Mount Vesuvius was devoted to which Roman mythological figure, who was worshiped after the eruption?
Mount Vesuvius has a long historic and literary tradition. The Romans regarded Mount Vesuvius to be devoted to Hercules.
The historian Diodorus Siculus (c. 90 BCE - c. 30 BCE) was an Ancient Greek writer known for his monumental history ‘Bibliotheca historica’ in 40 books. He relates a tradition that Hercules, in the performance of his labors, passed through the country nearby Cumae on his way to Sicily and found a place called “the Phlegraean Plain” translated to mean “plain of fire. It was inhabited by bandits “the sons of the Earth,” who were giants, With the assistance of the gods, Hercules pacified the region.
The facts behind the tradition, if any, remain unknown as does whether the city of ‘Herculaneum’ was named after him. An epigram by the Roman poet Martial (born between 38 and 421 CE, died between 102 and 104 CE), written in 88 AD, suggests that both Venus, patroness of Pompeii, and Hercules were worshipped in the region devastated by the eruption of 79 CE.
Mount Vesuvius is located on the Gulf of Naples in Campania, Italy about 9 kilometers (5.6 mi) east of Naples and a short distance from the shore. The eruption destroyed the Roman cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis and Stabiae, as well as surrounding settlements.
In classical mythology, Hercules is famous for his strength and for his numerous far-ranging adventures.