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Authors: Albini, Paola 
Title: The Great 1667 Dalmatia Earthquake. An In-Depth Case Study
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Springer Science+Business Media
Series/Report no.: SpringerBriefs in Earth Sciences
ISBN: 978-3-319-16207-2
Keywords: 1667 April 6 earthquake
Subject Classification04.06. Seismology 
Abstract: As in the incipit of the novel “1984” by George Orwell, the story told in this book began when an earthquake struck on 6 April 1667, and severely affected a large area of the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. This book provides an in-depth reconstruction of the consequences of this earthquake, made possible by introducing the readers to that context, distant in time and space, and then allowing them to observe the phenomenon through the eyes and words of the people who experienced it, or witnessed the aftermath of it, and took the initiative to share their emotions, experiences and observations. “On the eve of the earthquake” (Chap. 1) has the scope of setting the scene for the reader by describing the geographical and historical scenario in which the earthquake happened, reviewing the existing studies and presenting how the research for the sources of information was approached. The main set of 114 doc- uments, used throughout this book, was arranged in chronological order and is described in an ad hoc table at the end of the chapter. Each item is defined by its own date, place, type and author, and its archiving or cataloging position is fully referenced. A relevant quote of the retrieved material is supplied in its full text and original language in digital format in the Electronic Supplementary Material ( Who were the authors of the written reports? What was the motivations and perspectives that persuaded them to compose their accounts? The answers to these questions are discussed in the section devoted to “The Earthquake Observers” (Chap. 2). The mixed fortunes of these fifteen observers are recounted in some detail, with the purpose of pinpointing them and their accounts in time and space, in order to best extract the information useful in seismological terms. Special attention was devoted to how the news spread throughout Europe, as this provides a fundamental insight into the dependence of several published items on very few original sources, on which the interpretation of this earthquake had been quasi- exclusively based so far. After having determined the exact time when “The earth began to quake” (Chap. 3), an overview is proposed of the actual earthquake observations, which, prior to this study, were scattered, and very often hidden, in many different types of sources in eight languages, mostly Latin and Italian, but also the seventeenth- century Dalmatian dialect, Croatian, English, French, Dutch and German. The earthquake’s effects are presented place by place, in a geographical sequence from north to south, and in the context of the country they belonged to in the year 1667. Finally, the collected records are interpreted, and macroseismic intensities, according to the European Macroseismic Scale 98, are assigned at 37 locations. For those who experienced and survived the “sudden accident” of the Great 1667 Earthquake, the epilogue was written by one of the protagonists of this book, Francesco Bobali. “Life won’t be the same ever again”. The “Epilogue” of this book concludes that the scenario resulting from this research has substantially changed the seismological knowledge of this earthquake. Also, it is a heartfelt acknowledgment to these “earthquake observers” of the past, who made all this possible.
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