Claudia featured on the cover of the second edition

All the characters that appear in the My Story book, Pompeii by Sue Reid.

Main characters


Main article: Claudia

Claudia (born c. AD 65)[1] was a Roman girl, who lived in Pompeii. Her father owned and operated a bakery, while her mother taught Claudia the various duties of a housewife. She had two brothers, Marcus and Sextus. Her best friends were Calpurnia, and a Briton slave named Aengus. Leading up to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79, Claudia often worried about the constant earthquakes of Pompeii.

Supporting characters


Aengus, also known by his slave name Rufus,[2] was a Briton slave. In his childhood, he lived in north Britain with his parents and sister. He learned how to drive a chariot from his father, who died in a raiding party. Aengus was purchased by Vastus and worked in one of his bakeries. In October AD 78, Aengus helped Claudia to her house after she sprained her ankle. They became friends after a few more encounters. He was sold to a gladiator trainer in January AD 79. The following October, Aengus escaped the gladiator barracks and said goodbye to Claudia.


Calpurnia was Aemilia's cousin and Claudia's best friend. Her father was an armorer, and made the armor used by many of the local gladiators. Calpurnia often watched the gladiator games and was knowledgeable about the different types of gladiators. She first met Claudia at a temple in September AD 78, though the were not properly introduced until January AD 79. They became best friends within a few days. Claudia later confessed to Calpurnia about her friendship with Aengus. Calpurnia and her family moved to Rome in September AD 79.

Claudia's mother

The mother of Marcus, Claudia, and Sextus, was a housewife. She was born in Egypt and had several siblings. At some point, she was sold into slavery and eventually freed, but never saw her family again. She married her husband, a baker, and lived with him and their children in Pompeii. Claudia's mother often stressed the importance of learning household chores to her, despite Claudia's obvious aversion. In AD 79, she escaped Pompeii with her family, despite her initial reluctance to leave their home.

Claudia's father

The father of Marcus, Claudia, and Sextus, owned a bakery in Pompeii. In his youth, his father sold him into slavery. Claudia's father was freed by his master and went on to marry Claudia's mother, who was also a slave. His younger brother operated a farm near Mount Vesuvius. He often ignored Claudia's worries about Pompeii's earthquakes and tried to reassure that everything was fine. Once Pompeii's water supply failed, he made the decision to leave town. He was then able to bring his family to safety when Vesuvius started to erupt.

Minor characters

  • Aemilia (born c. AD 65)[3] was the daughter of Vastus and Pompeia. She was friends with Claudia, but had grown apart since Aemilia became interested in only boys and make-up. Despite this, Aemilia remained loyal to Claudia and also wanted Claudia to marry her brother.
  • Ancient was a beggar, who usually sat near Vesuvius Gate. He warned people that the God's were angry and declared "Vesuvius is stirring". As Claudia's family was leaving Pompeii, she saw Ancient one last time.
  • Asellina, a slave of Claudia's uncle. Claudia watched her children during a visit to her uncle's farm.
  • Chius (died October AD 79),[4] a slave owned by Claudia's parents. On the day of Vesuvius' eruption, Chius stayed behind to guard the bakery. He probably died when the bakery's roof collapsed.
  • Fausta, a slave and Claudia's old nurse. She slept nightly at the foot of Claudia's bed. Claudia sometimes confessed her worries to Fausta. She also believed that Fausta could see "things that no one else can."
  • Felix was a slave owned by Claudia's family. On the day of Vesuvius' eruption in October, Felix was separated from Claudia's family, while searching for water. He reunited with the family later.
  • Fortunata and Xenia were two slaves owned by Claudia's parents.
  • Gaius was the son of Vastus. He often bragged about his father's wealth to his friend Marcus.
  • Ianuarius was the foreman of Vastus's bakery. He especially disliked Aengus and made his life as miserable as possible.
  • Iulia was Quintus' betrothed. She was a daughter of rich baker in Pompeii.
  • Iunia (born c. AD 65)[5] was Aemilia's friend. She was betrothed to a forty-year-old man. Claudia disliked her, considering her "even sillier than Aemilia."
  • Lanista, the person who purchased slaves to be trained as gladiators. He attempted to buy Aengus at a slave auction, but lost to Vastus. He persisted and eventually bought him from Vastus.
  • Marcus was the elder brother of Claudia and Sextus. He confided in his sister that he did not wish to become a baker like their father. Marcus was good friends with Gaius
  • Pollux was Claudia's dog and the "guard" dog of the family's bakery. Claudia also brought Pollux to her visits with Aengus, since they liked each other so much.
  • Pompeia, the wife of Vastus, and mother of Quintus, Gaius, and Aemilia. She often wore colorful wigs.
  • Quintus was the son of Vastus and Pompeia, and elder brother of Aemilia and Gaius. He ran one of his father's bakeries. Claudia caught his fancy, but he was later betrothed to Iulia.
  • Samius (died October AD 79),[4] a baker, who worked for Claudia's family. He rented the upstairs apartment of Claudia's home, where he lived with his family. Samius refused to leave Pompeii, though he was unaware of Vesuvius's eruption, and most likely died when the roof of the bakery or his home collapsed.
  • Sextus (born c. AD 71)[6] was the younger brother of Marcus and Claudia. Like Claudia, he often checked to see if the crack in their home's wall had gotten bigger.
  • Stephanus, the owner of a Laundry in Pompeii. He was considered the best by Claudia's mother. Aengus' sister worked at his Laundry, until they looked she was left-handed.
  • Uncle was the younger brother of Claudia's father. He had a wife and five children, but they all had died by AD 78.[7] Claudia described him as strict and "hard to please." He owned a farm near Vesuvius.
  • Vastus was a rich baker in Pompeii and a friend of Claudia's father. He was once a slave, but treated his own slaves poorly. Vastus was married to Pompeia, with whom he had three children.


  1. Pompeii, Sue Reid, page 22
  2. Pompeii, Sue Reid, page 63
  3. Pompeii, Sue Reid, page 27
  4. 4.0 4.1 Pompeii, Sue Reid, page 154
  5. Pompeii, Sue Reid, page 51
  6. Pompeii, Sue Reid, page 8
  7. Pompeii, Sue Reid, page 90
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