BlogAncient HistoryHSC Ancient Core Study: Pompeii and Herculaneum Sources and Quotations

HSC Ancient Core Study: Pompeii and Herculaneum Sources and Quotations

Pompeii and Herculaneum Sources

Ancient History is all about using sources, which can make finding Pompeii and Herculaneum sources for the core study stressful. 

Most of the information you write in the exam should be backed up by a good source. But what do you do when you feel like you’ve got a load of information but no sources to back it up with?

Well, fear not! We’ve got you covered with a list of Pompeii and Herculaneum sources and quotations for you to ace your exams.

Let’s dive in!

If you’re looking for tips on how to memorise HSC Ancient History resources, check out our step-by-step guide here!

The Pompeii and Herculaneum Sources

Geographical Setting and Natural Resources

Quote: “[Campania is] one of the loveliest places on earth”

Source: Pliny the Elder (Ancient Historian)

Quote: “[Campania has] an abundance of corn, vines and olives, splendid fleeces produced by its sheep”

Source: Pliny the Elder (Ancient Historian)

Source: Fresco depicting Bacchus on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius

Location: Pompeii

The Eruption

Quote:A cloud of extraordinary size appeared” 

Source: Pliny the Younger (Ancient Historian)

Quote: “Rain of pumice stones” 

Source: Pliny the Younger (Ancient Historian)

Quote:“Earth shocks became so violent” 

Source: Pliny the Younger (Ancient Historian)

Quote: “Soon the cloud began to descend upon the earth and cover the sea” 

Source: Pliny the Younger (Ancient Historian)

Quote: “The walls of the house were swaying with violent shocks.”

Source: Pliny the Younger (Ancient Historian)

Public and Private Buildings

Quote: “The clever orientation of porticoes, dining rooms and bedrooms… shows that Roman aristocrats consciously included nature in their designs… This takes the Hellenistic approach to an extreme”

Source: Paul Zanker (Contemporary Historian)

Source: Impluvium in the atrium of a house
Location: House of Menander, Pompeii

Pompeii and Herculaneum Sources

Source: The Forum
Location: Pompeii

Source: Collegium of Augustales
Location: Herculaneum

The Economy

Source: The exporting of Garum is evidenced by vessels found across the Mediterranean bearing the inscription “from the workshop of Scaurus,” a Pompeiian garum producer.

Pompeii and Herculaneum Sources

Source: Wine press
Location: Villa of Mysteries, Pompeii

Pompeii and Herculaneum Sources

Source: Fuller’s basin in the impluvium of a house
Location: House of the Fullery, Pompeii

Pompeii and Herculaneum Sources

Source: Thermopolium
Location: Thermopolium of Vetutius Placidus

Pompeii and Herculaneum Sources

Source: Remains of fish and bones, fruit and cereal, and centre area which housed a fish tank, fountain and workbench.
Location: The Macellum, Pompeii

Source: Herbs and spices found in sewerage waste, including black peppercorns, suggests far reaching famine.
Location: Herculaneum

Quote: “Come to the sign of the bowls [for] half a dozen types of wine”

Source: Herculaneum tavern sign

Source: Popidius Priscus’ bakery in Pompeii (containing 81 loaves of bread in an oven) and Sextus Felix’s bakery in Herculaneum (containing 25 bronze baking dishes).


Quote:“Poppaea Note, a freed woman of Priscus… had slaves of her own”

Source: Pamela Bradley (Contemporary Historian)

Pompeii and Herculaneum Sources

Source: Bracelet engraved with “From a master to his slave girl”
Location: Pompeii


Quote: “Women could own property, do business, pay for construction, hold honorific and cultic office, and go about in public”

Source: Elaine Fantham (Contemporary Historian)

Pompeii and Herculaneum Sources

Source: House of Julia Felix
Location: Pompeii

Leisure Activities

Pompeii and Herculaneum Sources

Source: Palaestra. Excavations uncovered a pile of 2.2kg round stones used for throwing contest.
Location: Herculaneum

Pompeii and Herculaneum Sources

Source: Bronze gladiator’s helmet
Location: Pompeii

Pompeii and Herculaneum Sources

Source: Terracotta theatrical mask
Location:House of Neptune Mosaic, Herculaneum


Quote: “A visit to the baths was a regular social event”

Source: Brian Brennan (Contemporary Historian)

Pompeii and Herculaneum Sources

Source: Men’s changing room at the Forum baths
Location: Herculaneum

Water Supply

Quote: “Herculaneum carried rainwater and waste out to sea via an excellent drainage system”

Source: Brian Brennan (Contemporary Historian)

Pompeii and Herculaneum Sources

Source: Public water fountain
Location: 1 of 42 excavated at Pompeii


Pompeii and Herculaneum Sources

Source: Lararium
Location: House of Vettii, Pompeii

Quote: “The large number of such shrines indicated widespread religious practices among the inhabitants of Pompeii as a whole”

Source: Alison Cooley (Contemporary Historian)

Source: Temple of Isis
Location: Pompeii

Source: Bronze statue of Apollo
Location: Temple of Apollo, Pompeii

Source: Marble sacrificial altar
Location: Temple of Vespasian, Pompeii

That rounds off our list of top Pompeii and Herculaneum sources for HSC Ancient History!

Other Ancient History Resources

If you’re on the hunt for more resources to help you study for HSC Ancient History, we’ve got you! Check these guides and practice questions out:

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Jack Theodoulou studies a double degree of Education/Arts majoring in English at the University of Sydney. Previously an instructor of classical guitar, Jack began coaching at Art of Smart in 2015. In his spare time, Jack often finds himself entangled in a love-hate relationship with creative writing and an occasional obsession with video games.

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