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Heraclea, also known by its latin name Herculaneum was a city in southern Italy that flourished in the third century BC. It was notable for being the site of the battle of Heraclea in 280 BC, where Pyrrhus of Epirus routed the local Roman garrison in the opening engagement of the First Pyrrhic War.
The city was annihilated in 79 BC by the eruption of the neighboring mountain Vesuvius.