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Earthquakes in Late Antiquity

image of earthquake

A rare ancient depiction of an earthquake (1st c. AD, Pompeii)

Earthquakes, as shown on the rare depiction on the right, were always a major source of social, economic and cultural disruption around the Mediterranean. Earthquake theories, attempts at predicting earthquakes and techniques for coping with their aftermath were as widespread and popular in Antiquity and Late Antiquity as they are today.

One aspect of the current project is to explore this phenomenon and describe and analyse such theories in their philosophical, scientific, religious and cultural context.

The relevance of this research consists in exploring to what extent contemporary approaches could gain from an increased awareness of past techniques and strategies, especially in view of limited resources, the size of the problem and its human dimension.

Recent publications: Josef Lössl, 'Teodoro di Mopsuestia e Giuliano di Eclano sulle cause naturali dei terremoti,' in: A. V. Nazzaro (ed.) Giuliano d'Eclano e l'Hirpinia Christiana. Atti del Convegno 4-6 giugno 2003 (Naples: Arte tipografica editrice, 2004) 103-111.