Pliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus) was born in Como in 24 A.C. to a family of great equestrian nobility in the imperial chivalry. He studied in Rome, followed a military carrier as an Official under the Emperor Claudio Germanico and was an imperial procurator who in the end became prefect and admiral of the Miseno Fleet under the Emperor Tito Flavio Vespasiano.
Universally famous for the 37 books he wrote about Botanical History, Pliny the Elder was an all-round talented man who eventually died in Pompeii, in 79 A.C., in particular circumstances, which occurred during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Many say that Pliny the Elder was present at the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and that he organized a fleet of ships to try and save the population. This operation, which is documented as the first organized intervention of civil protection in history, gave Pliny the chance to observe a natural phenomenon that had not been studied previously.
The rescue operation began successfully, however, a second wave of poisonous gas from the volcano caught those waiting to embark off guard and amongst these people was Pliny who was coordinating the operation.
In the early 20th century, Engineer Gennaro Matrone was the first to excavate and survey the mouth of the Sarno River. In doing so, he discovered 73 skeletons, which confirmed the story of the rescue operation executed by Pliny. Amongst those skeletons was one wearing rich ornaments which are believed potentially correspond with admiral Pliny.
As often happens with brilliant intuitions, Matrone’s hypothesis was left forgotten for a great period of time and resurfaced recently after new archeological evidence was found regarding the Imperial Military. The supposed cranium of Pliny the Elder is currently held in the National Historic Museum of Sanitary Art in Rome, which in 2017 promoted a new research project on the findings, aiming to bring Pliny’s story to the surface with a definitive conclusion.
In the face of the timeless story of a talented man, WayOut has been following this project and has contributed to the research in order to restore the dignity of Pliny and bring to light his story, his values, and the legacy that he left behind for all of mankind.
In all of this, our satisfaction is even greater as we were involved in this adventure by Alessandro Francoli, a successful entrepreneur and dear friend of WayOut.
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