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Authors: Traina, G. 
Title: From Crimea to Syria. Re-defining the alleged historical earthquake of 63 B.C.
Issue Date: Nov-1995
Series/Report no.: 5-6/38 (1995)
Keywords: Historical seismology
Eastern Mediterranean
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.05. Historical seismology 
Abstract: Within the SGA research on the historical seismicity of the Crimean Peninsula (SGA Report, 1990), interest has been focused on the case of the earthquake of 63 B.C. According to regional seismic catalogues as well as to historic and archaeological literature, two late Roman sources. Dio Cassius and Paulus Orosius, allegedly give evidence of an earthquake which happened in the Crimea in this year; the event was linked to the death of Mithridates V1 Eupator, eventually the king of Pontos. Local archaeologists claimed to have found evidence of this event in the excavations of Panticapaeunl (present-day Ker?). In fact. this is the result of a restricted analysis of the written sources. Thence stems a sort of iivulgatan. currently accepted by scholarship, yet not really supported by the evidence. A re-examination of the whole question, including an analysis of all sources avalaible on earthquakes in the Eastern Mediterranean. showed that in that period no seismic event took place in the Crimea. Dio's and Orosius' accounts are instead concerned with another earthquake, already known for Syria from other sources. This historical case gives a proper methodological example of the problems concerned with the analysis of the evidence in historical seismology. not only of Antiquity, but of almost any premodern period.
Appears in Collections:Annals of Geophysics

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