Ancient sources state that the Emperor Claudius as poisoned, although who administered the poison – and on whose orders – continues to be fiercely debated by scholars.

Beginning at around 1pm on 24 August, Mount Vesuvius sent gas, volcanic ash, and pumice into the stratosphere for up to 20 hours. This was followed by a pyroclastic flow that carried gas and molten rock down from the volcano and which then buried the previously fallen ash.