged as a leading power in Campania. This saw them try to conquer Greek colonies in the region and they twice attacked Cumae without success. Archaeologists have recovered Etruscan inscriptions .... " How about "In the 7th and 6th centuries B.C., the Etruscans emerged as a leading power in Campania. They tried to consolidate their power by attacking nearby Greek colonies, such as Cumae which they attacked twice without success. Pompeii may have been a focal point for this Etruscan advance. Archaeologists have recovered Etruscan inscriptions ....

And then at the end of that paragraph: "In 421 B.C. they succeeded where the Etruscans failed ..." ==> "In 421 B.C. the Samnites succeeded where the Etruscans failed ..."

It is not clear to me in this section whether or not Pompeii was Etruscan. The paragraph seems to suggest that Pompeii came under Etruscan attack, but then also that since the beginning, the Pompeiians were writing in Etruscan--so it seems that they were Etruscan. Am I reading this correctly? My suggestion above is predicated on the assumption that Pompeii was not Etruscan but was attacked by the Etruscans--thus the need for constructing a wall.

It is uncertain whether or not the Etrucans controlled Pompeii. While there are Etruscan inscriptions in the city, all it shows is that there was someone who spoke the language there. Whether they were there because of trade or because the Etruscans conquered Pompeii isn't clear. Part of the confusion may be because I've tried to put the events at Pompeii in a regional context, so I keep referencing events in Cumae. I've made this change which might help clear things up a bit, alternatively the slimmed down paragraph below may be worth considering and has a simpler narative. Richard Nevell 20:59, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
In the 7th and 6th centuries B.C. the Etruscans emerged as a leading power in Campania. It is uncertain whether the conquered Pompeii, though Etrucan inscriptions have been found in the town.[1] The Etruscans twice tried to capture Cumae and Pompeii's town walls may have been built around this time of military action. The walls, which are still visible today, reflected the growth of Pompeii from a settlement covering about 14 hectares, to 66 hectares.[2] The earliest writings recovered from Pompeii were written in the Etruscan language and were found in the Temple of Apollo. The earliest date from the early 6th century.[3] Etruscan influence in Campania waned in the 5th century, and from the 420s the Samnites began capturing the Greek colonies in Campania, including Pompeii.[1]
  1. 1.0 1.1 Grant, Michael (1976). Cities of Vesuvius: Pompeii & Herculaneum. p. 20. London: Penguin Books.
  2. Ward-Perkins, John & Claridge, Amanda (1976). Pompeii AD79. Bristol: Imperial Tobacco Limited. p. 33. ISBN 0905692-00-4.
  3. Cooley & Cooley, Pompeii: a sourcebook, p. 5.


Suggestions 15:20, 1 February 2013 (UTC) from Russell D. Jones :

"... capturing towns under Samnite control, including Pompeii in 310 B.C. " ==> "...capturing towns under Samnite control, including Pompeii which fell in 310 B.C.

"tufa period": If this is the title of a named period in Roman history then it is "Tufa Period" like the "Progressive Era." If this is just descriptive of the times, e.g., "a golden age", then it is lower case. I'm no expert here to make this call.

"... successfully besieged ..." do you mean "conquered"?

"An important effect of the war was that Sulla used ..." ==> "Thereafter, Sulla used ..." ?

"Even at the time of the eruption, which destroyed Pompeii in A.D. 79, the city still bore the marks of Sulla's siege."

"... and some signs have been interpreted as carrying messages for the town's defenders." I have no idea what this means. What are these "signs?" Are they inscriptions in the walls? I also don't know what a "carrying message" is. I'm not sure what is meant here.

Changed to "including Pompeii which fell in 310 B.C."
The tufa period is specific to Pompeii, and the analogy you chose is rather apt as it is considered a golden age of the town's architecture. I've only seen it as "tufa period" rather than "Tufa Period". A quick Google search shows there is inevitably some variation, but "tufa period" appears to be the most common form.
I suppose "successfully besieged" is a bit ambiguous as a siege might be successful if the objective is to prevent the people inside to from leaving and doesn't actually say anything about the result. I've changed it to "captured the city in 89 B.C. after a siege".
For some reason I didn't give the year Pompeii became a veteran colony until the following paragraph, so the sentence now begins "From 80 B.C. Sulla used the town as a colony..."
I don't really think that the statement about the eruption destroying Pompeii is parenthetical, however it may be a bit too much detail so I've trimmed the sentence so it doesn't need the commas. It now reads "Even at the time of the eruption in A.D. 79 the city still bore the marks of Sulla's siege."
This wasn't explained well so I've replaced it with "graffiti told defenders where to congregate if there was an attack". Richard Nevell 21:19, 1 February 2013 (UTC)


Suggestions 15:20, 1 February 2013 (UTC) from Russell D. Jones :

"It has been suggested that ..." waffle language. ==> "The archaeologist Pappalardo has suggested that ...." & rewrite what follows so as to make grammatical sense.

That's a fair point, and I'm not entirely happy about the second sentence. It was included to explain why there isn't more information, but on reconsideration I've removed it. The whole thing now read "Archaeologist Umberto Pappalardo has suggested that Vesuvius may have erupted in November rather than August as recorded in Pliny the Younger's letters." Richard Nevell 21:27, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Verb Tense

I keep waffling on this: The article as a historical article should be mindful of verb tense. This is particularly difficult in this article as parts of it discuss Pompeii as it was and parts of it discuss Pompeii as it is. I'd like to see that when the article discusses Pompeii as it was that past-tense verbs are used and when it discusses Pompeii as it is that present-tense verbs are used. But as I said, I'm waffling on this. I did not call out any particular phrase for verb-tense revision. Nor do I think that approval should be hung up on strictly combing through the article for proper verb-tenses. But, if another editor wishes to make this an issue, I won't get in the way.... Russell D. Jones 15:46, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

That should be straightforward, though complications arise when the situation applies throughout Pompeii's history through to present day. For example "Mount Vesuvius, the volcano which destroyed Pompeii, is just 8 km from the city." This was the case in antiquity and is so now, and a reasonable case could be made for using either tense. The paragraphs either site use the past tense and the change is a bit jarring, but then Pompeii hasn't moved since it was founded. Then again it is a former settlement and perhaps the present tense sounds a bit touristy? I'm not sure which is preferable to be honest in that situation.
On a more general note, this happens when I discuss ancient authors. So for example "Writing a century later, Cassius Dio documented further details of the eruption" could be written as "Cassius Dio, who wrote a century later, documented further details of the eruption". A have fixed a couple of sentences like this.
The section where I talk about the buildings seem to be the biggest focus for this issue, and I've had a go at addressing that. Richard Nevell 23:13, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, see? I said it was a tricky bit of business.... Russell D. Jones 03:45, 2 February 2013 (UTC)


The article has changed significantly since the call for review was initiated. Alterations have mostly been fixing issues raised here and adding further detail (such as the ash from the eruption reaching as far as Africa). Hopefully these are all regarded as improvement but I thought I should bring them to reviewers' attention in case they hadn't seen how the article has changed since they first looked at it. Richard Nevell 12:09, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

"Distribution of this material was not even, but Pompeii was amongst the most severely affected, and in the space of 18 hours 2.5m ofpumice fell on the city. Though pumice is low density (it is porous and often floats on water), the growing weight would have placed considerable stress on buildings, and it has been estimated that 0.4m of pumice and ash was enough to collapse a roof."
Are the units correct? They refer to distance, not volumes. Which did you intend? Anthony.Sebastian 04:26, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Rain and snow are measured in distance units, so I think it makes sense. Peter Jackson 11:03, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
I think Peter explains it rather well. The volume of ash is mentioned soon after (in the following paragraph), but I would imagine 2.6 million cubic km of ash is difficult for most people to understand. That figure of course didn't all fall on Pompeii, but it's an nice statistic. It's clearly a lot, but difficult to place into context. I think saying the ash was 2.5m deep really conveys the amount of material that fell on Pompeii. Richard Nevell 21:31, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Template at top says "Unless this notice is removed, the article will be approved on 13 February 2013." This needs to be changed one way or another. Peter Jackson 17:51, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

You've said it. But I don't have the privileges to do it. The approvals manager needs to move the article, no? Russell D. Jones 19:44, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Still to be approved?

Should a different, later version of this article now be approved? Under the new rules, it only needs one Editor to do this. John Stephenson (talk) 12:15, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Please approve [the most recent version]. Thank you. Russell D. Jones (talk) 19:25, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

APPROVED Version 1.0