Herculanum is an ancient Roman city located east of Naples, in Campania (Italy).
It was totally destroyed by Mount Vesuvius' eruption, which also destroyed Pompeii and some other cities built near the volcano. At Herculanum, volcanic mud entirely covered the city, then, they transformed into hard rock, making excavation very difficult.
Herculanum's site, just like Pompeii's, was explored and studied by archaeologists since the XVIII century. Today, we can visit the archaeological site, outside or underground, on top of the modern city. Herculanum's name looks like the half-god Hercules's name, because according to the legend he founded the city when he stopped in Italy coming back from Spain. It is located seven kimometers east of Mount Vesusius, in Naples' bay, near Cumes and Pompeii. It was first colonised by Greeks, and later by Samnite people later named Campanians. Herculanum's inhabitants, after roman development and wars against Samnite people, became allies with Romans. In 30 BC, Herculanum is officially recognised as a Roman city.
According to some books, Herculanum developed as a seaside resort. It was appreciated by rich Romans, and as a residential city for important families belonging to Roman nobility. They were attracted by the splendid seaside view, the climate and products from the nearby countryside. It developed itself a lot during emperor Augustus' reign.