Background of Vesuvius Plot:

Vesuvius Plot is dedicated to the mountain that never sleeps, Mount Vesuvius, still active after 2000 years.

The author visited Pompeii in the Amalfi Coast on her second trip to Rome she was 15 years old. She took a one day tour from the eternal city down the coast to the most famous archaeological ruin that exists anywhere. She was anxious to take notes and photographs for her Latin one class back at the high school.

She followed closely behind the guide all the way through the town, looking from left to right at all the ruined houses and artworks and taking copious notes. The guide would not allow her, her mother, or her sister to visit the art gallery devoted to nude statues and other controversial artwork. He would allow only her brother, even though he was younger, and her father to take the tour. Later she was able to view the artworks in various coffee table books that showed the reader the statues and paintings that now reside mostly in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples. She was able to view Mount Vesuvius in the distance alongside of the Bay of Naples. That volcano probably made a bigger impression than anything else. It was easy to imagine even for a 15-year-old what it must’ve been like that day at noon time on August 24 79 A.D. When the volcano erupted. Up until now the author has never dealt with that event in any of her novels. She thought it was fitting that it become the subject the novel of its own entitled the Vesuvius Plot.

Here we follow the adventures of the grandson of the hero of the Cherusci Plot as he joins the administration of Pliny the Elder at Trier where the government then resided in the province of Germany. The ancestors of Arminius, Hermann the German, are still trying to resist Roman rule. In particular they are targeting Pliny the Elder because of his work entitled the Germania, which has since been lost. The governor, a famous scientist and philosopher and author of the encyclopedic natural history, the first encyclopedia ever written, criticized the Germans for being barbaric and outside the Roman world. This was an accusation that the descendants of Hermann the German were not likely to forget or forgive.

They follow Pliny the Elder and Caius Antonius back to Italy during the summer of 79 A.D. While the volcano blows its top they try to decide who will rule the Western world – will it be the Romans or will it be the Germans, under the sign of the swastika, symbol of their ancient religion, after all?

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