Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.
A tweet from Pompeii 79AD
February 21st, 2009

Source: Historical Tweets

A post by Francesca Tonchin in Classical Archaeology News just alerted me to Historical Tweets. The specific tweet relates to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD and the consequent disaster that befell Pompeii, Herculaneum and other regions of Campania. [This event and the societies of Pompeii and Herculaneum are a core unit of the Ancient History course in the New South Wales Higher School Certificate.]

The idea generated some thought and made me wonder about other possible applications such as “Famous Last Tweets”. Imagine asking students of literature, during a break or diversion in that programmed syllabus, to compose tweets that would have been written by writers such as Plato, Lawrence, Dickens, Twain, Pepys, Shakespeare, Orwell, Donne, and so on. I believe John Donne’s tweets could have been particularly telling…. “This bed has fleas…” or “Just picked up a nice compass“.

Care to suggest others?

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5 Responses to “A tweet from Pompeii 79AD”

  1. Stephen Downes Says:

    Caesar: On my way to the forum… big meeting today.

    Custer: What’s that – Sioux?

    Marie Antoinette: We’re supposed to head off today…

    Lincoln: Looking forward to the play.

  2. Stephen Downes Says:

    James Cook: I love Hawaii

    Elvis: Beat tonight, just going to have a drink and sleep.

    Jesus: @God – what gives?

  3. John Larkin Says:

    Stephen, thanks for the suggestions. Rather amusing. Might have a crack at a few myself.

    Edmund Hillary: @Tenzing Okay, you can go first.

    Hannibal: This elephant crap is getting on my nerves.

    Varro: @Paullus Hannibal’s forces look weak in the centre here at Cannae.think I will charge on in!

    Caesar: @Pompey. I am on my way to Egypt! You might as well quit while you are ahead!

    Kirk: @Scotty Beam me up!

    Dalek1 @Who Exterminate!

    Nero: I’ll bring the matches. [Pardon the anachronism]

    George Bush: You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test. [Actual]

  4. Stephen Downes Says:

    Chuchill: @hitler We will NEVER surrender

    Marx: @workers unite

    mbrown: Titanic hit an iceberg… now we’ll take forEVER getting to NY

    Stanley; @livingston I presume?

  5. Aspasia Says:


    I’m the woman who created that Tweet. Very cool that you put it on your blog! Definitely send in those Tweets. The more history is promoted and encouraged the better in my opinion. Since you’re a teacher John, do your students know about Twitter? Maybe your class can come up with a historical Tweet to submit based on what’s being studied at the moment.

    And I love the Dalek Tweet.

    Caveman: @Fire Whoa…dude!

    Take care!