Escape from Pompeii Exhibition


All the world knows the legend of Pompeii. In 79 AD Mount Vesuvius erupted, spewing huge waves of volcanic ash over the Bay of Naples.

One of Rome’s greatest writers and scientists, Pliny the Elder, was stationed across the water from Pompeii at Misenum. Not just a great scholar – he was the military commander of Misenum’s strategic naval base. He ordered a fleet of warships to rescue as many people as possible from the doomed city.

So began one of the first recorded rescues by sea of civilians by a military force. Discover the untold story of Pompeii.




The Australian National Maritime Museum’s Escape from Pompeii: The Untold Roman Rescue exhibition features more than a hundred objects from Pompeii and Herculaneum, the cities obliterated by the volcano, and from shipwrecks in the area. You’ll be able to see some of the most famous objects from antiquity, first hand.

This world-class exhibition reveals how the Roman navy came to dominate the Mediterranean, and how this control created a boom in maritime trade not seen again for a thousand years.


Escape from Pompeii: The Untold Roman Rescue will be open daily, 9.30am–5pm, from 31 March to 3 September 2017. Visit the Admissions page for complete price information and to book your tickets.

More information on the exhibition can be found here:


Objects displayed in Escape from Pompeii include jewellery, ceramics, sculptures and frescoes from Pompeii and Herculaneum; even a bronze rostrum (ram) from a warship sunk in battle. The haunting bodycasts of Pompeiians, trapped forever in their final moments, have pride of place.

Not many have the chance to visit Pompeii. Now’s your chance to be visited by Pompeii.

View some of the items on display in the gallery below. Select an image to read the description.