POMONA                                                     1524                                                     POMPEY

Pomona (p-m'nă), the Roman goddess of fruits and flowers. She was greatly beloved by a number of the rustic divinities, among whom were Sylvanus, Picus and Ver-tumnus. Propertius tells us that the last named, after vainly trying to approach her under various forms, at last succeeded by assuming the guise of an old woman; and, having awakened her feelings of pity, suddenly transformed himself into a blooming youth. In works of art Pomona is generally represented with fruits in her lap or in a basket and with a garland of fruits in her hair and a pruning-knife in her right hand.

Pompadour {pn'pă'door'), Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de, the most famous among the mistresses of Louis XV, was born at Paris, Dec. 29, 1721. She possessed remarkable grace and beauty, and charmed every one with her wit and vivacity. In 1741 she married Le Normant d'Etioles, and soon became a queen of fashion in Paris. But this did not satisfy her, as her heart was set on becoming the king's favorite. At length she attracted his attention at a ball, and ere long she was established at Versailles with the title of Marquise de Pompadour. For twenty years she was almost the absolute ruler of France, the king being merely a spectator of his reign without even taking interest in it. She filled all public offices with her favorites, and made her own creatures ministers of France. Although her policy was disastrous and her wars unfortunate, she retained her position to the end by relieving the king of all business, by diverting him with private theatricals and even by consenting to his vices and immoralities. At last her nerves gave way under the strain and excitement to which she wan subject, and after a sickness of twenty days she died on April 15, 17Ŏ4.                           \

Pompeii (pom-pa'yf), an ancient Italian city, near the mouth7 of Sarnus River and at the foot of Mt. Vesuvius, 13 miles southeast of Naples. It was founded by the Oscans about 600 B. C, and was afterwards occupied by the Etruscans and Samnites, the latter being dispossessed by the Romans about 100 B. C. From that time until its destruction in 79 A. D. it was a resort, frequented by the Roman aristocracy. In 63 its magnificent buildings were nearly all leveled to the ground by an earthquake, and some years elapsed before the citizens could be induced to return and rebuild them. Before this work was fully completed, Mt. Vesuvius (q. v. ), whose volcanic fires had been slumbering for unknown ages, burst forth in a violent eruption, which buried Pompeii and Herculaneum under dense beds of cinders and ashes. Amid the deep gloom that covered land and sea the panic of the citizens was aggravated by repeated shocks of earthquake, and for three days the flight continued till Pompeii was abandoned by

all who could effect their escape. By the fourth day the sun again became dimly visible, and the more courageous of the citizens began to return for such portions of their property as they could rescue from the ruins. The desolation and distress were so great that Emperor Titus organized relief on a grand scale, and even undertook to clear and rebuild the city. This attempt, however, was soon abandoned; and the unfortunate city remained a heap of hardened earth and ashes until its very site was forgotten, and even the celebrated topographer Cluverius was unable to fix it with certainty. This difficulty arose in large measure from the fact that the convulsions attending the eruption had turned the Sarnus from its regular course, and so raised the sea-beach that the ruins are nearly a mile from the coast. It was not until 1748 that an accidental discovery revealed that beneath the vineyards and mulberry grounds which covered the site lay the ruins of a city far more accessible, if not more interesting, than the previously discovered Herculaneum. Excavation proceeded fitfully until i860, when the Italian government commenced unearthing the city in a systematic and scientific manner.

The general plan of the town is very regular, the streets being straight and crossing each other at right angles or nearly so. The streets rarely exceed 20 feet in width, the broadest yet found being less than 30 feet, while the back streets running parallel to the main lines are only about 15 feet. They are usually paved with blocks of lava fitted very closely together, and the marks of horses hoofs and the ruts of chariot wheels are still plainly visible. The houses are generally low, rarely exceeding two stories in height. Not more than 300 skeletons have been discovered, chiefly in cellars and underground apartments. This fact makes it probable that most of the inhabitants escaped. The population probably was 12,000. See E. Neville Rolfe's Pompeii Past and Present.

Pom'pey the Qreat was born in 106 B. C, and at 17 fought with his father in the Civil War between Marius and Sulla on the side of the latter. When Sulla returned from Greece to Italy to oppose Marius, Pompey hastened into Picenum and raised three legions. With these he drove the soldiers of Marius out of the district, and joined Sulla. Soon after this he was sent to destroy the remains of the Marian or democratic faction in Africa and Sicily; and on his return to Rome was granted a triumph and honored with the title of Magnus or The Great. His next exploits were driving Lepidus out of Italy and fighting brave Sertorius in Spain. Pompey suffered a number of defeats, but was able to bring the conflict to a successful issue after the assassination of Sertorius. On his way'back