Pompeii was an ordinary city, with shops and markets, bars and theaters, temples and homes. They were like many other cities found in the Roman Empire and throughout what we now call Italy. There were roughly 15k people living in Pompeii at the time Vesuvius erupted, living in everything from luxury homes to small flats and apartments. It had been around for probably a couple hundred years, so it was well established in what happened in the daily lives of its inhabitants. In less than a day, their lives and the landscape around them would be forever changed.