The day the fires didn’t burn out

It all started yesterday, when the Greeks honored Nemesis, goddess of divine punishment, and the Romans lit great bonfires for Vulcan, god of fire. On August 24 they opened a spooky underground vault in Rome to let the underworld spirits roam for a day, making marriages, business plans and battles inadvisable. They also let the Volcanalia fires burn out – but, one August 24 in 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius had other plans.

If I’d known what an inauspicious day it was, I might have chosen a different wedding day, though it’s worked out pretty well so far.

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