THE ERUPTION OF MOUNT VESUVIUS – The catastrophic eruption of Vesuvius that buried Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae under cinders and ashes had one salutary effect. It preserved the ruins of Pompeii with magnificent completeness – down to the fresh colors of the wall paintings. Much of what we know about ancient Roman culture has been learned from excavating the ruins of Pompeii. Among the treasures preserved are aspects of that civilization that would surely have been destroyed by the followers of St. Paul had not the lava of Vesuvius preserved them. These are the famous homosexual graffiti scrawled on walls around town. Some of the more choice examples are (in Latin, naturally), “On this spot Auctus fucked Quintius,” “I want to fuck a humpy number,” and, even more remarkable, a series of comments (written by different hands) on the talents of one particularly well-hung stud, e.g., “Phoebus the perfume maker fucks real good.” There were, of course, no phone numbers.