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1068 CE Quake(s)

18 March 1068 CE and ?

by Jefferson Williams









Introduction & Summary

Twenty or so authors wrote about one or more earthquakes describing seismic damage over a wide area - the Hejaz, Ayla, Ramla, Jerusalem, Mesopotamia and environs, some parts of Egypt, and Banias. If all of the reports are accurate, it would seem that more than one earthquake is required to describe such geographically expansive damage. The earliest source comes from the personal diary of Abu Ali Ibn al-Banna of Baghdad. In August of 1068 CE, he received news of two different earthquakes. The first struck on Tuesday 18 March 1068 CE. Seismic destruction is described in the Hejaz, Ayla, Ramla, and Jerusalem. An unlocated tsunami is also mentioned. al-Banna reports that on that same day (18 March 1068 CE), they had experienced a slight earthquake in Baghdad. The second earthquake was reported to have struck Ramla on Thursday 29 May 1068 CE. al-Banna says he received news of the second earthquake from merchants - presumably traveling in a camel caravan. Al-Banna writes that they described extensive seismic destruction in Ramla which made away with all its dwellings except two and killed 15,000. There was also a report of seismic damage in Jerusalem and another unlocated tsunami. All of the damage reported in the second earthquake was repeated from the first earthquake account. About 100+ years later, Ibn al-Jawzi, also from Baghdad, reported on an earthquake that struck between 8 March and 6 April 1068 CE. He mentioned many of the same places and effects as al-Banna but added that effects of the earthquake were felt in Ruhba and Kufa. Although Ibn al-Jawzi, a voracious reader and author, likely obtained a copy of al-Banna's diary, Ibn al-Jawzi states that he got his information from a letter written by merchants who described the earthquake. Makdisi (1956a) suggests that Ibn al-Jawzi appears to have had access to parts of al-Banna's diary that are now lost but not to the extant fragment. About 180 years after the earthquake(s), Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi wrote an extensive report about the 18 March 1068 CE earthquake which repeated many elements from al-Banna's report and added additional details such as the Euphrates River overflowing its banks and destruction in Banias. Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi was Ibn al-Jawzi's grandson and was raised by him in Baghdad. He may have inherited or had access to much of his grandfather's apparently very extensive library.

Another contemporaneous author who wrote about the earthquake(s) was Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij. His account, written in Egypt between 1088 and 1094 CE and sourced from a Monk residing in a monastery in the Nile Delta, described a mid morning earthquake on 18 March 1068 CE that severely damaged Ramla and completely destroyed Ayla. Shocks were said to have reached Jerusalem and Tinnis, a city located on the eastern extremity of the Nile Delta. He also reported an unlocated tsunami, damage to the corner of the congregational Mosque in Cairo, and two aftershocks.

The 18 March date is repeated by a number of authors many of whom specify that Ramla was one of the places that was seismically damaged on this date. Only al-Banna specified an additional 29 May date and on that date he wrote only about seismic shaking in Palestine, Ramla, and Jerusalem - recounting seismic effects from these locations that were identical to ones he wrote about for 18 March. Thus, we are left with a bit of a conundrum. Was there more than one earthquake and, if there was, when and where did the second earthquake strike ?

It is possible that seismic damage to Ramla was overstated. Ramla had already been extensively damaged in 1033 CE by the 11th century Palestine Quakes and al-Maqrizi reports that Ramla was attacked by Turkish elements of the Fatimid Army in Muharram A.H. 460 (11 Nov. - 10 Dec. 1067 CE). Perhaps the merchants who arrived in Baghdad in August of 1068 CE from parts unknown described damage in Ramla that wasn't entirely due to an earthquake in 1068 CE. Ramla also appears to be subject to a site effect as it was built on loose sandy sediment with a shallow water table which indicates that it is prone to liquefaction (e.g., see what happened to Ramla during one of the Sabbatical Year Quakes). Reports of wells overflowing in Ramla due to the earthquake is a strong indicator that Ramla did experience liquefaction which in turn means that Ramla could have experienced more damage than expected given its distance from the epicenter.

Although some scientific publications locate a tsunami in the Mediterranean, this is speculative. None of the authors specified where the tsunami struck. The tsunami may have struck Ayla where several authors state that all the residents of Ayla died except for twelve people who had gone fishing. If these accounts are to be believed, the fishing trip suggests an earthquake which struck during daytime when at least some people in town would be outside their homes and able to escape collapsing structures. What they could not have escaped was a tsunami which engulfed the entire coastal area.

In addition to reports of seismic damage and a tsunami, there are embellished reports of fissures and new springs emerging in the Hejaz. Thus far, the strongest paleoseismic and archaeoseismic evidence for this earthquake comes from the southern Araba which indicates that faults probably broke in the Araba and the Gulf of Aqaba as well; explaining damage in the Hejaz.

Textual Evidence

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Text (with hotlink) Original Language Biographical Info Religion Date of Composition Location Composed Notes
Damage and Chronology Reports from Textual Sources n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Abu Ali ibn al-Banna Arabic
Biography

Abu 'Ali ibn al-Banna' was born in 1005 CE (A.H.396), and he appears to have lived all his life in Baghdad (Makdisi, 1956:2). He was a prolific author, scholar, teacher, and a diarist. His diary was never intended for publication and only one part has survived covering roughly one year - 3 Aug 1068 to 4 September 1069 CE (Makdisi, 1956:23).

Hanbali Sunni Muslim with Shafi'ite tendencies (Makdisi, 1956:12).

1068 CE -~2-4 months after the earthquake(s) Baghdad
Account

al-Banna described an earthquake on 18 March 1068 CE which struck Aila, Medina, and the Hejaz and was felt in Baghdad. An unlocated tsunami is also mentioned. al-Banna also described another earthquake on 29 May 1068 CE which, according to al-Banna, destroyed Ramla, caused damage to the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and created an unlocated tsunami. All the seismic effects attributed to the second 29 May 1068 CE earthquake are repeated from the earlier 18 March 1068 CE earthquake indicating that, at a minimum, some amalgamation is present in his accounts and, at a maximum, al-Banna repeated the same earthquake twice but gave it two different dates. Since al-Banna felt the 18 March 1068 CE earthquake in Baghdad, if this earthquake was repeated, the most likely date is the 18 March one. Although al-Banna is a contemporaneous source, he relied on reports from others which arrived ~2-4 months after the seismic event(s).

Continuation of History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria by Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij Arabic (Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia)
Biography

Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij was a layman who came from a prominent Coptic family in Alexandria. He was a continuator of the History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria by Sawirus (Severus) ibn al-Muqaffa and the first continuator to write exclusively in Arabic. (Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia).

Coptic Christian between 1088 and 1094 CE (Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia) Alexandria
Account

Two separate passages state that an earthquake overthrew ar-Ramlah and Tinnis and elsewhere, but it did not have any effect at Alexandria and that there was a tremendous earthquake at Ramla and its district where its walls were destroyed while adding that shocks reached as far as Jerusalem and Tinnis, Aylat completely collapsed, and one corner of the congregational mosque in Cairo moved. A tsunami is described which, based on its location in the text, may have struck Ayla. The earthquake was dated to Tuesday 18 March 1068 CE and in one passage struck during "daha" - a time which is defined as occurring between one hour after sunrise and up to about 10 a.m. - and in another passage is said to have struck at ~9 a.m.

Ibn al-Qalanisi Arabic
Biography

Ibn al-Qalanisi was an Arab politician and chronicler who wrote in the 12th century CE and lived in Damascus ( Gibb, 1932:8). He is known for his work as the continuator of the Damascus Chronicle (Dhail Ta'rikh Dimashq) originally composed by Hilal ibn al-Muhassin who died in 1056 CE ( Gibb, 1932:9). Al-Qalansi covered the following years until 1160 CE - the year in which he died.

Muslim 12th century CE Damascus
Account

States that there was a terrible earthquake in Palestine which destroyed most of the houses and walls at Ramla including a school with 200 children [which if true indicates that the earthquake struck during the day time]. Reports that most of the inhabitants of Ramla died in the earthquake and that water came out of the wells. Also reports that at Baniyas about a hundred people perished in the ruins; and the same thing happened at Jerusalem. Gave a date and day of the week that conflict which results in dates of Monday 17 March 1068 CE or Tuesday 18 March 1068 CE. The 18 March date seems more likely when one considers that this date was reported by a number of other authors.

Al-Azimi Arabic
Biography

Al-Azimi was poet, schoolmaster, and an Arab Chronicler best known for his book the History of Aleppo (Cahen, 1938:354). The account of the earthquake, however, is in another book - Annals of the History of Syria (Al Muwassal 'ala al-Asl al-Mu'assal) which covers the years from 1063 - 1143/44 CE (wikipedia). Although al-Azimi lived in Aleppo, he is known to have made several trips to Damascus (Cahen, 1938:354).

Muslim 12th century CE Aleppo
Account

Ambraseys (2009) reports that al-Azimi wrote about 100 years after the event and only mentions that the earthquake damaged houses in Palestine and al-Ramla and after the earthquake water rose in wells (al-Azimi, 358).

Ibn al-Jawzi Arabic
Biography

Ibn al-Jawzi was a 20th generation descendant of caliph Abu Bakr, the father-in-law of the prophet Muhammad (de Somogyi, 1932:51). He was born in Baghdad around 1115 CE and died there in 1200 CE (de Somogyi, 1932:52). A true bibliophile, he is reported to have spent most of a considerable inherited fortune in purchasing books (de Somogyi, 1932:52). He was a preacher and a prolific author whose output numbers at least in the hundreds of volumes and may have reached, as he claimed, a thousand (de Somogyi, 1932:54).

Hanbali Sunni Muslim 2nd half of the 12th c. CE Baghdad
Account

Ibn al-Jawzi appears to have either used al-Banna as a source or shared a common source with al-Banna. States that the earth shook in Palestine and the the town of Ramla was destroyed. It completely collapsed, with the sole exception of two alleys and there were 15,000 victims. Also states that the merlons [of the minaret] of the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina collapsed. Also stated that the earthquake reached the villages of Wadi 's-Safra' and Khaybar, opened fissures, and was felt at Ruhba and Kufa. Dated the earthquake to between 8 March and 6 April 1068 CE.

Ibn Shaddad Arabic
Biography

Richards (2020:1-4) reports that Ibn Shaddad was born in Mosul in 1145 CE. He moved to Baghdad where he lived for 4 years and became a mu'id (assistant professor) before returning to Mosul where he was a mudarris (professor) at a madrassa. After making Haj, he went to Damascus and Jerusalem and received an appointment as a Judge of the army (qadi al-'askar). He was a close confidant of Saladin and participated in diplomatic missions. in 1195 CE, he moved to Aleppo where he also served as a Judge (qadi). He died in Aleppo in 1234 CE at the age of 89. In addition to writing books on Islamic jurisprudence and the Hadith, he wrote a biography of Saladin titled The Rare and Excellent History of Saladin. The earthquake is apparently in that book.

Muslim Late 12th or early 13th century CE Aleppo ?
Account

Reports an earthquake in Ramla which destroyed houses and demolished the city walls, reducing it to rubble and caused water to overflow from wells. A large proportion of the inhabitants of Ramla made for Aylat, rebuilt it, and turned it into a town. Gil (1992:408 n. 60) interprets Aylat as Iliya - an Arabic name for Jerusalem - rather than Ayla, Elat, Aylat and suggests that resdents of Ramla fled to Jerusalem after the earthquake, but that they returned and rebuilt their city afterwards. Also reports that the rock of Jerusalem split open and then came together again. Dated the earthquake to 17 March 1068 CE.

Ibn al-Athir Arabic
Biography

Ibn al-Athir spent most of his life in Mosul and claimed to be a private scholar (Keany, 2013:83). He was present at Saladin's military campaigns against the Crusaders. Keany (2013:82) notes that he wrote much of The Complete History (al-Kamil fi at-Tarikh) at the turn of the [12th] century, supposedly as a personal reference, abandoned it to write a history of the Zangids, and then returned to the Kamil at the end of his life. The Complete History was completed in 1231 CE and consists of 11 volumes. He is also reported to have lived in Aleppo and Damascus.

Sunni Muslim ~ 1200 - 1231 CE Mosul
Account

States that there was a very strong earthquake in Palestine and Egypt which destroyed Ramla where water in wells rose to the surface, and 25,000 inhabitants perished.. In Jerusalem, the rock [of the Mosque of Omar, or perhaps the mosque itself, which was known as the Mosque of the Rock], split open, but by the will of God closed up again. Also records an unlocated tsunami. Dated the earthquake to between 8 March and 6 April 1068 CE.

Ibn Zafir Arabic
Biography

Ibn Zafir was an Egyptian chancery secretary and man of letters who was born in Cairo in 1171 CE and died there in 1216 or 1226 CE (Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:970-971). Roughly a dozen works are attributed to him of which several have survived. His most notable work may be Kitab al-Duwal al-munkati'a of which Akhbar muluk al-dawla al-saldjukiyya may form a part (Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:970-971). Inside is apparently some Fatimid history.

Muslim before 1226 CE Cairo
Background Info

Ambraseys (2009) notes that in Continuation of History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria by Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij a plague follows the earthquake - something that may have been a result of food scarcity which is documented by Ibn Muyassir (19) and Ibn Zafir (74-75) in Kitab al-Duwal al-munkati'a. Ambraseys et al (1994) states that neither Ibn Muyassir nor Ibn Zafir make reference to the earthquake.

Ibn Muyassir Arabic
Biography

Ibn Muyassir was an Egyptian historian who lived from 1231 to 1278 CE (C. Cahen in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:894). All that survives of his book Annals of Egypt is an incomplete copy made by al-Maqrizi. This copy contains events from 1047 - 1158 CE (439 to 553 A.H.) and extracts from years 973-976 CE and 991-997 CE (C. Cahen in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:894). Although there is a lacuna from 502-514 A.H., because al-Nuwairi borrowed from Ibn Muyassir, the lacuna from 502-514 is filled in (C. Cahen in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:894).

Muslim before 1278 CE Egypt
Background Info

Ambraseys (2009) notes that in Continuation of History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria by Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij a plague follows the earthquake - something that may have been a result of food scarcity which is documented by Ibn Muyassir (19) and Ibn Zafir (74-75) in Kitab al-Duwal al-munkati'a. Ambraseys et al (1994) states that neither Ibn Muyassir nor Ibn Zafir make reference to the earthquake.

Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi Arabic
Biography

Sibt ibn al-Jawzi (ca. 1185 - 1256 CE) was the grandson of Ibn al-Jawzi and was raised by Ibn al-Jawzi in Baghdad (Keany, 2013:83). Sibt in Arabic means grandson through one of the grandfather's daughters. After his grandfather's death, Sibt ibn al-Jawzi moved to Damascus where he was a Preacher as well as a Historian (Keany, 2013:83). Keany (2013:83) noted that he carefully documented his sources.

Hanbali Sunni Muslim - may have had Shi'a tendencies (Keany, 2013:83).

13th c. CE Damascus
Account

States that there was an earthquake in Palestine which lasted for two and a half hours which destroyed the Ramla area where 200 children died in a school collapse - all of whom weren't searched for because their parents were [also] dead. Describes an ambiguous report of damage to the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and records an unlocated tsunami. Added that it also destroyed Aylat, killing all its inhabitants, with the exception of 12 men who had gone fishing at sea. Says that the earthquake affected coastal areas, Jerusalem, the Syrian territories, Medina, Tabuk and Tima, and the whole of the Hejaz and Al-Bilad al-Furatiyya [the Euphrates area]. The earthquake completely destroyed the eastern part of the Hejaz striking Wadi al-Safra', Yunbu', Badr, Khaybar, and Wadi al-Qura. In Medina, the two merlons [on the minaret] in the Mosque of the Prophet collapsed. When the earthquake reached the Euphrates waters overflowed the banks. Fissures are reported, a spring gushing forth, and three additional springs emerged at Tabuk. States that Baniyas was destroyed, and loud thunder-claps were heard in the sky, and violent sounds which caused people to faint. Was felt as far as Ruhba and Kufa. Dates the earthquake to Tuesday 18 March 1068 CE and says it all happened in a single night. This differs from other authors who largely report a daytime earthquake and is apparently contradicted by a passage which states that 200 children died at a school in Ramla as school is normally in session during the daytime. Perhaps the nighttime reference derives from reports of aftershocks.

al-Nuwairi Arabic
Biography

al-Nuwairi was born in Egypt in 1279 CE and died in Cairo in 1333 CE. He had a career in government dealing with the financial administration of the Mamluk empire. After retiring in 1312 CE, he wrote a book titled The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition (Nihāyat al-arab fī funūn al-adab) consisting of multiple volumes and over 2 million words (wikipedia and Muhanna, 2018). The book was divided into 5 sections. ( Muhanna, 2018).

Muslim ? between 1312 and 1333 CE Cairo Ambraseys (2009) claims that al- Nuwairi (iv. 140, 141) more or less faithfully reproduces the accounts of Ibn al-Jawzi.
al-Dhahabi Arabic
Biography

al-Dhahabi was an Arab theologian, lawyer, professor, and historian who was born in Damascus or Mayyafarikin in 1274 CE and died in Damascus in either 1348 or 1352/1353 CE (en Cheneb and De Somogyi in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 2, 1991:214-216). He traveled and studied extensively with a long sojourn in Cairo. en Cheneb and De Somogyi in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 2 (1991:214-216) characterize his written works as that of a compiler like practically all the post-classical Arab authors whose works are distinguished by careful composition and constant references to his authorities. His most notable work is Great History of Islam (Ta'rikh al-Islam al-Kabir) which begins with the genealogy of Muhammad and ends in the year A.H. 700 (1300/1301 CE). It follows the template of Kitab al-muntazam by Ibn al-Jawzi. Great History of Islam had continuators including al-Dhahabi himself and also appears many times as abridged editions - including abridgments made by al-Dhahabi (en Cheneb and De Somogyi in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 2, 1991:214-216).

Muslim Early 14th century CE Damascus
Account

Cited his sources as Ibn al-Athir, al-Qalansi, and al-Sabuni. States that there was a violent earthquake at Ramla which damaged it so badly that water overflowed from wells and 25,000 inhabitants perished. There were about 200 children in a school at Ramla when it collapsed on top of them, but no-one went to look for them because their families had perished as well.Baniyas was struck in the same way. Two merlons [on the minaret] in the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina collapsed. The earth split open and gold and silver treasures came forth, and a spring gushed forth. Aylat was destroyed with its inhabitants, and at Tabuk three springs all appeared at the same time. In Jerusalem the rock of [the mosque of] Jerusalem split open and then came together again. Also records an unlocated tsunami where the sea receded from the shore and drowned people when it came back. Dates the earthquake to Tuesday 18 March 1068 CE.

Abu'l-Fida Arabic
Biography

Abu'l-Fida was a Syrian Prince, Historian, and Geographer who was born in Damascus in 1273 CE. He took part in military campaigns against the Crusaders at a young age (12) and was eventually made Governor of Hama in 1310 CE. He wrote poetry and books on various subjects but most of his texts have not survived. He is noted for two books which have survived - a Concise History of Humanity (Tarikh al-Mukhtasar fi Akhbar al-Bashar) and Takwin al-Bulddn a descriptive book on Geography (H.A.R. Gibb in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 1, 1991:118-119). A Concise History of Humanity is largely a compilation which covers pre-Islamic history until 1329 CE. It's earlier sections are based on Ibn al-Athir (H.A.R. Gibb in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 1, 1991:118-119).

Muslim 1329 CE ? Hama ? Ambraseys (2009) notes that Ibn al-Athir's account of the earthquake is followed by Abu'l-Fida (iii. 186).
Ibn al-Dawadari Arabic
Biography

Ibn al-Dawadari was born in Cairo. The date of his birth and death is unknown and his background is obscure. Later in life, he moved to Damascus. He wrote several works in Arabic but few survive. He is most famous for Treasure of Pearls and the Collection of Shining Objects (Kanz al-durar wa-jāmiʿ al-ghurar ) which is an an abridgment in nine parts of a longer universal history entitled Durar al-tījān. An autograph manuscript of the Kanz is known. Ibn al-Dawādārī claims to have worked on the final draft between 1331 and 1335 CE. The last recorded event in his histories is from 1335 CE (wikipedia citing mostly the Encyclopedia of Islam).

Muslim 1331 - 1335 CE Damascus
Account

Ambraseys (2009) indicates that Ibn al-Dawadari (vi. 387) may have mentioned the plague in Egypt that followed the earthquake (see Continuation of History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria by Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij) but it is unclear if al-Dawadari discussed the earthquake.

Ibn Kathir Arabic
Biography

Ibn Kathir was a historian and traditionist born around 1300 CE in Bosra. He moved to Damascus in 1306 CE and died there in 1373 CE (H. Laoust in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:817-818). His most notable work The Beginning and the End (Al-Bidaya wa'l-Nihaya) was written in 14 volumes (H. Laoust in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:817-818). The earthquake account may be in Volume 12.

Muslim Before 1373 CE Damascus
Account

Guidoboni and Comastri (2005) suggests that Ibn al-Jawzi's report was itself taken up later by the 14th century historian Ibn Kathir, in his Al-Bidaya wa'l-Nihaya XII, p.99. Gil (1992:408-409 n. 60) notes that Ibn Kathir, Biddya, XII, 96 speaks of two earthquakes, like Ibn al-Jawzi, from whom he copied.

al-Maqrizi Arabic
Biography

Al-Maqrizi was born around 1364 CE in Cairo, spent most of his life in Egypt, and died in 1442 CE (Rabbat, 2003:6, 18). He worked at clerical and administrative jobs in government and, at one time, was an inspector of the markets of Cairo and northern Egypt (wikipedia). He later gave all that up to become a preacher and later president of a Mosque. In 1408 CE, he moved to Damascus but finally retired to Cairo. In 1430 CE, he traveled for 5 years. His literary works exceed 200 and are focused on Egypt (wikipedia).

Sunni Muslim Shafi‘i (Rabbat, 2003:9).

before 1442 CE Cairo or Damascus
Account

Ambraseys (2009) notes that Al-Maqrizi mentions that Ramla was destroyed and not restored afterwards (al-Maqrizi, Khitat, i. 337, ii. 277). Gil (1992:409 n. 60) notes that Macrizi, Itti'az, II, 277, states the destruction of Ramla was final, for it was not rebuilt which Gil (1992:409 n. 60) does not find credible (JW: Fulcher of Chartres indicates that Ramla was inhabited around the time of the first crusade - ~1098/99 CE). It should be noted that Gil (1992:408) dates the earthquake at Ramla to 29 May 1068 CE rather than 18 March 1068 CE - choosing to beleive in the chronological accuracy of al-Banna's accounts and mistakenly states that all accounts of the earthquake were Muslim - neglecting to consider the Coptic Christian account in Continuation of History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria by Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij. Gil (1992:409 n. 60) also notes that, according to al-Maqrizi, the Turks in al-Mustansir's [Fatimid] army invaded Ramla in Muharram AH 460, that is November AD 1067 [JW: Actually 11 Nov. - 10 Dec. 1067 CE]. This could suggest that Ramla was severely damaged around this time by human agency rather than an earthquake in 1068 CE and that there was one major earthquake in 1068 CE with an epicentral region in the Gulf of Aqaba/the Araba.

Ibn Tagri Birdi Arabic
Biography

Ibn Tagri Birdi was born in Cairo around 1410 CE. His father was a mamluk who became commander of the Egyptian armies in 1407 CE, a viceroy in ~1410 CE, and died in 1412 CE leaving Ibn Tagri Birdi to be raised by his sister - the wife of the cheif qadi (W. Popper in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 1, 1991:138). Ibn Tagri Birdi studied under many noted scholars, participated in military campaigns, and authored books on History and Biography. The shining stars in the kings of Egypt and Cairo (al-Nudjum al-Zahira fi Muluk Misr wa 'l-Kahira) is a history of Egypt from 641 CE - 1467 CE (W. Popper in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 1, 1991:138). Ibn Tagri Birdi died in 1470 CE.

Muslim 15th c. CE Cairo
Account

Guidoboni and Comastri (2005) state that the account of Ibn Tagri-Birdi (al-Nujum alzahira, V, p. 80) followed that of Ibn al-Athir. Ambraseys (2009) states that late-fifteenth century Egyptian author, Ibn Taghribirdi (ii/2.239), has a less detailed version of this passage in the year 459 a.H., which is too early.

as-Suyuti Arabic
Biography

al-Suyuti is presently recognized as the most prolific author in the whole of Islamic literature (E. Geoffroy in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 9, 1991:913-916). He was widely read and famous across the Islamic world during his lifetime and was known for extreme self-confidence in his mental abilities (e.g. he had memorized 200,000 hadiths and was a polymath) which mingled with arrogance and created acrimonious relations inside Egypt (E. Geoffroy in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 9, 1991:913-916). E. Geoffroy in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 9 (1991:913-916) describes his procedure as scientific in so far as he quotes his sources with precision and presents them in a critical way and states that he cannot be considered as a mere compiler. He may have authored close to a thousand books writing on many subjects (e.g., History, Biography) besides religion and Islamic jurisprudence. as-Suyuti was born in Egypt in 1445 CE and at the age of eighteen taught Shafi'i law at the mosque of Shaykhu and gave juridicial consultations. In 1472 CE, he became a teacher of hadith at the same mosque. In 1486 CE at the age of 40, as-Suyuti retired from public life. By 1501 CE, he had completely isolated himself in his home on Rawda Island in Cairo where he worked on the editing and revision of his literary works. He died there in 1505 CE (E. Geoffroy in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 9, 1991:913-916). His book Clearing up the Description of Earthquakes is a valuable reference for historical earthquakes and is one of the earliest extant earthquake catalogs.

Sufi Muslim 15th c. CE Cairo
Account

Reports an an earthquake in Palestine where Ramla was destroyed with only two houses remaining and 25,000 dead. States that it extended to the Hejaz reaching Wadi El-Szafr, Khaiber, Bedr, Yanba (Yanbu ?), Wadi-kora, Teima' and Tabuk. Adds that it extended as far a Kufa and that 'Aila was destroyed with all its inhabitants. The earthquake is also reported to have been felt in Jerusalem and Egypt where one corner of the principal mosque of Cairo gave way and was immediately succeeded by two other earthquakes. as-Suyuti also reports an unlocated tsunami. Dates the earthquake to Tuesday 18 March 1068 CE. A repeat of the same earthquake reported 2 years later by as-Suyuti has led to an erroneous date of 25 Feb. 1070 CE in a few modern catalogs.

Mujir al-Din Arabic
Biography

Mujir al-Din al-’Ulaimi was born in Jerusalem in 1456 CE. He studied there from a young age until he moved to Cairo at the age of eighteen to pursue further studies for about 10 years before returning to Jerusalem. He worked as a public servant and was appointed qadi (Shari’a judge) of Ramla in 1484 CE. He became the chief Hanbali qadi of Jerusalem in 1486 CE and held that position for nearly 3 decades until he retired in 1516 CE. He wrote several books but only one - The glorious history of Jerusalem and Hebron (al-Uns al-Jalil bi-tarikh al-Quds wal-Khalil) - was published (wikipedia).

Hanbali Sunni Muslim ca. 1495 CE Jerusalem
Account

States that the territory of Palestine experienced an earthquake which ruined the land of Ramleh and overthrew two of the battlements of the Mosque of the Apostle of God. Also discussed some damage to the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. Dated the earthquake to between 8 March and 6 April 1068 CE.

Ibn al-Imad Arabic
Biography

Ibn al-Imad was born in Damascus in 1623 CE and lived in Cairo for a long time before returning to Damascus to teach. He died in 1679 CE (wikipedia and F. Rosenthal in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:807). In 1670 CE, he completed Fragments of Gold in the Accounts of Those Who Have Departed (Shadharat al-dhahab fi akhbar man dhahab) which is an annalistically arranged biographical history covering A.H. 1-1000 (F. Rosenthal in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:807).

Hanbali Sunni Muslim 1670 CE Damascus
Account

Reports an earthquake in Palestine and elsewhere in A.H. 460 (11 November 1067 to 30 October 1068 CE) which killed 15,000 people in Ramla, damaged the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, and created earth fissures (presumably in the Hejaz). Reports damage to the rock under the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and an unlocated tsunami which drowned many people. Also states that the earthquake reached Al-Rahbah and Al-Kufa. Directly sourced his account from Ibn al-Athir and Ibn al-Jawzi.

Text (with hotlink) Original Language Biographical Info Religion Date of Composition Location Composed Notes
Damage and Chronology Reports from Textual Sources

Seismic Effects

Hejaz
Effect Sources Notes
Damage to the Mosque of the prophet in Medina al-Banna, Ibn al-Jawzi, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi,al-Dhahabi, Ibn al-Imad
Earthquake struck Wadi al-Safra', Al-Marwa, Khaybar, Wadi al-Qura, Taima, and Tabuk al-Banna, Ibn al-Jawzi, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi, as-Suyuti Ibn al-Jawzi only mentions Wadi al-Safra' and Khaybar.
Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi does not mention al-Marwa but says the quake went throughout the Hejaz or the eastern part of the Hejaz.
as-Suyuti does not mention al-Marwa and says it extended to the Hejaz
Earthquake struck Yanbu` and Badr Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi, as-Suyuti
New springs appeared in Taima al-Banna, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi does not locate this
New springs appeared in Tabuk al-Banna, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Dhahabi
Fissures in Taima - embellished account al-Banna, Ibn al-Jawzi, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Dhahabi, Ibn al-Imad Ibn al-Jawzi, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Dhahabi, and Ibn al-Imad do not locate the fissures.
Ramla
Effect Sources Notes
Ramla destroyed al-Banna, Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij, al-Qalanisi, al-Azmi, Ibn al-Jawzi, Ibn Shaddad, bn al-Athir, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Dhahabi, al-Maqrizi, as-Suyuti, Mujir al-Din, Ibn al-Imad Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij was not so dramatic - says "there was a tremendous earthquake at Ramla and its district. The people fled, and its walls were destroyed".
al-Azmi says it damaged houses.
15,000 dead in Ramla al-Banna, al-Qalanisi, Ibn al-Jawzi, bn al-Athir, al-Dhahabi, as-Suyuti, Ibn al-Imad al-Qalanisi says most died.
Ibn al-Athir, al-Dhahabi, and as-Suyuti say it was 25,000
200 children died in Ramla al-Qalanisi, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Dhahabi
Ramla's Walls damaged Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij, al-Qalanisi, Ibn Shaddad
Ramla's Mosque damaged al-Qalanisi
Wells overflowed al-Qalanisi, al-Azmi, Ibn Shaddad, Ibn al-Athir, al-Dhahabi Ibn Shaddad and al-Dhahabi locate this in Ramla.
Wells overflowing is a liquefaction indicator.
Other Places and Effects
Effect Sources Notes
Collapses in Baniyas al-Qalanisi, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Dhahabi
Jerusalem affected al-Banna, Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij, al-Qalanisi, Ibn Shaddad, as-Suyuti
The rock of the Dome of the Rock fractured (?) - embellished account al-Banna, Ibn Shaddad, Ibn al-Athir, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi, Mujir al-Din, Ibn al-Imad Ibn al-Athir syas perhaps the Mosque itself split open and then came back.
Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi alludes to two reports - "The rock of [the mosque of] Jerusalem split open, but then closed up again. Others say that it did not split open at all, but moved and then returned to its original position".
Palestine affected al-Banna, al-Qalanisi, al-Azmi, Ibn al-Jawzi, Ibn al-Athir, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi, as-Suyuti, Mujir al-Din, Ibn al-Imad
Affected Syria and coastal areas Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi
overthrew two of the battlements of the Mosque of the Apostle of God Mujir al-Din
Aftershocks Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi, as-Suyuti Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij and as-Suyuti says there were two more shocks afterwards.
Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi says the earthquake lasted 2.5 hours.
Tsunami
Effect Sources Notes
unlocated tsunami al-Banna, Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij, Ibn al-Athir, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Dhahabi, as-Suyuti, Ibn al-Imad
Ayla
Effect Sources Notes
Ayla destroyed al-Banna, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Dhahabi, as-Suyuti, Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij
Ayla destroyed but twelve people who went fishing survived al-Banna, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi
Egypt
Effect Sources Notes
Egypt affected Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij, Ibn al-Athir, as-Suyuti
Shocks in Tinnis Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij
Damage to the Congregational Mosque in Cairo Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij, as-Suyuti
Mesopotamia
Effect Sources Notes
Felt at Ruhba and Kufa Ibn al-Jawzi, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi, Ibn al-Imad
Felt at Baghdad al-Banna
Euphrates overflowed Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi

Date

Date Sources Notes
18 March 1068 CE Abu Ali ibn al-Banna, Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Dhahabi, as-Suyuti 1st earthquake of Al-Banna
17 March 1068 CE Ibn al-Qalanisi, Ibn Shaddad al-Qalanisi said it struck on a Tuesday which would have made the date 18 March 1068 CE
29 May 1068 CE Abu Ali ibn al-Banna 2nd earthquake of Al-Banna
8 March - 6 April 1068 Ibn al-Jawzi, Ibn al-Athir, Mujir al-Din all specifying the month of Jumada I
11 November 1067 to 30 October 1068 CE (A.H. 460) Ibn al-Imad
A.H. 459 Ibn Taghribirdi Ambraseys (2009) states that late-fifteenth century Egyptian author, Ibn Taghri birdi (ii/2.239), has a less detailed version of this passage in the year 459 a.H., which is too early.
25 February 1070 CE Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij, as-Suyuti as-Suyuti and Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij (who may have been one of as-Suyuti's sources) probably made an error where in their second account of the 1068 CE earthquake they specify the same date (11 Jumada I) but a different year (A.H. 462)
Notes
  • Ibn al-Jawzi and Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi specified one earthquake - not two

Time of Day

Time of Day Source Notes
daytime Abu Ali ibn al-Banna On this very same day ... we had in fact experienced a slight earthquake; it was this very same one indicates a daytime earthquake
~ early to mid morning Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij has two passages. The first specifies the time as daha (one hour after sunrise up to about 10 a.m.) and the second specifies the time as the 3rd hour (~9 am)
daytime Ibn al-Qalanisi, al-Dhahabi quoting Ibn al-Qalanisi a schoolteacher was in his classroom with about 200 children indicates a daytime earthquake
daytime Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi there were two hundred children at school when it collapsed indicates a daytime earthquake
nighttime Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi it all happened in a single night

Personal Diary of Abu Ali ibn al-Banna

Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Abu Ali ibn al-Banna
Abu 'Ali al-Hasan ibn Ahmad ibn 'Abd Allah ibn al-Banna' al-Baghdadi al-Hanbali
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

Abu 'Ali ibn al-Banna' was born in 1005 CE (A.H.396), and he appears to have lived all his life in Baghdad (Makdisi, 1956:2). He was a prolific author, scholar, teacher, and a diarist. His diary was never intended for publication and only one part has survived covering roughly one year - 3 Aug 1068 to 4 September 1069 CE (Makdisi, 1956:23).

Excerpts
English translation of the 18 March 1068 CE Earthquake Report from Makdisi (1956b)

  • from Makdisi, G. (1956b). Autograph Diary of an Eleventh-Century Historian of Baghdād--II. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 18(2): 239-260" > al-Banna's diary by Makdisi (1956b:248-251)


11. The news5 has arrived that there was a terrible earthquake in the City of the Prophet (Madina)-God's blessing and peace be on him ! - on Tuesday, the 11th of Jumada I (18 March), which brought down two merlons from the minaret of the Prophet's Mosque-peace be on him! The people were greatly disturbed by the earthquake on account of this. They turned to God in penitence for their evil deeds, broke instruments of pleasure, and drained the intoxicants. The governor of the city, known as 'the perfumer of adulterous women ',1 was banished. Very grave was that which happened to them. The earthquake then continued its course overrunning Wadi 's-Safa, al-Marwa, Khaibar, Wadi 'l-Qura, Taima', Tabuk, and Aila. As for Aila, its inhabitants all perished except for 12 persons who had gone out fishing on the sea, thus escaping death. As for Taima', it used to have one source of water; God then produced another source in it, the bottom of which fills each year with 2,000 dinars. And the earth was laid open disclosing a large place yielding pure gold and golden jewels. As for Tabuk, God produced near the lotus tree of the Prophet-God's blessings be on him !-(and) his spring of water, in a place known as al-Qur, three more springs of water improving their condition. The earthquake then ploughed through ar-Ramla; 15,000 persons perished, and nothing was left in it, according to reports, except two houses. The Sacred Rock in Jerusalem moved from its usual place, then returned. At this time, the earthquake subsided, after it had passed through Surair, of Hijaz, and most of Syria, until it had arrived at ar-Ramla. The sea (. . .) the distance of one day's march. The sea surged and caused great damage. It surged again, after people had gone into it gathering what they could find on its floor; none perished but those who were close to the shore. Such is what happened. I hope that God will place the Muslims in renewed security. On this very same day, in the month of Jumada I (began on 8 March 1068), we had in fact experienced a slight earthquake; it was this very same one.

Footnotes

5 This report, dated Jumada I, and the previous one (see p. 248-9), dated the 24th of Rajab, may be found mentioned in several historical works, combined into one report dated the month of Jumada I, or without mention of any month. None which I have seen mentions the month of Rajab. The following sources, all subsequent in date to the Diary, are those which I have come across: al-'Azimi, ed. Cahen, in JA, ccxxx, 1938, 358; Ibn al-Jauzi, Muntazam, viii, 248, and Shudhur al-'uqud, two MSS in Dar al-Kutub, Cairo, Tarikh no. 994, 139-40 (anno 462 [sic]) and Tarikh no. 95 mfm, fol. 125a (anno 453 [sic]); Bundari, Zubdat an-nusra, ed. Houtsma (Recueil de Textes relatifs a l'Histoire des Seldjoukides, Vol. ii), 34; Ibn al-Athir, Kdmil, anno 460 (according to Muntazam); Sibt Ibn al-Jauzi, Mir'dt az-zaman, MS Ar. Paris 1506, photo-reproductions in Dar al-Kutub, Cairo, Tarikh 551, fol.111 a-b; Dhahabi, Duwal al-Isldm, i, 208 (according to Kdmil); Y&fi'i, Mir'at al-jandn, III, 84 (according to Kcmil) ; Ibn Kathir, Biddya, XII, 96 (according to Muntazam); 'Aini, 'Iqd al-jumdn, MS in Dar al-Kutub, Cairo, Tarikh 1584, 244-5 (according to Mir'dt az-zaman); Ibn al-'Imad al-Hanbali, Shadharat adh-Dhahab, in, 308 (anno 460, according to Muntazam), and 309 (anno 462 [sic], according to Shudhufr al-'uqid).

1 cf. parallel passages in Mir'at az-zamnn, fol. Illb: [Arabic text]. The word [Arabic text] would be better changed to [Arabic text] (the prostitutes), which would be more in conformity to the meaning of [Arabic text], in the text of Mir'at az-zamdn. The text of 'Iqd al-jumdn is also defective: [Arabic text].

English translation of the 29 May 1068 CE Earthquake Report from Makdisi (1956b)

  • from Makdisi, G. (1956b). Autograph Diary of an Eleventh-Century Historian of Baghdād--II. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 18(2): 239-260" > al-Banna's diary by Makdisi (1956b:248-251)


1. Sunday day (the 1st of) Shauwal (460/3 August 1068); according to the appearance (of the crescent) and in conformity to stellar calculation.

The month of Ramadan passed completely without dissension, its beginning and its end. Praise be to God ! We ask of Him, the Munificent, that it be accepted.

...

3. News reports5 arrived on Thursday (5 or 12 Shauwal/7 or 14 August) from the merchants to the residence of the Shaikh Ajall Ibn Jarada6 to the effect that there had occurred in Palestine and ar-Ramla, on the 24th of Rajab, this year (29 May 1068), a terrible earthquake, which made away with all its dwellings except two. Approximately 15,000 persons perished. The Rock in Jerusalem clave in two, then drew back together, by the will of God-exalted is He above all! The sea sank into the earth for a day and a night, and people entered it, gathering from it; but it turned back upon them and caused a number of them to perish.

Footnotes

5 See p. 250, n. 5.

6 Abi 'Abd All&h Muhammad b. Jarada (d. 476); biographical notice in Ibn al-Jauzi, al-Muntazam ft tarzkh al-muluk wa'l-umam, ix, 9-10; wealthy Hanbalite merchant, son-in-law of Abi Manuiir b. Yuisuf (see p. 254, n. 8), founder of Masjid Ibn Jarada (erroneously attributed to his son Abu Nasr in Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi't-tarikh, anno 494) and of a school for girls (No. 96, second note); typographical error in his name: ' Jarada ', in Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa'n-nihayaft't-tarikh, xII, 125, reproduced in Ibn al-Athir, Kdmil (Cairo ed.), viII, 124, n. 1. See also Nos. 19, 22, 25, 35, 63, 66, 67, 74, 76, 77, 80, 81, 83, 85, 88, 96, 103, 104, 106, 121, 139, 141, 152, and 175.

Chronology

al-Banna recorded these events in his diary on the 3rd and 11th of Shauwal of A.H. 460 which works out to the 3rd and 13th August of 1068 CE, roughly 2 - 4 months after the earthquakes struck. The repetition of seismic effects in the 29 May 1068 CE (Ramla) earthquake from the 18 March 1068 CE (Hejaz) earthquake makes one wonder if he wasn't really talking about just one earthquake which struck on 18 March 1068 CE and was felt by al-Banna in Baghdad.
18 March 1068 CE earthquake which struck Ayla and the Hejaz
Year Reference Corrections Notes
Tuesday 18 March 1068 CE Tuesday 11th of Jumada I A.H. 460 none Calculated using CHRONOS. 18 March 1068 CE falls on a Tuesday (calculated using CHRONOS) in the Julian calendar which is also what was reported by al-Banna. al-Banna indicates that the date he provided was in conformance with stellar calculations and thus should agree with calculations made using CHRONOS.
18 March 1068 CE Tuesday 11th of Jumada I A.H. 460 none date provided by Makdisi (1956b:250).
29 May 1068 CE earthquake which struck Palestine and Ramla
Year Reference Corrections Notes
Thursday 29 May 1068 CE 24th of Rajab of A.H. 460 none Calculated using CHRONOS. 29 May 1068 CE falls on a Thursday (calculated using CHRONOS) in the Julian calendar. al-Banna indicates that the date he provided was in conformance with stellar calculations and thus should agree with calculations made using CHRONOS.
29 May 1068 CE 24th of Rajab of A.H. 460 none date provided by Makdisi (1956b:248).
Seismic Effects

18 March 1068 CE earthquake which struck Ayla and the Hejaz 29 May 1068 CE earthquake which struck Palestine and Ramla Locations

18 March 1068 CE earthquake which struck Ayla and the Hejaz 29 May 1068 CE earthquake which struck Palestine and Ramla Sources
Source Observations

Abu 'Ali ibn al-Banna' does not state a source for the 18 March 1068 CE earthquake classifying it as "news". He states that his source for the 29 May 1068 CE earthquake were merchants to the residence of the Shaikh Ajall Ibn Jarada which may have been in the form of a letter (see also Sources for al-Jawzi).

Online Versions and Further Reading
References

Makdisi, G. (1956a). "Autograph Diary of an Eleventh-Century Historian of Baghdād--I." Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 18(1): 9-31.

Makdisi, G. (1956b). "Autograph Diary of an Eleventh-Century Historian of Baghdād--II." Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 18(2): 239-260.

Notes
Notes on al-Banna's Diary

Wikipedia, citing Makdisi (1956a) states the following about al-Banna's diary

Ibn al-Banna kept a diary, of which only part survives. The part that survives is part of the original manuscript itself, written in Ibn al-Banna's own messy handwriting.1 The language used is a streamlined version of Arabic suitable for quickly taking notes. The diary is valuable as a primary source about 11th-century Baghdad, particularly for events involving the Hanbali community.

The diary's extant part covers a period of just over one year, from 3 August 1068 to 4 September 1069. When Ibn al-Banna began keeping a diary is not known, but he most likely kept writing in it until his death in 1079. The part that survives today eventually ended up in the possession of Diya ad-Din al-Maqdisi, a hadith scholar who had studied under Ibn al-Jawzi. Al-Maqdisi is known to have travelled to Baghdad shortly before Ibn al-Jawzi's death in 1201, and it may have been during this trip that he obtained the present fragment of Ibn al-Banna's diary. In any case, al-Maqdisi later endowed the diary fragment as waqf property for the library of the Diya'iya madrasa he founded in Damascus – a note written in the margin of the first page identifies it as property of the madrasa.

At least two later writers used the diary as a source: Ibn al-Jawzi and Ibn Rajab. Ibn al-Jawzi appears to have had access to parts of the diary that are now lost, but not the current fragment, so it seems that the diary had become separated into multiple parts by then. On the other hand, Ibn Rajab had access to the currently-known part of the diary, but not any others, so the part that survives today was probably in its present state by his time (i.e. none of it has been lost since then).

Ibn al-Banna's diary was meant for his own personal use and was never meant to be published. As evidence of its private nature, it documents the internal dissension within the Hanbali community that he would not have wanted to reveal to the general public (particularly the controversial case surrounding Ibn Aqil), and it also contains unflattering information about Sharif Abu Ja'far, who Ibn al-Banna held in extremely high regard. Most likely, Ibn al-Banna used the diary as a personal notebook for writing down anything he thought was important or interesting, and then later selectively draw upon those notes for material he did intend to publish. Its private nature makes the diary a more reliable source for the events it covers and also "reveals the temperament of the author, his personality, his prejudices, more vividly and more accurately than the stereotyped accounts given in the biographical devoted to him."
Footnotes

1 George Makdisi, who translated the diary into English, described the handwriting this way: "There is a minimum of diacritical marks. The letters themselves are not always clearly traced out; they often appear attached to each other where they should not be, and in many cases, they do not even appear. I spent a great amount of time merely on the deciphering of the text."

Notes on Chronology from Makdisi (1956a)

Wikipedia, citing Makdisi (1956a:23) states the following about al-Banna's diary

Date. - The problem of dating the Diary is a simple one. The beginning of each lunar month, almost without exception, is established by the author as being such and such a day, even though he did not have anything to report for that particular first day of the month. The result is that, along with other dates given with precision in the text of the Diary, almost every entry which it contains may be likewise dated with precision. Thus the present fragment of the Diary begins on Sunday the first day of the year 461, which corresponds to 3 Aug 1068 of the Christian Era. The last entry is dated the 14th of Dhu'l-Qa'da, 461, corresponding to 4 September 1069.

There are some mistakes in the dates as set down by the author; some he corrected, and others apparently escaped his attention. The dated entries, indicating the date on which the event took place, do not necessarily indicate the date on which the entry was recorded; the author rarely declares having written the report of a given event on the same day of it's occurrence. The month with the lowest amount of entries is Shauwal, 461, where there are only a few lines; while Rabi II, of the same year, is the most documented one. The most frequent and persistent documentation occurs with regard to the case of Ibn 'Aqil.

Continuation of History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria by Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij

Background and Biography

Background and Biography

Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij wrote a continuation of the the History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria (aka History of the Patriarchs of the Egyptian Church) by Sawirus (Severus) ibn al-Muqaffa. Mawhub was a native of Alexandria and a layman who wrote in Arabic.

Excerpts
English translation of the 1st passage

---277---

a village called Dimul, one of the villages of Abwan, and the picture of the Mistress and the picture of the Angel Michael in the church of Thunah. Macarius the monk, a disciple of the saintly Bessus of the Monastery of Abba Kame4 renowned for his sanctity and beautiful manner of life, informed me about this.

The habitations of Egypt (Misr) were smitten with exceedingly great and hard punishments. The first of these was the occurrence of a great earthquake in the forenoon5 of Tuesday, the second (day after) Easter, such that it overthrew a number of places at ar-Ramlah and Tinnis and elsewhere, but it did not have any effect at Alexandria. There was after it, much plague, so that there did not remain in Tinnis of the thousands who were in it, except some hundred people. There was a house in it, and all who were found in it were lying on their mattresses, and their money and everything which they possessed (was) in it. Then there were carried out from their houses the bedsteads, the domed canopies, the benches, mattresses and money, and ar-Ramlah became deserted, and no one remained in it. Then affairs became serious, until (at length) war was waged by the Easterns and the Turks who were masters of Cairo (Misr), against Nasr ad-Dawlah ibn Hamdan, and they applauded the Sultan that he had caused to be brought out a red tent which was pitched outside the gate of the Castle at the place known as the Golden Gate, and (that) he had manifested his anger against the Bani Hamdan and those who (were) with them. There was among them in Cairo (al-Kahirah) and Cairo (Misr) a party of Kurds, some five thousand men. On that day a crier cried among them and among
Footnotes

4 i. e. one of the monasteries of the Wadi'n-Natrun.

5 Daha is the period in the morning, one hour after sunrise up to about 10 a.m.

English translation of the 1st passage from Guidoboni and Comastri (2005)

Suddenly there was a violent earthquake at dawn on Tuesday, the second day of Easter [18 March 1068], such that various places were destroyed at Ramla, Tinnis and elsewhere, and at Alexandria. A subsequent epidemic was so severe that only about one hundred inhabitants survived, of the thousands who lived at Tinnis..

English translation of the 2nd passage from Guidoboni and Comastri (2005)

Amongst the events of that year [462 H.], at the third hour on Tuesday 11 Jumada I, corresponding to 18 Adar in the Syriac calendar [= 18 March 1070], there was a tremendous earthquake at Ramla and its district. The people fled, and its walls were destroyed. The shocks reached as far as Jerusalem and Tinnis [Tannis?]; Aylat completely collapsed. The sea receded so far during the earthquake that its bed was revealed and people could walk on the bottom until the sea returned to its normal level. One corner of the congregational mosque in Cairo moved. The earthquake was followed by two more shocks within the same period.

Chronology
1st passage in History of the Patriarchs
Year Reference Corrections Notes
one hour after sunrise up to about 10 a.m. on Tuesday 18 March 1068 CE the forenoon of Tuesday, the second (day after) Easter none
  • The second day after Easter equates to 22 of Paremhat in A.Mytr. 748 which equates to 18 March 1068 CE (calculated using CHRONOS)
  • 18 March 1068 CE falls on a Tuesday (calculated using CHRONOS)
  • forenoon or "daha" is defined as the period in the morning, one hour after sunrise up to about 10 a.m.
2nd passage in History of the Patriarchs
Year Reference Corrections Notes
~9 am Tuesday 18 March 1068 CE third hour on Tuesday 11th of Jumada I A.H. 460 year changed from A.H. 462 to A.H. 460
  • Calculated with CHRONOS
  • 18 March 1068 CE falls on a Tuesday (calculated using CHRONOS)
  • Although a note by the editor specifies the year as A.H. 462, 11 Jumada I in A.H. 462 corresponds to 25 February 1070 CE and falls on a Thursday.
18 March 18 Adar in the Syriac calendar none
  • Adar equates exactly to March in the Syriac calendar
Seismic Effects

1st passage in History of the Patriarchs 2nd passage in History of the Patriarchs Locations

1st passage in History of the Patriarchs 2nd passage in History of the Patriarchs Sources
Stated Source

Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij states that Macarius the monk, a disciple of the saintly Bessus of the Monastery of Abba Kame was his source.

Online Versions and Further Reading
References

Part 7 of History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria (online)

Sawirus b. al-Muqaffa.`, History of the Patriarchs of the Egyptian Church, ed. and trans. A.S. Atiya et al., 4 vols., Publ. Soc. Archeol. Copte, Cairo 1943-74; ed. and trans. B.Evetts, PO 5, Paris 1910.

Continuation of the Damascus Chronicle by Ibn al-Qalanisi

ذيـل تـاريـخ دمـشـق by ابو يعل

Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Ibn al-Qalanisi ابو يعل
Abu Ya‘la ابو يعل
Abu Ya‘la Hamzah ibn Asad ibn al-Qalanisi ابو يعلى حمزة ابن الاسد ابن القلانسي
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

Ibn al-Qalanisi was an Arab politician and chronicler who wrote in the 12th century CE and lived in Damascus ( Gibb, 1932:8). He is known for his work as the continuator of the Damascus Chronicle (Dhail Ta'rikh Dimashq) originally composed by Hilal ibn al-Muhassin who died in 1056 CE ( Gibb, 1932:9). Al-Qalansi covered the following years until 1160 CE - the year in which he died. He is an important Muslim source for the 1st and 2nd Crusades.

Excerpts
English from Guidoboni and Comastri (2005)

On Tuesday 10 of the month of Jumada I in that year [460 H.] there was a terrible earthquake in Palestine, which destroyed most of the houses and walls at Ramla, and badly damaged its congregational mosque. Most inhabitants perished in the ruins. It was said that a schoolteacher was in his classroom with about 200 children, and the classroom roof collapsed on top of them, but no-one went to look for [their bodies] because their families had perished as well. It was also said that because of the intensity of the earthquake, water came out of the wells. At Baniyas about a hundred people perished in the ruins; and the same thing happened at Jerusalem.

Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
Monday 17 March 1068 CE or Tuesday 18 March 1068 CE Tuesday 10th of Jumada I A.H. 460 none
  • Calculated with CHRONOS
  • The 10th of Jumada I in A.H. 460 equates to 17 March 1068 CE which fell on a Monday - not a Tuesday (calculated using CHRONOS).
  • When one considers the 18 March 1068 CE date provided by other authors, it seems more likely that al-Qalanisi erred on the date rather than the day of the week.
Seismic Effects Locations Online Versions and Further Reading
References

Ibn al-Qalanisi, Dhayl ta'rikh Dimashq, ed. H.Amedroz, Leiden 1908.

Ibn al-Qalanisi, History of Damascus 363–555 a.H, from the Bodleian MS Hunt 125

Gibb (1932). The Damascus Chronicle of the Crusades: Extracted and Translated from the Chronicle of Ibn Al-Qalanisi, Luzac. - covers 1097 - 1159 CE

Annals of the History of Syria by Al-Azimi

Al Muwassal 'ala al-Asl al-Mu'assal by (?) أبوعبدالله العظيمي

Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Al-Azimi
Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī ibn Muḥammad al-Tanūkhī (?) أبوعبدالله العظيمي
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

Al-Azimi was poet, schoolmaster, and an Arab Chronicler best known for his book the History of Aleppo (Cahen, 1938:354). The account of the earthquake, however, is in another book - Annals of the History of Syria (Al Muwassal 'ala al-Asl al-Mu'assal) which covers the years from 1063 - 1143/44 CE (wikipedia). Although al-Azimi lived in Aleppo, he is known to have made several trips to Damascus (Cahen, 1938:354).

Excerpts
Characterization by Ambraseys (2009)

Ambraseys (2009) reports that al-Azimi wrote about 100 years after the event and only mentions that the earthquake damaged houses in Palestine and al-Ramla and after the earthquake water rose in wells (al-Azimi, 358).

Seismic Effects Locations Online Versions and Further Reading
References

Cahen, C. (1938), Chronique abrégée d'Al-ʿAẓīmī, Journal Asiatique. 353-448 - online - open access - in Arabic with a preface in French and footnotes in French

The Book on Rightly ordered Things and the Collection of Necessary Things dealing with the History of the Kings and the Nation by Ibn al-Jawzi

Kitab al-muntazam by ابن الجوزي

Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Ibn al-Jawzi ابن الجوزي
al-Jauzi ابن ال
Jamaladdin Abul-Faraj 'Abdarrahman ibn abil-Hasan ibn 'Ali ibn Muhammad ibn al-Jauzi al-Qurashi at-Taymi al-Bakri
ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAlī b. Muḥammad Abu 'l-Faras̲h̲ b. al-Jawzī
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

Ibn al-Jawzi was a 20th generation descendant of caliph Abu Bakr, the father-in-law of the prophet Muhammad (de Somogyi, 1932:51). He was born in Baghdad around 1115 CE and died there in 1200 CE (de Somogyi, 1932:52). A true bibliophile, he is reported to have spent most of a considerable inherited fortune in purchasing books (de Somogyi, 1932:52). He was a preacher and a prolific author whose output numbers at least in the hundreds of volumes and may have reached, as he claimed, a thousand (de Somogyi, 1932:54). His most famed and important work is The Book on Rightly ordered Things and the Collection of Necessary Things dealing with the History of the Kings and the Nation (Kitab al muntazam wa multaqat al-multazam fi akhbar wal-umam) which is usually referred to as Kitab al-muntazam. This text is arranged in chronological order starting from "Creation" until A.H. 574 (1178/1179 CE) and appears to have been completed shortly before his death in 1200 CE (de Somogyi, 1932:55). de Somogyi (1932:55) states that the work originally consisted of sixteen volumes, but the copyists of later times divided it into parts.

Excerpts
English from Guidoboni and Comastri (2005)

In the month of Jumada I [8 March - 6 April 1068] the earth shook in Palestine. The town of Ramla was destroyed; the merlons [of the minaret] of the Mosque of the Prophet God bless him and give him peace [at Medina] also collapsed. The earthquake reached the villages of Wadi al-Safra' and Khaybar. The earth split open and treasures came forth. Its effects were also felt at Ruhba and Kufa. Some merchants described the earthquake in a letter, in which they said that the town of Ramla had completely collapsed, with the sole exception of two alleys. There were 15,000 victims [according to the letter]

Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
8 March - 6 April 1068 CE Jumada I A.H. 460 none Calculated using CHRONOS.
Seismic Effects Locations Sources
Source for the 1068 CE Earthquake

Ibn al-Jawzi states that his source was a letter which described the earthquake from some merchants. His account is strikingly similar to that of fellow Baghdadi al-Banna who also got his information from his more expansive (and possibly misdated) account from some merchants. Makdisi (1956a) noted that al-Banna's diary was retrieved by Diya ad-Din al-Maqdisi, a hadith scholar who had studied under Ibn al-Jawzi shortly before Ibn al-Jawzi's death in 1201 indicating that he may have obtained it from Ibn al-Jawzi himself. This suggests that Ibn al-Jawzi may have used used al-Banna's diary as a source or used a letter which was a common source for Ibn al-Jawzi and al-Banna. Makdisi (1956a) suggests that Ibn al-Jawzi appears to have had access to parts of the diary that are now lost but not the extant fragment.

Sources according to de Somogyi (1932)

from de Somogyi (1932:64-68)

V. The Authorities of the "Kitab al-muntazam"

The Kitab al-muntazam gives evidence of the many-sided erudition of Ibn al-Jauzi. In writing such an extensive work, he had to consult many authorities. But, unlike at-Tabari and Ibn al-Athir, Ibn al-Jauzi is not satisfied with giving the name of his authority ; in addition, he gives the complete isnad of the traditionists through whom his direct authority received his information. His elaborate and long isnads - being in the majority of the cases longer than the matn - are a peculiarity of Ibn al-Jauzi, the more so as at his time quoting of isndds in their whole length, as was customary at the time of at-Tabari, had been abandoned.1

Only Ibn al-Jauzi's main work of reference is an exception to this rule, that is ay-Tabari's work. Except in a few cases,2 he does not refer to the Ta'rikh ar-rusul wal-mulukt since its general use by all the later Arab historians was a well-known fact. But as soon as his narrative differs from that of av-TakarI, he never neglects to name the authority from whom he received an additional or a new tradition.

It may be seen from the Kitab al-muntazam that Ibn al Jauzi knew many prominent scholars of his city and read their works as well. The most remarkable of these Baghdad scholars was no doubt Abu Mansur 'Abdarrahman ibn Muhammad al-Qazzaz whom he may have well known personally and have read his books, none of which has been left to us. Excluding at-Tabari, it is he from whom Ibn al-Jauzi received most of his information on events of both general, political, and local character, and more especially for his biographical notices. There is hardly any page in the Kitab al-muntazam on which his name - quoted as either 'Abdarrahman ibn Muhammad or Abu Mansur al-Qazzaz - is not mentioned. The only reference to this scholar is to be found in the abstract entitled " Muntaqi al-'Ibar " of adh Dhahabi's chronicle made by Abu Bakr ibn Ahmad ibn Qadi Shuhba (died in a.h. 851),3 where he is said to have died in the year 535/1140-1, and to have been a disciple of al-Khatib al-Baghdadi and an eminent traditionist.

Next to al-Qazzaz, the authority most frequently quoted by Ibn al-Jauzi is Abul-Fadl Muhammad ibn Nasir al-Hafiz as-Sallami, often called Muhaddith al-'Iraq, who according to adh-Dhahabl,4 died in 550/1155. His contemporary and Ibn al-Jauzi's third important authority was Abul-Qasim Isma'il ibn Ahmad ibn as-Samarqandi, who according to adh Dhahabi5 died in 536/1141-2, and is said to have been, together with al-Qazzaz, a disciple of al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, and equally an eminent traditionist.6

The master of these scholars, Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn 'Ali ibn Thabit, commonly called al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (died in 403/1071) is also referred to in several passages of the Kitab al-muntazam. We may assume that Ibn al-Jauzi, in writing his obituary notices, made wide use of his Tarikh Baghdad, a voluminous history of learned men,7 the more so as he readily accepted the ideas of al-Khatib al-Baghdadi in ruthlessly purifying the hadiths.8

The other authorities quoted by Ibn al-Jauzi are as follows (the years in the narratives of which they are mentioned are put in brackets)9 : -
  • Ibrahim ibn Dinar al-Faqih (a.h. 381).
  • Ibrahim an-Nakha'i (a.h. 75). See Fihrist, vol. i, p. 183.
  • 'Abdalmalik ibn Qurayb al-Asma'i died in 216/831 (a.h. 131).
  • al-Arabi (a.h. 280).
  • Muhammad ibn 'Ali ibn Babat (a.h. 75).
  • Muhammad ibn abi Tahir al-Bazzar (a.h. 99,151, 262, 279).
  • Abu Mansur al-Bazzaz (a.h. 158
  • Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Yahya as-Suli, died in 335/946 (a.h. 132, 158, 256, 269, 286).
  • Abu 'Ali Muhassin ibn 'Ali at-Tanukhi, died in 384/994 (a.h. 391).
  • 'Amr ibn Bahr al-Laythi al-Jahiz, died in 255/869 (a.h. 158).
  • Jabala ibn Muhammad (a.h. 132).
  • Ibn Hajib (a.h. 370). He is probably Abul-Husayn 'Abdal 'aziz ibn Ibrahim ibn Hajib an-Nu'man, scribe at the time of Mu'izz addaula.
  • al-Hakim ibn 'Abdallah ibn Muhammad, died in 405/1014 : " Ta'rikh Nisabur " (a.h. 230).
  • Abul-Hasan al-Jarrahi (a.h. 260).
  • al-Hasan ibn Ja'far 'Ali (a.h. 132).
  • Abul-Hasan ibn 'Ali al-Kaukabi (a.h. 382).
  • Abul-Hasan ibn 'Ali ibn al-Ma'ali (a.h. 367, 422).
  • Abul-Hasan ibn 'Ali ibn Muhammad ibn 'Abdalwahid al Hashimi (a.h. 132, 279).
  • Abul-Husayn ibn Muhammad ibn 'Abdalwahhab ad-Dabbas (a.h. 93). See Fihrist, vol. i, p. 208.
  • Ibn Halaf (a.h. 151).
  • Muhammad ibn 'Abdalmalik al-Hamdanl, died in 521/1127 (a.h. 279, 381).
  • Khalid ibn 'Aylan (a.h. 132).
  • 'Ali ibn 'Umar ad-Daraqutni, died in 385/995 (a.h. 376).
  • Abu Bakr ibn abi Dunya, died in 281/894 (a.h. 105).
  • Zahir ibn Tahir ibn Muhammad, died in 533/1138 (a.h. 99, 230).
  • as-Sahhaq (a.h. 158).
  • Sa'id ibn 'Ali abu 'Abdallah Muhammad ibn Asad al-Katib al-Qari al-Bazzaz al-Baghdadi, died in 410/1019 (a.h. 408).
  • Abu Sa'id al-Himyari (a.h. 132).
  • Shahak (a.h. 86). See Fihrist, vol. ii, p. 168 ; Ibn Shahak as-Sindi.
  • 'Abdallah ibn Hasan (a.h. 132).
  • 'Abdalwahhab ibn al-Mubarak (a.h. 96, 99).
  • 'Abdalwahhab ibn Muhammad (a.h. 158)
  • 'Ali ibn 'Ubaydallah (a.h. 132). He is perhaps identical with 'All ibn 'Ubaydallah ibn Babawaih, author of a " Fihrist", see Br. Mus. Suppl., Nr. 635.
  • 'Umar ibn al-Hafiz (a.h. 101).
  • Abu 'Amr ibn al-'Ala (a.h. 158), the philologist of Basra, died probably in 159/776.10
  • Ibn abil-Fawaris (a.h. 376).
  • Abul-Hasan ibn 'Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Habibal-Mawardi, died in 450/1058 (a.h. 238, 240, 242).
  • al-Mubarak ibn 'Ali as-Sayrafi (a.h. 100).
  • Mahfuz ibn Ahmad (a.h. 86).
  • Muhammad ibn 'Abdalbaqi abu Bakr al-Ansari, died in 535/1140 (a.h. 256, 271, 279, 322, 329, 334, 335). See Br. Mus. Suppl., No. 622 ; he is mentioned by Ibn Nuqta as having received traditions from al-Hasan ibn 'Ali al-Jauhari.
  • Muhammad ibn 'Abdalhaytham (a.h. 75).
  • al-Mada'ini Abul-Hasan 'All ibn Muhammad, died about 840/225 (a.h. 91).
  • Ibn al-Mu'tazz (a.h. 286, 289).
  • Hibatalldh ibn al-Hasan al-Lalaqa'I, died in 418/1027 (a.h. 125).
  • Hibatallah ibn 'Abdassalam al-Katib (a.h. 422).
  • Hilal ibn al-Muhassin as-Sabi, died in 448/1056 (a.h. 353, 413).
Footnotes

1 See Brockelmann, Das Verhaltnis, etc., p. 0.

2 See Br. M. Suppl., No. 460, fol. 986, I. 14 ; fol. 177, 1. 4.

3 Br. M. Or., No. 3006, fol. 276, margin.

4 Do., MS., fol. 287a; see also as-Sam'ani: Kitab ansab, ed. D. S. Margoliouth, London-Leyden, 1912, fol. 320a.

5 Do., MS., fol. 277a.

6 adh-Dhahabi in his Ta'rikh al-islam also mentions these three men as masters of Ibn al-Jauzi, see Br. M. Or., Nr. 52, fol. 119.

7 See Br. M. Or., Nr. 303, fol. 1166, 1. 24.

8 Especially in his Al-kifdya fi ma'rifat usul 'ilm ar-riwaya, see Goldziher, Muh. St., vol. ii, p. 183.

9 As I have not yet been able to inspect the MSS. of the Constantinople libraries, the above data refer only to the narratives contained in the MSS. of the European libraries (British Museum, Oxford, Gotha, Berlin). As reference-works, I have made use of Brockelmann, Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur, the Fihriat and Haji Khalfa, ed. Flugel.

10 This date of his death seems more probable than 154/770, which is generally accepted. See Ibn Khallikan, ed. de Slane, vol. ii, p. 402.

Online Versions and Further Reading Notes
Ibn al-Jawzi vs. Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi

Ibn al-Jawzi lived in Baghdad and completed Kitab al-muntazam shortly before his death in 1200 CE. The work is arranged chronologically from "Creation" until A.H. 574 - 1178/1179 CE (de Somogyi, 1932:55).

Sibt ibn al-Jawzi (ca. 1185 - 1256 CE) was the grandson of Ibn al-Jawzi and was raised by Ibn al-Jawzi in Baghdad (Keany, 2013:83). Sibt in Arabic means grandson through one of the grandfather's daughters. After his grandfather's death, Sibt ibn al-Jawzi moved to Damascus where he was a Preacher as well as a Historian (Keany, 2013:83). Sibt ibn al-Jawzi wrote Mirror of time in histories of the notables (Mir’at al-Zamān fī Tawarīkh al-'Ayān - مرآة الزمان في تواريخ الأعيان) in 23 volumes in the 13th century CE.

The Rare and Excellent History of Saladin by Ibn Shaddad

al-Nawadir al-sultaniyya wa’l-nahasin al-Yusufiyya by Ibn Shaddad

Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Ibn Shaddad
Baha’ al-Din Abu’l-Mahasin Yusuf ibn Rafi‘ ibn Tamim
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

Richards (2020:1-4) reports that Ibn Shaddad was born in Mosul in 1145 CE. He moved to Baghdad where he lived for 4 years and became a mu'id (assistant professor) before returning to Mosul where he was a mudarris (professor) at a madrassa. After making Haj, he went to Damascus and Jerusalem and received an appointment as a Judge of the army (qadi al-'askar). He was a close confidant of Saladin and participated in diplomatic missions. in 1195 CE, he moved to Aleppo where he also served as a Judge (qadi). He died in Aleppo in 1234 CE at the age of 89. In addition to writing books on Islamic jurisprudence and the Hadith, he wrote a biography of Saladin titled The Rare and Excellent History of Saladin. The earthquake is apparently in that book.

Excerpts
English from Guidoboni and Comastri (2005)

After becoming a city, Ramla was famous for its trade and as a work place; travellers went there and traders settled there, until the day when an earthquake struck, on 10 Jumada I in 460 [H. = 17 March 1068]. It destroyed houses and demolished the city walls, reducing it to rubble, and water overflowed from wells. The rock of Jerusalem split open and then came together again. A large proportion of the inhabitants of Ramla made for Aylat, rebuilt it, and turned it into a town.

Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
17 March 1068 CE 10th of Jumada I A.H. 460 none
  • calculated using CHRONOS
  • The 10th of Jumada I in A.H. 460 equates to 17 March 1068 CE which fell on a Monday (calculated using CHRONOS)
Seismic Effects
Foornotes

1 Gil (1992:408 n. 60) interprets Aylat as Iliya - an Arabic name for Jerusalem.

Ibn Shaddad (MS), 119b; (printed), 182; he is the only one who has the strange addition: 'most of the inhabitants of Ramla afterwards passed to Jerusalem (Iliya) and built it and fortified it'; it seems that the version is distorted and it was probably written there (approximately) that the inhabitants of Ramla fled to Jerusalem after the earthquake, but that they returned and rebuilt their city afterwards.

Locations
Foornotes

1 Gil (1992:408 n. 60) interprets Aylat as Iliya - an Arabic name for Jerusalem.

Ibn Shaddad (MS), 119b; (printed), 182; he is the only one who has the strange addition: 'most of the inhabitants of Ramla afterwards passed to Jerusalem (Iliya) and built it and fortified it'; it seems that the version is distorted and it was probably written there (approximately) that the inhabitants of Ramla fled to Jerusalem after the earthquake, but that they returned and rebuilt their city afterwards.

Online Versions and Further Reading
References

Ibn Shaddad, al-Nawadir al-sultaniyya wa’l-nahasin al-Yusufiyya, Cairo, 1928.

The Life of Saladin by Ibn Shaddad

Ibn Shaddad, al-Nawadir al-sultaniyya wa'l-mahasin al-yusufiyya, ed. Shayyal, Cairo 1963.

Ibn Shaddad, Alaq al-khatira fi dhikr umara al-Sham wa ’l-Jazira, ed. S. Dahhan, Topographie historique de Ibn Saddad, Liban, Jordanie, Palestine, Damascus: Institute Franc¸ais de Damas, 1963.

Ibn Shaddad, al-Agaq al-khatira fi dhikr umara al-Sham wa 1-Jaztra, pt.II, ed. S.Dahhan, Topographie Historique d'Ibn Shaddad: Liban, Jordanie, Palestine, Damascus 1963.

Richards, D. S. (2020). The Rare and Excellent History of Saladin or al-Nawadir al-Sultaniyya wa'l-Mahasin al-Yusufiyya by Baha' al-Din Ibn Shaddad, Taylor & Francis. - I could not find the earthquake account in this book.

The Complete History by Ibn al-Athir

الكامل في التاريخ by علي عز الدین بن الاثیر الجزري Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Ibn al-Athir
Ali 'Izz al-Din Ibn al-Athir al-Jazari علي عز الدین بن الاثیر الجزري
Abu al-Hassan Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ash-Shaybani
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

<Ibn al-Athir spent most of his life in Mosul and claimed to be a private scholar (Keany, 2013:83). He was present at Saladin's military campaigns against the Crusaders. Keany (2013:82) notes that he wrote much of The Complete History (al-Kamil fi at-Tarikh) at the turn of the [12th] century, supposedly as a personal reference, abandoned it to write a history of the Zangids, and then returned to the Kamil at the end of his life. The Complete History was completed in 1231 CE and consists of 11 volumes.

Excerpts
English from Guidoboni and Comastri (2005)

In the month of Jumada I there was a very strong earthquake in Palestine and Egypt, which destroyed Ramla. The water in wells rose to the surface, and 25,000 inhabitants perished. In Jerusalem, the rock [of the Mosque of Vmar, or perhaps the mosque itself, which was known as the Mosque of the Rock], split open, but by the will of God closed up again. The sea receded from the coast for a distance equal to a day's journey, and when it came back it struck those who had approached the shore, killing a great many people.

Original Document

  • not bookmarked


Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
8 March - 6 April 1068 CE Jumada I A.H. 460 none Calculated using CHRONOS.
Seismic Effects Locations Sources
Sources according to Keany (2013)

Keany (2013:82) notes that in the earlier part of Ibn al-Athir’s History, he relies on al-Tabari without isnads and with minimal editing, making his “perhaps the most conservative of all the major universal chronicles".

Online Versions and Further Reading

Kitab al-Duwal al-munkati'a by Ibn Zafir

Kitab al-Duwal al-munkati'a by Ibn Zafir

Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Ibn Zafir
Djamal al-Din Abu 'l-Hasan 'Ali ibn Abi Mansur Zafir ibn al-Husayn al-Azdi
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

Ibn Zafir was an Egyptian chancery secretary and man of letters who was born in Cairo in 1171 CE and died there in 1216 or 1226 CE (Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:970-971). Roughly a dozen works are attributed to him of which several have survived. His most notable work may be Kitab al-Duwal al-munkati'a of which Akhbar muluk al-dawla al-saldjukiyya may form a part (Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:970-971). Inside is apparently some Fatimid history.

Excerpts
Characterizations by Ambraseys (2009) and Ambraseys et al (1994)

Ambraseys (2009) notes that in Continuation of History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria by Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij a plague follows the earthquake - something that may have been a result of food scarcity which is documented by Ibn Muyassir (19) and Ibn Zafir (74-75) in Kitab al-Duwal al-munkati'a. Ambraseys et al (1994) states that neither Ibn Muyassir nor Ibn Zafir make reference to the earthquake.

Online Versions and Further Reading
References

Ibn Zafir, Akhbar al-duwal al-munqati’a, ed. A. Ferre, IFAO, ` Cairo, 1972.

Yakut, Irshad, v, 228 = Udabd', xiii, 264

Ibn Shakir, Fawdt, s.v.

Makkari, Analectes, ii, 167-8, 176

Sussheim, Prolegomena zu einer Ausgabe der Seldjukgeschichte, Leipzig 1911, 32 ff.

F. Bustani, Da'irat al-ma'drif, iii, 322

Brockelmann, SI, 533

Cl. Cahen, Quelques chroniques anciennes relatives aux derniers Fatimides, in BIFAO, xxxvii (1937), 2 ff

Annals of Egypt Ibn Muyassir

Annals of Egypt by Ibn Muyassar

Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Ibn Muyassar
Ibn Muyassir
Ibn Maysar
Muḥammad b. 'Alī b. Yūsuf b. Jalab Ibn Muyassar
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

Ibn Muyassir was an Egyptian historian who lived from 1231 to 1278 CE (C. Cahen in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:894). All that survives of his book Annals of Egypt is an incomplete copy made by al-Maqrixi. This copy contains events from 1047 - 1158 CE (439 to 553 A.H.) and extracts from years 973-976 CE and 991-997 CE (C. Cahen in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:894). Although there is a lacuna from 502-514 A.H., because al-Nuwairi borrowed from Ibn Muyassir, the lacuna from 502-514 is filled in (C. Cahen in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:894).

Excerpts
Characterizations by Ambraseys (2009) and Ambraseys et al (1994)

Ambraseys (2009) notes that in Continuation of History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria by Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij a plague follows the earthquake - something that may have been a result of food scarcity which is documented by Ibn Muyassir (19) and Ibn Zafir (74-75) in Kitab al-Duwal al-munkati'a. Ambraseys et al (1994) states that neither Ibn Muyassir nor Ibn Zafir make reference to the earthquake.

Sources and Dependencies
Encyclopedia of Islam

from C. Cahen in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3 (1991:894)

Annales d'Egypte (ed. H. Masse, Cairo 1919; cf. G. Wiet, in JA, 1921) have survived in a unique manuscript, which is incomplete and which derives from a copy made by al-Makrizi; the latter itself may not have been complete or free from error. The text as it survives, after the correct order of the leaves is restored, provides (apart from a lacuna covering the years 502-14) a consecutive account of the history of the years 439 to 553/1047-1158, together with two extracts covering the years 362-5/973-6 and 38i-7/ 991-7; however the large extent to which al-Nuwayri, Nihaya, borrows from him for Fatimid history enables us to fill the lacuna from 502-14 and to confirm that the chronicle reached as far as the Ayyubid period, although perhaps not covering it in full. It is more difficult to decide what exactly the two fragments on the 4th/10th century represent: later writers in general attribute to Ibn Muyassar a continuation of al-Musabbihi, though certainly in a style less developed than the latter's history; but, if the two fragments in question really do belong to Ibn Muyassar, it must be assumed that he also covered, in a more summary fashion, the period which al-Musabbihi had already dealt with. Direct comparison with al-Musabbihi is not possible, since the only section of his work which has survived does not cover the years found in Ibn Muyassar; nevertheless the comparison which is now possible with the Itti'az of al-Makrizi proves that the 381-7 fragment certainly is a summary of al-Musabbihi; in the other fragment, belonging to an earlier period than that of al-Musabbihi, he copies Ibn Zulak, without mentioning him in it. The "History of the kadis of Egypt" of Ibn Hadjar (ed. R. Guest) even quotes passages of Ibn Muyassar earlier than the Fatimids, but these probably belong to another work, one devoted specially to the Egyptian kadis. In any case the essential part of the Chronicle, that which deals with the Fatimids of the 5th/11th and 6th/12th centuries, is based mainly on a lost work of a certain al-Muhannak, which was used also by Ibn Zafir. It contains much valuable and original information on a history whose direct sources have disappeared.

Online Versions and Further Reading
References

al-Muyassir, Tarikh Misr, ed H. Masse, Mem. Inst ´ . Fr. au Caire, vol. 23, 1919.

H. Masse ed. (1919) Annales d'Egypte, Cairo

Wiet, Gaston, in JA, 1921 65-125 - Gaston Wiet’s enumeration of errata therein, listed with Massé’s approval

ed. Ayman Fu'ad Sayyid, al-Muntaqa min Akhbar Misr, Cairo 1981.

Cl. Cahen, Quelques chroniques anciennes relatives aux derniers Fatimides, in BIFA O, xxxvii (i937)- contains further references

Ibn Muyassar. EI3. 2017-5. - Encyclopedic Bio

unvetted Ibn Muyassir Bio

Mirror of time in histories of the notables by Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi

مرآة الزمان في تواريخ الأعيان by سبط ابن الجوزي

Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Sibṭ ibn al-Jawzi سبط ابن الجوزي
Shams al-din Abu al-Muzaffar Yusuf ibn Kizoghlu
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

Sibt ibn al-Jawzi (ca. 1185 - 1256 CE) was the grandson of Ibn al-Jawzi and was raised by Ibn al-Jawzi in Baghdad (Keany, 2013:83). Sibt in Arabic means grandson through one of the grandfather's daughters. After his grandfather's death, Sibt ibn al-Jawzi moved to Damascus where he was a Preacher as well as a Historian (Keany, 2013:83). Keany (2013:83) noted that he carefully documented his sources. Sibt ibn al-Jawzi wrote a 23-volume encyclopedic biographical History titled Mirror of time in histories of the notables (Mir’at al-Zamān fī Tawarīkh al-'Ayān - مرآة الزمان في تواريخ الأعيان) in Arabic in the 13th century CE.

Excerpts
English from Guidoboni and Comastri (2005)

On Tuesday 11 Jumada I [460 H. = 18 March 1068], there was an earthquake in Palestine which lasted for two and a half hours and destroyed the Ramla area. It was felt as far as Ruhba and Kufa, and only two of the main gates at Ramla were undamaged, and 15,000 townspeople were killed. In Ramla, there were two hundred children at school when it collapsed on top of them, and no-one went in search of them because their parents were dead. The rock of [the mosque of] Jerusalem split open, but then closed up again. Others say that it did not split open at all, but moved and then returned to its original position; and the sea receded [to a distance equal to] a day['s walk] and people went down to the sea bed to pick things up, but the sea came back at them and a large number were killed. Baniyas was destroyed, and loud thunder-claps were heard in the sky, and violent sounds which caused people to faint. The earthquake reached the Euphrates, whose waters overflowed its banks. An Alawite at Hejaz [Arabia], has said that in the period in question an earthquake caused the collapse [in Medina] of two merlons [on the minaret] in the Mosque of the Prophet may the prayer of God and peace be with him and the towns people were disturbed and thought it an ill omen: so they did penance, practised abstinence, poured away their wines and exiled adulterous women from the town. And the earthquake struck Wadi al-Safra', Yun.bu`, Badr, Khaybar, and Wadi al-Qura and spread throughout the Hejaz; and the earth split open and treasures were revealed, and gold, silver and jewels were found. The dinar was equivalent to one mithqal and a half by weight and a spring gushed forth [sufficiently violently] to be worth 2,000 dinars a year. At Tabuk, three more springs appeared than had been there before. The earthquake completely destroyed the eastern part of the Hejaz, and it also destroyed Aylat, killing all its inhabitants, with the exception of 12 men who had gone fishing at sea. And a letter from some merchants in the month of Rajab [460 H. = 6 May 4 June 1068] reported that when they arrived at Damascus, they found neither sultan nor market, and the people had taken over the city, and it was impossible to enter or leave. The commander of the army defeated the governor of Damascus, forcing him to withdrawn to `Usqalan, and the people destroyed the palace where he usually dwelt; and the same thing had happened throughout the Syrian territories and the nearby coastal area. And what is amazing is that we have seen that the earthquake affected coastal areas, Jerusalem, the Syrian territories, Medina, Tabuk and Tima, and the whole of the Hejaz and Al- Bilad al-Furatiyya [the Euphrates area]; and it all happened in a single night half way through Jumada I [460 H. = 22 March 1068].

Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
Tuesday 18 March 1068 CE Tuesday 11th of Jumada I A.H. 460 none
  • Calculated with CHRONOS
  • 18 March 1068 CE fell on a Tuesday (calculated using CHRONOS)
nighttime earthquake it all happened in a single night none
  • Differs from other authors who largely report a daytime earthquake
  • Apparently contradicted by a passage which states that 200 children died at a school in Ramla as school is normally in session during the daytime.
Seismic Effects Locations Online Versions and Further Reading
References

Mirror of time in histories of the notables can be read in Arabic here

Tsafrir and Foerster (1992b:232 footnote 16) list manuscripts for Mir'at al-Zaman as follows:

  • MS British Museum, Add. 23, 277, fol. 135b, 11. 11-17
Manuscript - 1506, Sibt b. al-Jawzi, Mir'at al-zaman fi ta'rikh al-ceyan. BIBLIOTHEQUE NATIONALE DE FRANCE, PARIS

Sibt b. al-Jawzi, Mir'at al-zaman, ed. Haydarabad 1951.

Notes
Ibn al-Jawzi vs. Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi

Ibn al-Jawzi lived in Baghdad and completed Kitab al-muntazam shortly before his death in 1200 CE. The work is arranged chronologically from "Creation" until A.H. 574 - 1178/1179 CE (de Somogyi, 1932:55).

Sibt ibn al-Jawzi (ca. 1185 - 1256 CE) was the grandson of Ibn al-Jawzi and was raised by Ibn al-Jawzi in Baghdad (Keany, 2013:83). Sibt in Arabic means grandson through one of the grandfather's daughters. After his grandfather's death, Sibt ibn al-Jawzi moved to Damascus where he was a Preacher as well as a Historian (Keany, 2013:83). Sibt ibn al-Jawzi wrote Mirror of time in histories of the notables (Mir’at al-Zamān fī Tawarīkh al-'Ayān - مرآة الزمان في تواريخ الأعيان) in 23 volumes in the 13th century CE.

The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition by al-Nuwairi

نهاية الأرب في فنون الأدب by شهاب ال

Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Al-Nuwayrī شهاب ال
Shihāb al-Dīn Ahmad bin 'Abd al-Wahhāb al-Nuwayri شهاب الدين أحمد بن عبد الوهاب النويري
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

al-Nuwairi was born in Egypt in 1279 CE and died in Cairo in 1333 CE. He had a career in government dealing with the financial administration of the Mamluk empire. After retiring in 1312 CE, he wrote a book titled The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition (Nihāyat al-arab fī funūn al-adab) consisting of multiple volumes and over 2 million words (wikipedia and Muhanna, 2018). The book was divided into 5 sections. ( Muhanna, 2018).

Excerpts
Characterization by Ambraseys (2009)

Ambraseys (2009) claims that al- Nuwairi (iv. 140, 141) more or less faithfully reproduces the accounts of Ibn al-Jawzi.

Online Versions and Further Reading
References

al-Nuwairi, Muhammad b. Qasim, Kitab al-ilman, vol. iv, ed. A. S. Atiya, Hyderabad, 1390/1970.

al-Nuwairi, Muhammad b. Qasim, Nuhayat, MS Leiden Or. 2-0.

Muhanna, E. (2018). The World in a Book: Al-Nuwayri and the Islamic Encyclopedic Tradition, Princeton University Press.

Great History of Islam by al-Dhahabi

تاريخ الإسلام by الذهبي

Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Shams ad-Dīn adh-Dhahabī شمس الدين الذهبي
Shams ad-Dīn Abū ʿAbdillāh Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ibn ʿUthmān ibn Qāymāẓ سهامس ادءدين ابو عابديللاه موحامماد يبن احماد يبن عوتهمان يبن قايماظ يبن عابديللاه اتءتوركوماني الءفاريقي ادءديماسهقي (?)
ʿAbdillāh at-Turkumānī al-Fāriqī ad-Dimashqī عابديللاه اتءتوركوماني الءفاريقي ادءديماسهقي (?)
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

al-Dhahabi was an Arab theologian, lawyer, professor, and historian who was born in Damascus or Mayyafarikin in 1274 CE and died in Damascus in either 1348 or 1352/1353 CE (en Cheneb and De Somogyi in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 2, 1991:214-216). He traveled and studied extensively with a long sojourn in Cairo. en Cheneb and De Somogyi in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 2 (1991:214-216) characterize his written works as that of a compiler like practically all the post-classical Arab authors whose works are distinguished by careful composition and constant references to his authorities. His most notable work is Great History of Islam (Ta'rikh al-Islam al-Kabir) which begins with the genealogy of Muhammad and ends in the year A.H. 700 (1300/1301 CE). It follows the template of Kitab al-muntazam by Ibn al-Jawzi. Great History of Islam had continuators including al-Dhahabi himself and also appears many times as abridged editions - including abridgments made by al-Dhahabi (en Cheneb and De Somogyi in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 2, 1991:214-216). The (unabridged?) work comprises 50 volumes.

Excerpts
English from Guidoboni and Comastri (2005)

In this year [460 H. = 1067-1068], there was a violent earthquake at Ramla which damaged it so badly that water overflowed from wells and, according to Ibn al-Athir, 25,000 inhabitants perished. Abu Yalu ben Qalanisi records that there were about 200 children in a school at Ramla when it collapsed on top of them, but no-one went to look for them because their families had perished as well, and Baniyas was struck in the same way. Ibn al-Sabuni has said:
An Alawite who happened to be in the Hejaz, has told how there was an earthquake in the period mentioned, that is to say on Tuesday 11 Jumada / [460 H. = 18 March 1068], and how it caused two merlons [on the minaret] to collapse at the Mosque of the Prophet [at Medina] may the prayer of God and peace be with him and how the earth split open and gold and silver treasures came forth, and a spring gushed forth, and Aylat was destroyed with its inhabitants, and at Tabuk three springs all appeared at the same time.
As for Ibn al-Athir, he has said that the rock of [the mosque of] Jerusalem split open and then came together again thanks to the will of God; and the sea receded from the shore for a distance equal to a day[s walk]; people went down along the sea bed to see what they could find, but the water came back over them and they perished.

Original Document

  • not bookmarked


Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
Tuesday 18 March 1068 CE Tuesday 11th of Jumada I A.H. 460 none
  • Calculated with CHRONOS
  • 18 March 1068 CE falls on a Tuesday (calculated using CHRONOS)
Seismic Effects
Description in al-Dhahabi al-Dhahabi's Source Description in al-Dhahabi's Source Notes
25,000 inhabitants perished in Ramla Ibn al-Athir destroyed Ramla where 25,000 inhabitants perished.
there was a violent earthquake at Ramla which damaged it so badly that water overflowed from wells Ibn al-Athir destroyed Ramla where water in wells rose to the surface, not specifically attributed to Ibn al-Athir but is so similar that this seems to be the case.
the rock of [the mosque of] Jerusalem split open and then came together again Ibn al-Athir In Jerusalem, the rock [of the Mosque of Omar, or perhaps the mosque itself, which was known as the Mosque of the Rock], split open, but by the will of God closed up again
unlocated tsunami - the sea receded from the shore for a distance equal to a day[s walk]; people went down along the sea bed to see what they could find, but the water came back over them and they perished. Ibn al-Athir The sea receded from the coast for a distance equal to a day's journey, and when it came back it struck those who had approached the shore, killing a great many people.
there were about 200 children in a school at Ramla when it collapsed on top of them, but no-one went to look for them because their families had perished as well al-Qalanisi It was said that a schoolteacher was in his classroom with about 200 children, and the classroom roof collapsed on top of them, but no-one went to look for [their bodies] because their families had perished as well.
Baniyas was struck in the same way as Ramla al-Qalanisi At Baniyas about a hundred people perished in the ruins
An Alawite stated that the earthquake caused two merlons [on the minaret] to collapse at the Mosque of the Prophet [at Medina] Ibn al-Sabuni perhaps the same personage as 12th century CE Nur al-Din al-Sabuni ?
the earth split open and gold and silver treasures came forth and a spring gushed forth Ibn al-Sabuni
Aylat was destroyed with its inhabitants Ibn al-Sabuni
at Tabuk three springs all appeared at the same time. Ibn al-Sabuni
Locations Sources
Sources

Al-Dhahabi cited his sources: Ibn al-Athir, al-Qalanisi, and Ibn al-Sabuni.

Online Versions and Further Reading
References

Ta'rikh al-Islam al-Kabir in Arabic - online - open access

Encyclopedia of Islam v. 2 (1927) open access - archive.org - online

Encyclopedia of Islam v. 2 (modern and updated) subscription site - online

Brockelmann, II, 46-8; S II, 45-7 (with enumeration of the Oriental references and the manuscripts)

G. Sarton, Introduction to the history of science, iii, the fourteenth century, Baltimore 1947-8, 963-7

Fr. Rosenthal, A history of Muslim historiography, Leiden 1952, 30 (n. 8), 129-30

J. de Somogyi, The Ta*rikh al-islam of adh-Dhahabi, in JRAS 1932, 815-55

idem, Ein arabisches Kompendium der Weltgeschichte. Das Kitdb duwal al-islam des ad-Dahabi, in Islamica 1932, 334-53

idem, A Qasida on the destruction of Baghdad by the Mongols, in BSOS 1933, 41-8

idem, Adh-Dhahabi's Ta'rikh al-isldm as an authority on the Mongol invasion of the Caliphate, in JRAS 1936, 595-604

idem, Ein arabischer Bericht uber die Tataren im Ta*rify al-isldm des ad-Dahabi, in Islamica 1937, 105-30

idem, Adh-Dhahabi's record of the destruction of Damascus by the Mongols in 699-700/1299-1301, in Ignace Goldziher Memorial Volume I, Budapest 1948, 353-86.

Concise History of Humanity by Abu'l-Fida

المختصر في أخبار البشر by أبو الفداء

Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Abu'l-Fida أبو الفداء
Abū al-Fidāʾ أبو الفداء
Abulfeda Latinized
Ismāʿīl b. ʿAlī b. Maḥmūd b. Muḥammad b. ʿUmar b. Shāhanshāh b. Ayyūb b. Shādī b. Marwān إسماعيل بن علي بن محمود بن محمد بن عمر بن شاهنشاه بن أيوب بن شادي بن مروان
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

Abu'l-Fida was a Syrian Prince, Historian, and Geographer who was born in Damascus in 1273 CE. He took part in military campaigns against the Crusaders at a young age (12) and was eventually made Governor of Hama in 1310 CE. He wrote poetry and books on various subjects but most of his texts have not survived. He is noted for two books which have survived - a Concise History of Humanity (Tarikh al-Mukhtasar fi Akhbar al-Bashar) and Takwin al-Bulddn a descriptive book on Geography (H.A.R. Gibb in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 1, 1991:118-119). A Concise History of Humanity is largely a compilation which covers pre-Islamic history until 1329 CE. It's earlier sections are based on Ibn al-Athir (H.A.R. Gibb in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 1, 1991:118-119).

Excerpts
Characterization by Ambraseys (2009)

Ambraseys (2009) notes that Ibn al-Athir's account of the earthquake is followed by Abu'l-Fida (iii. 186).

Original Document

  • not bookmarked


Online Versions and Further Reading
References

Abu’l-Fida (C) Resume de l’histoire des croisades tiredes ´ Annales d’Abou’l-Feda, RHC H. Or., vol. 1, Paris, 1872.

Abu’l-Fida, Tarikh al-mukhtasar fi akhbar al-bashar, vol. 3, ed. Cairo, 1907.

Abal-Fida, al-Mukhtasar ft akhbar al-bashar, 4 vols., Cairo 1907 (trans. P.M.Holt, The memoirs of a Syrian prince, Wiesbaden 1983).

de Slane, Baron (1872). "Autobiographie d'Abou 'L-Fedā: Extraite de sa chronicle". Recueil des Historiens des Croisades: Historiens Orientaux (in French). Vol. 1. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale. pp. 166–186, 745–751.

Abulfedae tabulae quaedam geographicae, nunc primum Arab. ed., Lat. vertit, notis illustr. H.F ... (1835)

Concise History of Humanity Manuscript in Arabic at Library of Congress (USA)

Tarikh Abi al-Fida - online open access at archive.org

Concise History of Humanity - Arabic and Latin Translation - online open access at google books

Bibliography from the Encyclopedia of Islam

Autobiography (extracted from the History), trans, de Slane, in Recueil des Historiens des Croisades, Orientaux i, 166-186 (see also Appendice 744-51)

Dhahabi, Ta'rikh al-Islam, Suppl., Leiden MS. 765

Kutubi, Fawdt (Cairo 1951), i, 70

Ibn Hadjar, al-Durar at-kdmina, Hyderabad 1348, i, 371-3

Subkl, Tabakdt al-Shdfi'iyya, vi, 84-5

Ibn Taghrlbirdi, Cairo, ix, 16, 23, 24, 39, 58-62, 74, 93, 100, 292-4 (largely reproduced in MakrizI, Suluk, i, Cairo 1941, 87, 89, 90, 137, 142, 166, 196, 202, 238); idem, Les Biographies du Manhal Sdfi (G. Wiet, Cairo 1932) no. 432

F. Wiistenfeld, Geschichtsschreiber der Araber, 1881, 161-6

Brockelmann, II, 44-46; S II 44

M. Hartmann, Das Muwassah, Weimar 1896, 10

Carra de Vaux, Les Penseurs de I1 1 slam, Paris, i, 139-46

G. Sarton, Introduction to the History of Science, iii, Baltimore 1947, 200, 308, 793-9

A. Ates in Oriens, 1952, 44.

Treasure of Pearls and the Collection of Shining Objects by Ibn al-Dawadari

Kanz al-durar wa-jāmiʿ al-ghurar by Ibn al-Dawādārī

Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Ibn al-Dawādārī
Sayf al-Din Abū Bakr ibn ʿAbdallāh ibn Aybak al-Dawādārī
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

Ibn al-Dawadari was born in Cairo. The date of his birth and death is unknown and his background is obscure. Later in life, he moved to Damascus. He wrote several works in Arabic but few survive. He is most famous for Treasure of Pearls and the Collection of Shining Objects (Kanz al-durar wa-jāmiʿ al-ghurar ) which is an an abridgment in nine parts of a longer universal history entitled Durar al-tījān. An autograph manuscript of the Kanz is known. Ibn al-Dawādārī claims to have worked on the final draft between 1331 and 1335 CE. The last recorded event in his histories is from 1335 CE (wikipedia citing mostly the Encyclopedia of Islam).

Excerpts
Characterization by Ambraseys (2009)

Ambraseys (2009) indicates that Ibn al-Dawadari (vi. 387) may have mentioned the plague in Egypt that followed the earthquake (see Continuation of History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria by Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij) but it is unclear if al-Dawadari discussed the earthquake.

Online Versions and Further Reading

The Beginning and the End by Ibn Kathir

Al-Bidaya wa'l-Nihaya by ابن كثير

Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Ibn Kathīr ابن كثير
Abu al-Fiḍā ‘Imād Ad-Din Ismā‘īl ibn ‘Umar ibn Kathīr al-Qurashī Al-Damishqī إسماعيل بن عمر بن كثير القرشي الدمشقي أبو الفداء عماد
Abū l-Fidāʾ Ismāʿīl ibn ʿUmar ibn Kaṯīr أبو الفداء إسماعيل بن عمر بن كثير
Imād ad-Dīn عماد الدين
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

Ibn Kathir was a historian and traditionist born around 1300 CE in Bosra. He moved to Damascus in 1306 CE and died there in 1373 CE (H. Laoust in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:817-818). His most notable work The Beginning and the End (Al-Bidaya wa'l-Nihaya) was written in 14 volumes (H. Laoust in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:817-818). The earthquake account may be in Volume 12.

Excerpts
Characterizations by Guidoboni and Comastri (2005) and Gil (1992)

Guidoboni and Comastri (2005) suggests that Ibn al-Jawzi's report was itself taken up later by the 14th century historian Ibn Kathir, in his Al-Bidaya wa'l-Nihaya XII, p.99. Gil (1992:408-409 n. 60) notes that Ibn Kathir, Biddya, XII, 96 speaks of two earthquakes, like Ibn al-Jawzi, from whom he copied.

Sources
Sources

H. Laoust in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3 (1991:817-818) describes Ibn Kathir's sources as follows

His history of the caliphate makes use, among other sources, of al-Tabari, Ibn 'Asakir, Ibn al-Djawzi, Ibn al-Athir, Sibt Ibn al-Djawzi, Kutb al-Din al-Yunini, al-Dhahabi, etc. The Biddya ends with a chronicle of the history of Damascus, which owes much to the Ta'rikh of al-Birzali (d, 739/1338-9) and his Mu'djam.

Online Versions and Further Reading
References

Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa’l-nihaya fi ’l-tarikh, 13 volumes, ed. Cairo, 1932–39 (1300–1373) 1351-58.

Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa'l-nihaya, Beirut 1966.

zlib booklist on Ibn Kathir (Indonesian)

Notes
Dependants

H. Laoust in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3 (1991:817-818) describes some of Ibn Kathir's dependants

The popularity of the Biddya is proved by the great number of historical works for which it, in its turn, was the basis, including those of Ibn Hidjdji (d. 816/1413), Ibn Katfi Shuhba (d. 851/1348) and especially Ibn Hadjar al-'Askalani (d. 852/1449), who wrote a continuation not only of Ibn Kathir but of two of the latter's great teachers, al-Mizzi and al-Dhahabi. Al-'Ayni (d. 855/1451) was also indebted to the Biddya.

Exhortations and Instructions on the Districts and Antiquities & Admonitions of the Orthodox by al-Maqrizi

Khitat & Itti’az by المقريزي

Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Al-Maqrīzī المقريزي
Maḳrīzī
Taqī al-Dīn Abū al-'Abbās Aḥmad ibn 'Alī ibn 'Abd al-Qādir ibn Muḥammad al-Maqrīzī تقي الدين أحمد بن علي بن عبد القادر بن محمد المقريزي
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

Al-Maqrizi was born around 1364 CE in Cairo, spent most of his life in Egypt, and died in 1442 CE (Rabbat, 2003:6, 18). He worked at clerical and administrative jobs in government and, at one time, was an inspector of the markets of Cairo and northern Egypt (wikipedia). He later gave all that up to become a preacher and later president of a Mosque. In 1408 CE, he moved to Damascus but finally retired to Cairo. In 1430 CE, he traveled for 5 years. His literary works exceed 200 and are focused on Egypt (wikipedia).

Excerpts
Characterizations and Background Information from Ambraseys (2009) and Gil (1992) - mostly Gil (1992)

Ambraseys (2009) notes that Al-Maqrizi mentions that Ramla was destroyed and not restored afterwards (al-Maqrizi, Khitat, i. 337, ii. 277). Gil (1992:409 n. 60) notes that Macrizi, Itti'az, II, 277, states the destruction of Ramla was final, for it was not rebuilt which Gil (1992:409 n. 60) does not find credible (JW: Fulcher of Chartres indicates that Ramla was inhabited around the time of the first crusade - ~1098/99 CE). It should be noted that Gil (1992:408) dates the earthquake at Ramla to 29 May 1068 CE rather than 18 March 1068 CE - choosing to beleive in the chronological accuracy of al-Banna's accounts and mistakenly states that all accounts of the earthquake were Muslim - neglecting to consider the Coptic Christian account in Continuation of History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria by Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij. Gil (1992:409 n. 60) also notes that, according to al-Maqrizi, the Turks in al-Mustansir's [Fatimid] army invaded Ramla in Muharram AH 460, that is November AD 1067 [JW: Actually 11 Nov. - 10 Dec. 1067 CE]. This could suggest that Ramla was severely damaged around this time by human agency rather than an earthquake in 1068 CE and that there was one major earthquake in 1068 CE with an epicentral region in the Gulf of Aqaba/the Araba.

Sources
Sources and Notes

from Al-Maqrizi’s works are the most comprehensive account of the Fatimid era by Nimira Dewji March 7 2015

One of the most important sources of Fatimid history is the works of the prolific Egyptian Taqi al-Din Ahmad b. Ali al-Maqrizi (1364-1442). Al-Maqrizi was the first historian to understand that the history of space – a city, building – can reveal as much as any text or document. He attempted to reconstruct the vanished Fatimid city by tracing its walls and streets and enumerating its mosques and palaces in his massive book, Exhortations and Instructions on the Districts and Antiquities, usually known as Khitat (Districts).

Al-Maqrizi also wrote a chronicle of Fatimid history from its origins to the end of the dynasty: Admonitions of the Orthodox, usually known as the Itti’az (Admonitions). One of the sources that al-Maqrizi repeatedly cites is the Book of Treasures and Curiosities, written in Arabic by an anonymous eyewitness to some of the events of the Fatimid period; this work describes the material and the visual world of the period. The manuscript was thought to have been lost but was discovered in the 1950s in the Gedik Ahmet Pasa Library at Afyonkarahsar in Turkey. It was subsequently translated into English and published.

The Khitat provides unique insights into the topographical facets of Cairo, a city founded by al-Mu‘izz in 969, describing the many spectacular structures established in Egypt. His other work, the Muqaffa, records invaluable biographical accounts of the prominent figures of Fatimid society.

Al-Maqrizi’s writings represent the most comprehensive account of the Fatimid era. His Itti‘az al-hunafa’ bi-akhbar al a’imma al-Fatimiyyin al-khulafa’ (Lessons for the Seekers of Truth in the History of the Fatimid Imams and Caliphs) focuses principally on the Fatimid age.

The Institute of Ismaili Studies has published the book, Towards a Shi‘i Mediterranean Empire, that focuses on the reign of the Fatimid Caliph-Imam al-Mu‘izz as discussed in the Itti‘az. The Institute has also published an Arabic critical edition of al-Maqrizi’s Itti‘az al-hunafa.

References:

Jonathan. M. Bloom, Arts of the City Victorious: Islamic art and architecture in Fatimid North Africa and Egypt. Yale University Press. 2008

Dr. Shainool Jiwa, Towards a Shi‘i Mediterranean Empire: Fatimid Egypt and the Founding of Cairo. I.B. Taurus in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies

Online Versions and Further Reading
References

al-Maqrizi, Taqi al-Din, Kitab al-suluk li-ma’rifat duwal al-muluk, ed. M. Ziada and A. ’Ashur, 4 volumes, Cairo 1934/972, also ed. J. M. de Goeje, Leiden: Bibl. Geograph. Arabes, 1906.

al-Maqr. khit.: Taqi al-Din al-Maqrizi, Kitab al-mawa’z wa’l-itibar fi dhikr al-khitat wal’athar, ed Bulaq, Cairo, 1853–54; partial trans. ed. G. Wiet, MIFAO xxx–liii, Cairo, 1911–25.

al-Maqrizi, Taqi al-Din partial trans. in M. Quatremere ` (1837), Histoire des sultans Mamlouks de l’Egypte, London: Oriental Translations Fund, 4 volumes in 2, 1837–45.

al-Maqrizi, Kitab al-sulak li-mdrifat duwal al-muluk, ed. M.Mustafa Ziada and Sa`id A.F `Ashur, 4 vols. in 8, Cairo 1934-72, partial trans. in M.Quatremere, Histoire des sultans Mamlouks de l'Egypte, London 1937-45.

Rabbat, N. (2003) Who was Maqrizi ? A biographical sketch

al-Maqqari, Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Tilimsani, Nafit al-tib, Beirut n.d 355

al-Maqrizi, Ahmad b. 'Ali, Daw' al-sari li-ma'rifat khabar tamim al-dari, (1) ed. C. D. Matthews, JPOS, 19:147, 1939/40

Cairo 1972 201 al-Dhahab al-masbuk fi dhikr man hajja min al-khulafa' wa'l-muluk, Cairo 1955 259

Khitat

Ambraseys (2009) quotes Khitat by al-Maqrizi for the Earthquake of 1068 CE.

al-Mawa`iz wa'l-i`tibar bi-dhikr al-khitat wa'l-athar, Beirut n.d. 76, 175, 245, 259, 304, 313, 344, 364, 422, 460, 469, 475-476, 483, 549-550, 552-553, 564, 566, 569, 571, 576-577, 585, 592, 598, 702, 709-710, 836, 918, 941-942, 943 al-Muqaffa, ed. T. Bianquis, BEO, 26:185, 1973 550, 552, 553, 558

Maqrīzī (al-), Taqī al-Dīn Aḥmad ibn 'Alī (1908) [1906]. Kitāb al-Khiṭaṭ al-Maqrīzīyah (in Arabic). Vol. 4. Cairo: Al-Nīl Press.

al-Maqrizi, Kitab al-Mawa`iz wa 7-ietibar f ti dhikr al-khitat wa'l-athar ft Misr wa'l-Qahira wa'l Nil wa-mayatdallaqu biha min al-akhbar al-mdruf bi-ism al-khitat, Cairo, 1270/1853-54.

Description topographique et historique de l'Égypte by Urbain Bouriant (Trans.) - Translated from Al-Mawāʻiẓ wa-al-lʻtibār bi-Dhikr al-Khiṭaṭ wa-al-āthār - did not find the earthquake in here

Itti‘az

Gil (1992:409 n. 60) quotes Itti‘az by al-Maqrizi for the Earthquake of 1068 CE.

al-Maqrizi, Taqi al-Din, Ittiaz al-huntafa, ed. Jamal al-Din al-Shayyal, 3 volumes, Cairo, 1967–73.

Itti‘az al-hunafa’ bi-akhbar al-a’imma al-Fatimiyyin al-khulafa’ (Lessons for the Seekers of Truth on the History of the Fatimid Imams and Caliphs)

News article - IIS Publishes Arabic Critical Edition of al-Maqrizi’s Itti‘az al-hunafa’

Redjala, M. b., et al. (1975). "Les Éditions De L'Itti'Āz Al-Hunafā' (Histoire Fatimide) De Maqrīzī Par Ahmad Hilmy, Sadok Hunī (Khouni), Fātiha Dib Et Peter Kessler." Arabica 22(3): 302-323.

Wiet, M.G. (1911) El-mawâ'iz wa'l-i'tibâr fî dhikr el-khitat wa'l-âthâr. t.1 Chap. I-XXX - Arabic with french footnotes - online

Itti'az al-hunafa', Cairo 1967/73 255, 304, 463, 545, 547, 548-549, 550, 552-553, 555, 557-558, 560-561, 564-566, 576, 585, 587-588, 592, 595-596, 598, 600, 602-603, 607, 610-611, 811, 894, 944

Itti'az al-hunafa by Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī Maqrīzī (ed. 1948)

The shining stars in the kings of Egypt and Cairo by Ibn Tagri Birdi

النجوم الزاهرة في ملوك مصر والقاهرة by بردي يبن

Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Jamal al-Din Yusuf bin al-Amir Sayf al-Din Taghribirdi جمال الدين يوسف بن الأمير سيف الدين تغري بردي (?)
Abū al-Maḥāsin Yūsuf ibn Taghrī-Birdī ابو الءماحاسين يوسوف يبن تاعهريءبيردي (?)
Abū l'-Maḥāsin Djamal al_Din Yūsuf ibn TaghrīBirdī ابو الءماحاسين يوسوف يبن تاعهريءبيردي (?)
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

Ibn Tagri Birdi was born in Cairo around 1410 CE. His father was a mamluk who became commander of the Egyptian armies in 1407 CE, a viceroy in ~1410 CE, and died in 1412 CE leaving Ibn Tagri Birdi to be raised by his sister - the wife of the cheif qadi (W. Popper in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 1, 1991:138). Ibn Tagri Birdi studied under many noted scholars, participated in military campaigns, and authored books on History and Biography. The shining stars in the kings of Egypt and Cairo (al-Nudjum al-Zahira fi Muluk Misr wa 'l-Kahira) is a history of Egypt from 641 CE - 1467 CE (W. Popper in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 1, 1991:138). Ibn Tagri Birdi died in 1470 CE.

Excerpts
Characterizations by Guidoboni and Comastri (2005) and Ambraseys (2009)

Guidoboni and Comastri (2005) state that the account of Ibn Tagri-Birdi (al-Nujum alzahira, V, p. 80) followed that of Ibn al-Athir. Ambraseys (2009) states that late-fifteenth century Egyptian author, Ibn Taghribirdi (ii/2.239), has a less detailed version of this passage in the year 459 a.H., which is too early.

Original Document

  • not bookmarked


Online Versions and Further Reading
References

Parts of the al-Nujum al-zahira fi muluk Misr wa'l-Qahira can be read in Arabic here. A short summary in Arabic is available here. The volumes may also be available here

al-Nujum al-zahira fi muluk Misr wa'l-Qahira in Arabic and Latin (?) - hathi trust

al-Nujum al-zahira fi muluk Misr wa'l-Qahira in Arabic and Latin (?) - Google Play ebook

Ibn Taghribirdi, Abu’l Mahasin, Hawadith al-duhur fi mmada ‘l-ayyamm wa ‘l-shuhur, ed. W. Popper, in Semitic Philology, vol. 8, Berkeley and Los Angeles 1930–42; partly trans. W. Popper, New Haven, 1967.

Ibn Taghribirdi, Abu’l Mahasin, Al-nujum az-zahira fi‘muluk Misr w‘al-Qahira, ed. F. M. Shlatut, Cairo, 1929–72, 16 volumes; also ed. and partly trans. in W. Popper, The History of Egypt 1382–1469 AD, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1915–60 [P].

Notes
Notes

A list of aliases for Ibn Tagri Birdi can be found here

Ibn Tagri Birdi explained

Ambraseys (2009) states

The late-fifteenth century Egyptian author, Ibn Taghribirdi (ii/2.239), has a less detailed version of this passage in the year 459 a.H., which is too early. These authors also refer to the scarcity of food in Egypt, which continued till 461 a.H., or even later (al- Maqrizi, Khitat, i. 337, ii. 277). Much of Ibn al-Sabi's history is preserved verbatim in Sibt ibn al-Jauzi's Mirat al zaman.
Note that Ambraseys (2009) did not understand the distinction between Ibn al-Jawzi and Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi.

Clearing up the Description of Earthquakes by Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti

كتاب كشف الصلصلة عن وصف الزلزلة by عبد الرحمن بن كمال الدين أبي بكر بن محمد سابق الدين خضر الخضيري الأسيوطي

Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Al-Suyuti
As-Suyuti
Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti
Abu 'l-Fadl 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr ibn Muhammad Djalal al_Din al-Khudayri
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

al-Suyuti is presently recognized as the most prolific author in the whole of Islamic literature (E. Geoffroy in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 9, 1991:913-916). He was widely read and famous across the Islamic world during his lifetime and was known for extreme self-confidence in his mental abilities (e.g. he had memorized 200,000 hadiths and was a polymath) which mingled with arrogance and created acrimonious relations inside Egypt (E. Geoffroy in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 9, 1991:913-916). E. Geoffroy in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 9 (1991:913-916) describes his procedure as scientific in so far as he quotes his sources with precision and presents them in a critical way and states that he cannot be considered as a mere compiler. He may have authored close to a thousand books writing on many subjects (e.g., History, Biography) besides religion and Islamic jurisprudence. as-Suyuti was born in Egypt in 1445 CE and at the age of eighteen taught Shafi'i law at the mosque of Shaykhu and gave juridicial consultations. In 1472 CE, he became a teacher of hadith at the same mosque. In 1486 CE at the age of 40, as-Suyuti retired from public life. By 1501 CE, he had completely isolated himself in his home on Rawda Island in Cairo where he worked on the editing and revision of his literary works. He died there in 1505 CE (E. Geoffroy in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 9, 1991:913-916). His book Clearing up the Description of Earthquakes (Kashf as-Salsalah 'an wasf Az-zalzalak) is a valuable reference for historical earthquakes and is one of the earliest extant earthquake catalogs.

Excerpts
English from Sprenger (1843) - Earthquake in A.H. 460

A.H. 460. Tuesday 11th Jomadalawwal, an earthquake in Palestine: Ramla was destroyed. It extended to the Hejaz. It reached also Wadi El-Szafr, Khaiber, Bedr, Yanba, Wadi-kora, Teima and Tabuk, and it extended as far a Kufa; only two houses of Ramla remained, 25,000 persons perished. 'Aila was destroyed with all its inhabitants, the earthquake was also felt at Jerusalem. The sea receded from the coast, but soon returned again into its place. In all these countries it was felt at the same hour.

English from Sprenger (1843) - Earthquake in A.H. 462 - probable repeat of A.H. 460 Report

A.H. 462. Tuesday 11th Jomadalawwal at Ramla, and its dependencies, Jerusalem and Egypt. One corner of the principal mosque of Cairo gave way; it was immediately succeeded by two other earthquakes

English from Sprenger (1843) - embedded



An Original Manuscript

  • The Noor book courtesy of Najib Abou Karaki (personal correspondence, 2022)





























Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
Tuesday 18 March 1068 CE Tuesday 11th of Jumada I A.H. 460 none
  • Calculated with CHRONOS
  • 18 March 1068 CE falls on a Tuesday (calculated using CHRONOS)
  • As-Suyuti recorded the same date - 11th of Jumada I for an A.H. 462 event but The 11th of Jumada I in A.H. 462 corresponds to 25 February 1070 CE and fell on a Thursday - not a Tuesday which adds further support that the A.H. 462 account is a repeat of the A.H. 460 event.
  • The 25 Feb. 1070 CE date shows up in the catalog of Ben-Menahem (1979:259), and, according to Guidoboni and Comastri (2005), in one section of the catalog of Taher (1979:41). However, it does not show up in the catalog of Poirier and Taher (1980b) indicating that if Taher made a mistake, it was soon corrected.
Seismic Effects Locations Sources
Sources

Similarities in accounts suggests that Ibn al-Jawzi or Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi was one of as-Suyuti's sources and possibly the Continuation of History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria by Mawhub ibn Mansur Mufarrij or a subsequent derivation as well.

Notes and Further Reading
References

Sprenger (1843). "As-Soyuti's work on Earthquakes, ." Journal of The Asiatic Society of Bengal 12(141): 741-749.

Nejjar, S. (1973-1974). Traité du tremblement de terre / Jalal ad-Din as-Suyut'i ; trad. annotée [de l'arabe] de Saïd Nejjar. Rabat, Cahiers du centre universitaire de la recherche scientifique.

Al-Sadani, A. (1971). (Jalal-Eddine Al-Suyouti) Kasff Al-Salsala Wa Wasf Al-Zalzalah, in Arabic. Rabat, Morocco.

WORKS & BOOKS OF IMAM JALALUDDIN SUYUTI

al-Suyuti, J. (1971). Kashf al-salsala 'an wasf al-zalzala. A. a.-L. Sa'adan. Fez.

References form the Encyclopedia of Islam

al-Suyuti's biography, written by his disciple 'Abd al-Kadir al-Shadhili, Bahdjat al-adbidin bitardjamat Djaldl al-Din (mss. in London, Dublin, Kuwayt)

Shams al-Din al-Dawudi, Taradjamat al-Suyuti (ms. Tubingen)

Nadjm al-Din al-Ghazzi, al-Kawakib al-sa'ira bi-a'ydn al-mi'a a al-'ashira, Beirut 1945, i, 226-31.

E.M. Sartain, Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti - remains the most complete study in a Western language

eadem, Jalal al-Din as-Suyuti's relations with the people of Takrur, in JSS, xvi (1971), 193-8.

S. Abu Djib mentions several studies in Arabic (op. cit., 331-2).

In his Muhammad's birthday festival (Leiden 1993, 45-70), N.J. Kaptein presents and translates al-Suyuti's fatwa which validates the practice of the mawlid nabawi

The Glorious History of Jerusalem and Hebron by Mujir al-Din

التاريخ المجيد للقدس والخليل (?) by مجير الدين Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Mujir al-Din al-’Ulaimi مجير الدين العليمي (?)
al-’Ulaimi العليمي (?)
'Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad al-'Ulaymi مجير الدين عبدالرحمن الحنبلي العليمي الشهير بأبن قطينه (?)
Ibn Quttainah يبن قوتتايناه (?)
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

Mujir al-Din al-’Ulaimi was born in Jerusalem in 1456 CE. He studied there from a young age until he moved to Cairo at the age of eighteen to pursue further studies for about 10 years before returning to Jerusalem. He worked as a public servant and was appointed qadi (Shari’a judge) of Ramla in 1484 CE. He became the chief Hanbali qadi of Jerusalem in 1486 CE and held that position for nearly 3 decades until he retired in 1516 CE. He wrote several books but only one - The glorious history of Jerusalem and Hebron (al-Uns al-Jalil bi-tarikh al-Quds wal-Khalil) - was published (wikipedia).

Excerpts
English from Sauvaire (1876)

In the month of jumâda first of the year 460 (March 8 - April 7, 1068), the territory of Palestine experienced an earthquake which ruined the land of Ramleh and overthrew two of the battlements of the Mosque of the Apostle of God.... The Sakhrah of Jerusalem opened up, then it resumed its first state and was united by the omnipotence of God.

In the year 463 (Comm. October 9, 1070), during the reign of El-Mostanser-billah, P'Obaydîte, Caliph of Egypt, Jerusalem and Ramleh fell to the power of Atsiz ebn Auq the Kharezmian, lord of Damascus.

French from Sauvaire (1876)

Dans le mois de djoumâda premier de l'année 460 (8 mars -7 avril 1068), le territoire de Palestine éprouva un tremblement de terre qui ruina le pays de Ramleh et renversa deux des créneaux du Masdjed de l'apôtre de Dieu.... La Sakhrah de Jérusalem s'entrouvrit, puis elle reprit son premier état et se ressouda par la toute-puissance de Dieu.

En l'année 463 (Comm. 9 octobre 1070), pendant le règne d'El-Mostanser-billah, P'Obaydîte, khalife d'Egypte, Jérusalem et Ramleh tombèrent au pouvoir d'Atsiz ebn Auq le Khârezmien, seigneur de Damas.

French from Sauvaire (1876) - embedded



Original Document

  • not bookmarked


Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
8 March - 6 April 1068 CE Jumada I A.H. 460 none Calculated using CHRONOS.
Seismic Effects Locations Online Versions and Further Reading
References

Sauvaire, H. (1876). Histoire de Jérusalem et d'Hébron depuis Abraham jusqu'à la fin du XVe siècle de J. C: Fragments de la Chronique de Moudjir-ed-Dyn, E. Leroux. - French translations of some parts of Mujr ad-Din

Mujir al-Din al-’Ulaimi (ca. 1495) "The Glorious History of Jerusalem and Hebron" (al-Uns al-Jalil bi-tarikh al-Quds wal-Khalil) (Online - in Arabic)

Elad, A. (1995). Medieval Jerusalem and Islamic Worship: Holy Places, Ceremonies, Pilgrimage, E.J. Brill.

Elad, A. (1982:36-37) An Early Arabic Source Concerning the Markets of Jerusalem. Cathedra, vol. XXIV (1982), pp. 31-40 (in Hebrew).

Kister, M.J. "A Comment on the Antiquity of Traditions Praising Jerusalem." The Jerusalem Cathedra, voI. I (1981), pp. 185-186.

Schacht, J. The Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1979.

Juynboll, G.H.A. Muslim Tradition. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1983.

Abu '1-Ma'ali, al-Musharraf b. al-Murajja. Fada'il Bayt al-Maqdis wa-'l-Sham wa-'l-Khalil. Ms. Tubingen VI 27.

Abū 'l-Maՙālī al-Musharraf b. al-Murajjā b. Ibrāhīm al-Maqdisī. (1995). Faḍā'il bayt al-maqdis wa al-khatīl wa-faḍa'il al-shām. ed. Ofer Livne-Kafri, Almashreq, Shfaram.

DBpedia contains numerous links to online versions of Mujir al-Din's works

Excerpts and publications

from wikipedia

Mujir al-Din's writings are quoted extensively in the works of 19th century Orientalists and 20th and 21st century scholars alike. It is particularly valuable for what it reveals about the topography and social life of 15th century Jerusalem. A number of copies of manuscripts of al-Uns al-Jalil are kept in libraries in Paris, London and Vienna. El Wahby, a Cairo-based publishing house printed his work in full. A French translation of excerpts of his work with a foreword by Henry Sauvaire was published under the title, Histoire de Jérusalem et d'Hébron depuis Abraham jusqu'à la fin du XVe siècle de J.-C. : fragments de la Chronique de Moudjir-ed-dyn (1876). This compilation was made up of excerpts of his work translated from a manuscript procured in Jerusalem and from the Egyptian edition.

Translated excerpts of al-Uns al Jalil can be found in the work of Joseph Toussaint Reinaud and Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall. Guy Le Strange references the work of Mujir al-Din throughout his book Palestine Under the Moslems: A Description of Syria and the Holy Land from A.D. 650 to 1500 (1890), drawing upon his descriptions of various monuments to determine their state, appearance, and measurements at his time of writing.

Fragments of Gold in the Accounts of Those Who Have Departed by Ibn al-Imad

Shadharat al-dhahab fi akhbar man dhahab by إبن العماد

Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Ibn al-ʿImād إبن العماد
ʿAbd al-Ḥayy bin Aḥmad bin Muḥammad ibn al-ʿImād al-ʿAkarī al-Ḥanbalī Abū al-Falāḥ عبد الحي بن أحمد بن محمد ابن العماد العكري الحنبلي أبو الفلاح
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

Ibn al-Imad was born in Damascus in 1623 CE and lived in Cairo for a long time before returning to Damascus to teach. He died in 1679 CE (wikipedia and F. Rosenthal in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:807). In 1670 CE, he completed Fragments of Gold in the Accounts of Those Who Have Departed (Shadharat al-dhahab fi akhbar man dhahab) which is an annalistically arranged biographical history covering A.H. 1-1000 (F. Rosenthal in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:807).

Excerpts
English

A.H. 460

According to what Ibn al-Athir, and Ibn al-Jawzi wrote, and the wording from them [JW: but not the translation], there was an earthquake in Palestine and elsewhere, which destroyed fifteen thousand people in Ramla, and two terraces fell from the mosque of the Messenger of God, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, and the land split for treasures of money. The Rock of Beit Al-Maqdis [under the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem] split open but then it came back and rejoined. The sea receded a day’s walk from the coast and became like land. People entered this land to gather things but the sea returned and destroyed many of them. This earthquake reached Al-Rahbah and Al-Kufa.

Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
11 November 1067 to 30 October 1068 CE A.H. 460 none Calculated using CHRONOS.
Seismic Effects Locations Sources
Ibn al-Imad cited his sources

Ibn al-Imad cited his sources as Ibn al-Athir and Ibn al-Jawzi.

Online Versions and Further Reading
References

Ibn al-‘Imad al-Hanbali, Shadharat al-dhahab, 8 volumes, ed. Cairo, 1931–32.

Ibn al-ʿImād's works (in Arabic but your browser can translate to English)

al-Muhibbi, Khuldsat al-athar, Cairo 1284, ii, 340 f.

Brockelmann, S II, 403.

Archaeoseismic Evidence

Location (with hotlink) Status Intensity Notes
Jerusalem - Introduction n/a n/a n/a
Jerusalem's City Walls possible Weksler-Bdolah in Galor and Avni (2011:421-423) presented historical evidence and limited archaeological evidence which indicates that Jerusalem's city walls were reconstructed in the late 10th - early 11th century CE - possibly partly in response to seismic damage.
Tiberias - Introduction n/a n/a n/a
Tiberias - Mount Berineke possible Archaeoseismic Evidence from the church on top of Mount Berineke is undated ( Ferrario et al, 2014)
Tiberias - Basilica possible ≥ 8 End of Phase II earthquake - 11th century CE - Hirschfeld and Meir (2004) noted that Stratum I was built above the collapse [of Stratum II] caused by an earthquake. Stratum I was dated to the 11th century CE while stratum II was dated to the 9th-10th centuries CE.
Tiberias - House of the Bronzes possible End of Stratum II Earthquake - 11th-12th century CE - Hirschfeld Gutfeld (2008) proposed that debris on top of Stratum II indicates that Stratum II was terminated by an earthquake. Stratum II was dated from the 10th - 11th centuries CE. Overlying Stratum I was dated from the 12th-14th centuries CE.
Tiberias - Gane Hammat possible ≥ 8 End of Phase IIb destruction layer - ~11th century CE - Onn and Weksler-Bdolah (2016) wrote the following about the end of Phase IIb
All of the buildings were destroyed at the end of Phase IIb, probably by the strong earthquake that struck the region in 1033/4 [i.e., the 11th century CE Palestine Quakes]; both historical sources and the remains in other cities attest to this event. Following the earthquake, some of the buildings were left in ruins, but others were rebuilt. The buildings in Area A, for example, was never restored: the columns that had collapsed in the earthquake were discovered toppled on the floors of the courtyards belonging to the Phase IIb building.
Umm el-Qanatir possible ≥ 8 2nd Earthquake - undated - Wechsler et al (2008) report a collapse layer in a makeshift house that was built inside an abandoned synagogue that was likely seismically damaged from one of the Sabbatical Year Quakes (the Holy Desert Quake). The collapse layer from the makeshift house is not dated.
Kedesh possible ≥ 8 The Roman Temple at Kedesh exhibits archaeoseismic effects and appears to have been abandoned in the 4th century CE; possibly due to the northern Cyril Quake of 363 CE. Archaeoseismic evidence at the site could be due to 363 CE and/or other earthquakes in the ensuing ~1600 years. See Fischer et al (1984) and Schweppe et al (2017)
Jericho - Introduction n/a n/a n/a
Jericho - Hisham's Palace probable ≥ 8
9-10
Later Earthquake - Alfonsi et al (2013) dated the causitive earthquake for the major seismic destruction at Hisham's Palace to the earthquake of 1033 CE unlike previous researchers who dated it to one of the Sabbatical Year earthquakes. Their discussion is reproduced below:
The archaeological data testify to an uninterrupted occupancy from eighth century until 1000 A.D. of the Hisham palace (Whitcomb, 1988). Therefore, if earthquakes occurred in this time period, the effects should not have implied a total destruction with consequent occupancy contraction or abandonment. Toppled walls and columns in the central court cover debris containing 750-850 A.D. old ceramic shards (Whitcomb, 1988). Recently unearthed collapses north of the court confirm a widespread destruction after the eighth century (Jericho Mafjar Project - The Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago). These elements support the action of a destructive shaking event at the site later than the 749 A.D. earthquake. The two well-constrained, major historical earthquakes recognized in the southern Jordan Valley are the 749 and 1033 A.D. (Table 1; Marco et al (2003); Guidoboni and Comastri, 2005). We assign an IX—X intensity degree to the here-recorded Hisham damage, whereas a VII degree has been attributed to the 749 A.D. earthquake at the site (Marco et al, 2003). Furthermore, Whitcomb (1988) defines an increment of occupation of the palace between 900 and 1000 A.D. followed by a successive occupation in the 1200-1400 A.D. time span. On the basis of the above, and because no pottery remains are instead associated with the 1000-1200 A.D. period at Hisham palace (Whitcomb, 1988), we suggest a temporary, significant contraction or abandonment of the site as consequence of a severe destruction in the eleventh century.
Lod/Ramla possible ≥ 8 Rosen-Ayalon (2006:72) suggested that renovations to the White Mosque at Ramla in the third building phase occurred after the structure was damaged in the earthquake of 1033 CE.
Mishmar David possible End of Stratum V Earthquake - 11th century CE - Yannai (2014) noted that an immense building in Stratum V of Area B was damaged, possibly in another earthquake, either that of 1033 or of 1068 CE. Yannai (2014) noted that Stratum V buildings [in Sub-Area C1] were destroyed by a second earthquake, either the one that struck in 1033 or that of 1068 CE.
Ramat Rahel possible ≥ 8 10th-11th century CE collapse - In The Tel Aviv - Heidelberg Joint Project - The 2006 and 2007 seasons at Ramat Rahel mention is made of a 10th-11th century collapse in Area D1
A massive stone collapse had covered the floors of the different architectural units. The many broken pottery vessels date the collapse of the building to the Abbasid period or to the beginning of the Fatimid period (10th–11th century CE)
Beit-Ras/Capitolias possible Later Earthquakes - Al-Tawalbeh et. al. (2020:14) discussed archaeoseismic evidence for later post abandonment earthquakes
We believe that filling up the cavea and orchestra of the theater happened parallel with the construction of the enclosing wall that essentially put all of the remaining building underground. Underground facilities are significantly less vulnerable to seismic excitation than that above-ground buildings (Hashash et aL, 2001). Understandably, when each wall and arch are supported by embedding sediment (dump in Beit-Ras), the observed deformations of the excavated theater mostly cannot develop unless unsupported. Therefore, evidence of damage due to any subsequent events, such as A.D. 551, 634, 659, and 749, cannot be observed, because the possibility of collapse of buried structures is not plausible. However, potential collapse of other above-ground structures within the site of Beit-Ras cannot be ignored, such as the upper elements of the theater's structures, which were still exposed after the filling of the theater with debris. Several observations indicated that many collapsed elements of the upper parts of the theater were mixed with the debris, as documented in excavation reports by Al-Shami (2003, 2004). Another example suggesting the effect of the later events, such as that of A.D. 749. Mlynarczyk (2017) attributed the collapse of some sections of the city wall of Beit-Ras to this event, based on the concentration of collapsed ashlars and the age of collected pottery from two trenches excavated to the west of the theater structure.
Al-Tawalbeh et. al. (2020:6) also noted the following about the eastern orchestra gate:
The basalt masonry in the upper left suggests a later local collapse and repair phase, where the basalt courses are overlaying the marly-chalky limestone to the left of the walled arched eastern gate.
Petra - Introduction n/a n/a n/a
Petra - Jabal Harun possible ≥ 8 Phase 12 destruction event - not well dated - Mikkola et al (2008) noted that in this destruction event all remaining roof structures collapsed and there was a layer of stone tumble. Hard-packed, clayey soil directly under the lowermost deposits of stone tumble [...] contained relatively few finds apparently making it difficult to date. Also found in the stone tumble were the remains of two fallen arches, a row of voussoirs, some drums fallen from a column, and many other architectural elements found throughout the complex.
Petra - Petra Church possible ≥ 8 Fiema et al (2001) characterized structural destruction of the church in Phase X as likely caused by an earthquake with a date that is not easy to determine. A very general terminus post quem of the early 7th century CE was provided. Destruction due to a second earthquake was identified in Phase XIIA which was dated from late Umayyad to early Ottoman. Taken together this suggests that the first earthquake struck in the 7th or 8th century CE and the second struck between the 8th and 16th or 17th century CE.
Petra - Blue Chapel and the Ridge Church possible Later undated earthquake(s)- Perry in Bikai et al (2020:70) noted that from the 8th c. A.D. on, the abandoned structures suffered extensive damage from repeated earthquakes.
Aqaba - Introduction n/a n/a n/a
Aqaba - Ayla possible to probable ≥ 8 Second Earthquake - 1068 CE - The second earthquake was revealed in structures restored and/or built during the Fatimid period (1050-1116 A.D.) ( al-Tarazi and Khorjenkov, 2007) thus providing a terminus post quem of 1050-1116 AD. A number of authors report that Ayla was damaged during the 1068 CE Quake(s). Abu Ali ibn al-Banna and Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi reports that in Ayla all but 12 people who had gone fishing survived. al-Tarazi and Khorjenkov (2007) note that Donald Whitcomb discovered a destruction layer associated with this earthquake which he presumes led to abandonment of the village due to its destruction.
Shivta possible ≥ 8 Erickson-Gini (2013) identified earthquake collapse at Shivta which she dated to possibly in the Middle Islamic period after the site was abandoned at the end of the Early Islamic period. Korjenkov and Mazor (1999a) identified a post Byzantine earthquake which struck after 7th century CE abandonment. The terminus ante quem for this earthquake is not well established. Korjenkov and Mazor (1999a) estimated an Intensity of 8-9 for the post Byzantine earthquake and placed the epicenter a few tens of kilometers away in the WSW direction. They also report that a site effect is not likely at this location.
Reṣafa possible Al Khabour (2016) notes that the Basilica of St. Sergius (Basilica A) suffered earthquake destructions but did not supply dates. The apse displays fractures that appear to be a result of earthquakes or differential subsidence . Sack et al (2010:307) reported that from the building of the church [Basilica A first built in the 5th century CE] up to the abandonment of the city in the 13th century, earthquakes and the building ground weakened by underground dolines [aka sinkholes] have caused considerable damage.
Palmyra unlikely to possible 11th century CE earthquake - Kowalski (1994:59) suggests that the House rebuilt from the Praetorium on top of the Temple of Allat was destroyed by an earthquake in the 11th century CE.
The house was abandoned, maybe just like most of that area in the ninth century (Gawlikowski 1992: 68). The main entrance was walled up. The house remained unoccupied until it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1042 AD (Ambraseys 1969-1971:95)20. The ruin was buried in the earth.

Footnote

20 This earthquake is dated to the tenth century A.D. by M.A.R. Colledge (Colledge 1976: 22). It is also mentioned by Ibn Taghri birdi in his chronicle An-Nugum az-Zahira V, p. 35 and dated to the 434th year of the Hegira, i.e. A.D. 1042.
Ambraseys (2009)'s entry for an earthquake in 1042 CE is as follows:
AD 1042 Tadmur

An earthquake caused great loss of life in Tadmur in Syria. It is said that Baalbek was also shaken. This information is given by a single source, which does not comment on the effects on Baalbek, or specify whether Baalbek was shaken by a different earthquake. It is likely that the Tadmur earthquake was felt only at Baalbek. Al-Suyuti (writing in the sixteenth century) records this event as happening in the same year as an earthquake in Tabriz. He does not comment on the effects on Baalbek, but, since the two cities are 250 km apart, if Baalbek was not shaken by a different earthquake, it is likely that the Tadmur earthquake was felt there only.

Note

‘. . . in the year 434 [21 August 1042 to 9 August 1043], . . . an earthquake occurred at Tadmur and at Ba’albek: most of the population of Tadmur died under the ruins.’ (al-Suyuti Kashf 56/18).
Guidoboni and Comastri (2005)'s entry for this earthquake is very similar.
el-Lejjun possible ≥ 8 4th Earthquake - ~600 CE - 1918 CE - Groot et al (2006:183) report discovery of a nearly complete Umayyad Lamp in Square 4 of Area B (Barracks - B.6.038) in the Post Stratum Gap - above and later than the 3rd earthquake layer. Above the Ummayyad lamp was a 0.7 m thick layer of tumble containing some roof beams and many wall blocks (Groot et al, 2006:183). They note that the basalt roof beams found embedded in the lowest tumble level (B.6.032) suggests initial massive destruction rather than gradual decay over time. The wall blocks, found in the upper layer of tumble, contained one late Islamic (1174-1918 CE) and one Ayyubid/Mamluk (1174-1516 CE) sherd indicating a significant amount of time may have passed between the possibly seismically induced roof collapse and the wall collapse which was not characterized as necessarily having a seismic origin. This opens up the possibility that one of the mid 8th century CE earthquakes or a later earthquake may have also caused damage at el-Lejjun. deVries et al (2006:196) suggests that Umayyad abandonment of the northwest tower was probably triggered by further major collapse. In the North Gate, deVries et al (2006:207) found evidence of full scale destruction in layers above 3rd earthquake debris and post-earthquake occupation layers which contained Late Byzantine/Umayyad and Umayyad sherds. Subsoil/tumble was found in C.9.008 (north room), C.9.009 (south room) and C.9.005 (stairwell) bear ample witness to the destruction of the rooms, perhaps in the Umayyad period. Although Late Byzantine sherds were found in Post Stratum layers in the North Gate, if one assumes that the 3rd earthquake was the Inscription at Aeropolis Quake which struck before 597 CE - probably within a decade of 597 CE, one can establish an approximate and fairly conservative terminus post quem for this earthquake of ~600 CE. While the terminus ante quem is the end of the post stratum III gap (1918 CE), it is probable that that the earthquake struck much earlier.
Castellum of Qasr Bshir possible ≥ 8 Later Earthquake(s) - Above what was presumed to be a Late Umayyad collapse layer Clark (1987:490) found another collapse layer in H.2
A period of abandonment followed [the Late Umayyad collapse], punctuated by a squatter occupation of the room, during which a fire was lit in the corner. There followed a major collapse of masonry, after which no further occupation of the room took place.
Location (with hotlink) Status Intensity Notes
Jerusalem - Introduction



Jerusalem - City Walls



Tiberias - Introduction



Tiberias - Mount Berineke



Tiberias - Basilica



Tiberias - House of the Bronzes



Tiberias - Gane Hammat



Umm el-Qanatir



Kedesh



Jericho and environs - Introduction



Jericho and environs - Hisham's Palace at the Khirbet el-Mefjer site



Lod/Ramla



Mishmar David



Ramat Rahel



Beit-Ras/Capitolias



Petra - Introduction



Petra - Jabal Harun



Petra - The Petra Church



Petra - The Ridge Church and the Blue Chapel



Aqaba/Eilat - Introduction



Aqaba/Eilat - Ayla



Shivta



Reṣafa



Palmyra



el-Lejjun



Castellum of Qasr Bshir



Landslide Evidence

1 PGA to Intensity conversions use Wald et al (1999).
Location (with hotlink) Status Minimum PGA (g) Likely PGA (g) Likely Intensity1 Comments
Gulf Of Aqaba possible Kanari et al (2015) suggest that two anomalous [coarse grain] events in the submarine core P27 correspond to mass flow events triggered by the earthquakes of 1068 AD and 1458 AD. Even if these events did not generate a destructive tsunami, they may may have recorded seismic activity. Dating presented, however, is not entirely convincing and what was interpreted as due to the 1068 CE earthquake may have flowed in the mid 8th century CE. Ash-Mor et al (2017:45) state that according to Kanari (2016), unit P27C in the canyon core coincides, within the error range, with a ~7MW earthquake which occurred in 948 years BP (1068 CE) and caused heavy destruction to Aqaba (Ambraseys et al., 1994; Ben-Menahem, 1991; Kagan et al., 2011).
Location (with hotlink) Status Minimum PGA (g) Likely PGA (g) Likely Intensity1 Comments
Gulf Of Aqaba



Tsunamogenic Evidence

Paleoseismic Evidence

Location (with hotlink) Status Intensity Notes
Qiryat-Shemona Rockfalls possible Kanari, M. (2008) examined rockfalls in Qiryat-Shemona which were attributed to earthquakes. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating was performed on soil samples beneath the fallen rocks. Kanari et al (2019) assigned Sample ID QS-4 to the 11th century CE Palestine Quakes which struck in ~1033 CE however there is a large spread in ages.
Jordan Valley - Tell Saidiyeh and Ghor Kabed Trenches possible ≥ 7 Ferry et al (2011) detected 12 surface rupturing seismic events in 4 trenches (T1-T4) in Tell Saidiyeh and Ghor Kabed; 10 of which were prehistoric. The tightest chronology came from the Ghor Kabed trenches (T1 and T2) where Events Y and Z were constrained to between 560 and 1800 CE.
Dead Sea - Seismite Types n/a n/a n/a
Dead Sea - En Feshka possible 7.9 - 8.8 (66 cm.)
5.6 - 7.0 (70 cm.)
7.9 - 8.8 (74 cm.)
7.9 - 8.8 (80 cm.)
Kagan et. al. (2011) identified several seismites from around this time.
Depth (cm.) Thickness (cm.) Seismite Type Modeled Age (± 1σ) Modeled Age (± 2σ) Quake Assignment (Kagan) Quake Assignment (Williams)
66 1 4 1064 CE ± 20 1061 CE ± 44 1068 CE Quake(s) not assigned
70 1 Questionable 1048 CE ± 20 1045 CE ± 43 1063 CE - JW: doubtful due to distance (epicenter likely between Syrian littoral and Cyprus according to Ambraseys, 2009:269-270) not assigned
74 1.5 4 1032 CE ± 19 1029 CE ± 43 11th century CE Palestine Quakes which struck in ~1033 CE not assigned
80 1.5 4 1009 CE ± 18 1004 CE ± 42 991 CE Damascus Quake not assigned
Dead Sea - En Gedi possible 5.6 - 7.0 Migowski et. al. (2004) assigned a 1068 CE date to a 0.4 cm. thick Type 1 seismite at a depth of 132 cm. (1.32 m).

Dead Sea - Nahal Ze 'elim unlikely At site ZA-2, Kagan et. al. (2011) did not find any seismites whose time window encompassed ~1068 CE.
Araba - Introduction n/a n/a n/a
Araba - Qasr Tilah possible ≥ 7 Haynes et al. (2006) dated Events II and III to between the 7th and 12th centuries CE.
Araba - Taybeh Trench unlikely LeFevre et al. (2018) did not assign any seismic events to an earthquake in 1068 CE.
Araba - Qatar Trench possible to probable ≥ 7 Klinger et. al. (2015) identified two seismic events which fit.
Event Mean Date Age Range Quake Assignment (Klinger) Quake Assignment (Williams)
E3 1071 CE ± 68 1003-1138 CE 1068 CE Quake(s) not assigned
Esupp1 925 CE ± 119 806-1044 CE 11th century CE Palestine Quakes - ~1033 CE not assigned
Araba - Taba Sabhka Trench possible to probable ≥ 7 Allison (2013) assigned a 1068 CE date to a seismic event which they dated to between 1045 and 1661 CE and Allison (2013) assigned a 1212 CE date to a seismic event which they dated to between the mid 11th century CE and the 16-17th centuries CE.
Araba - Shehoret, Roded, and Avrona Alluvial Fan Trenches possible to probable ≥ 7 Events 7, 8, and 9 in Trench T-18 have a wide spread of ages however, taken together, the evidence suggests the 1212 CE, 1068 CE, and one earlier earthquake, perhaps between ~500 CE and 1000 CE, struck the area. Zilberman et al (2005) also discovered an early Islamic ranch in the western part of Avrona playa. The ranch was dated to the 11th century CE and was abandoned during the same century - an abandonment which Zilberman et al (2005) attributed to the effects of the 1068 CE earthquake. They measured 1 m of displacement of a Qanat (a covered water canal) on the ranch which they also attributed to the 1068 CE earthquake although it is possible that the displacement was caused by an earthquake which struck the area in 1212 CE.
Araba - Elat Sabhka Trenches possible to probable ≥ 7 for Event E1 Kanari et al (2020) assigned Event E1, dated to between 897 and 992 CE, to the 1068 CE Earthquake. They suggested that the Magnitude of the causitive earthquake was between 6.6 and 7.1.

Kanari et al (2020) suggested that a dewatering structure (aka a liquefaction fluid escape structure) found in Trench T1 and dated to before 1269-1389 CE was caused by the 1068 CE Quake(s) or the 1212 CE Quake.
Araba - Trenches in Aqaba possible ≥ 7 Niemi (2011:153) noted that the most recent scarp-forming event fault [in Trench AQ-1] occurred after A.D. 1045-1278 based on a corrected, calibrated radiocarbon age from charcoal collected from a buried campfire at the base of the scarp in Trench T-1. This likely represents fault motion in one of the historical earthquakes affecting southern Jordan (e.g. 1068, 1212, 1458, or 1588).
Location (with hotlink) Status Intensity Notes
Qiryat-Shemona Rockfalls

Kanari, M. (2008) examined rockfalls in Qiryat-Shemona which were attributed to earthquakes. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating was performed on soil samples beneath the fallen rocks. Kanari et al (2019) assigned Sample ID QS-4 to the 11th century CE Palestine Quakes which struck in ~1033 CE however there is a large spread in ages.



Tell Saidiyeh and Ghor Kabed Trenches

Ferry et al (2011) detected 12 surface rupturing seismic events in 4 trenches (T1-T4) in Tell Saidiyeh and Ghor Kabed; 10 of which were prehistoric. The tightest chronology came from the Ghor Kabed trenches (T1 and T2) where Events Y and Z were constrained to between 560 and 1800 CE.

Note: Although Ferry et al (2011) combined archaeoseismic interpretations, their paleoseismic evidence, and entries from earthquake catalogs to produce earthquake dates and some overly optimistic probabilities, only the paleoseismic data is presented here. Ferry et al (2011)'s archaeoseismic data was researched and is treated separately.



Dead Sea - Seismite Types



Dead Sea - En Feshka

Kagan et. al. (2011) identified several seismites from around this time.

Depth (cm.) Thickness (cm.) Seismite Type Modeled Age (± 1σ) Modeled Age (± 2σ) Quake Assignment (Kagan) Quake Assignment (Williams)
66 1 4 1064 CE ± 20 1061 CE ± 44 1068 CE Quake(s) not assigned
70 1 Questionable 1048 CE ± 20 1045 CE ± 43 1063 CE - JW: doubtful due to distance (epicenter likely between Syrian littoral and Cyprus according to Ambraseys, 2009:269-270) not assigned
74 1.5 4 1032 CE ± 19 1029 CE ± 43 11th century CE Palestine Quakes which struck in ~1033 CE not assigned
80 1.5 4 1009 CE ± 18 1004 CE ± 42 991 CE Damascus Quake not assigned


Dead Sea - En Gedi

Migowski et. al. (2004) assigned a 1068 CE date to a 0.4 cm. thick Type 1 seismite at a depth of 132 cm. (1.32 m).



Dead Sea - Nahal Ze 'elim

At site ZA-2, Kagan et. al. (2011) did not find any seismites whose time window encompassed ~1068 CE.



Araba - Introduction



Araba - Qasr Tilah

Haynes et al. (2006) dated Events II and III to between the 7th and 12th centuries CE.



Araba - Taybeh Trench

LeFevre et al. (2018) did not assign any seismic events to an earthquake in 1068 CE.



Araba - Qatar Trench

Klinger et. al. (2015) identified two seismic events which fit.

Event Mean Date Age Range Quake Assignment (Klinger) Quake Assignment (Williams)
E3 1071 CE ± 68 1003-1138 CE 1068 CE Quake(s) not assigned
Esupp1 925 CE ± 119 806-1044 CE 11th century CE Palestine Quakes - ~1033 CE not assigned


Taba Sabhka Trench

Allison (2013) assigned a 1068 CE date to a seismic event which they dated to between 1045 and 1661 CE and Allison (2013) assigned a 1212 CE date to a seismic event which they dated to between the mid 11th century CE and the 16-17th centuries CE.



Shehoret, Roded, and Avrona Alluvial Fan Trenches

Events 7, 8, and 9 in Trench T-18 have a wide spread of ages however, taken together, the evidence suggests the 1212 CE, 1068 CE, and one earlier earthquake, perhaps between ~500 CE and 1000 CE, struck the area.

Zilberman et al (2005) also discovered an early Islamic ranch in the western part of Avrona playa. The ranch was dated to the 11th century CE and was abandoned during the same century - an abandonment which Zilberman et al (2005) attributed to the effects of the 1068 CE earthquake. They measured 1 m of displacement of a Qanat (a covered water canal) on the ranch which they also attributed to the 1068 CE earthquake although it is possible that the displacement was caused by an earthquake which struck the area in 1212 CE.



Araba - Elat Sabhka Trenches

Kanari et al (2020) assigned Event E1, dated to between 897 and 992 CE, to the 1068 CE Earthquake. They suggested that the Magnitude of the causitive earthquake was between 6.6 and 7.1.

Kanari et al (2020) suggested that a dewatering structure (aka a liquefaction fluid escape structure) found in Trench T1 and dated to before 1269-1389 CE was caused by the 1068 CE Quake(s) or the 1212 CE Quake.



Araba - Trenches in Aqaba

Niemi (2011:153) noted that the most recent scarp-forming event fault [in Trench AQ-1] occurred after A.D. 1045-1278 based on a corrected, calibrated radiocarbon age from charcoal collected from a buried campfire at the base of the scarp in Trench T-1. This likely represents fault motion in one of the historical earthquakes affecting southern Jordan (e.g. 1068, 1212, 1458, or 1588).



Notes

Abou Karaki

Abou Karaki, N., et al. (2022)

25.2.4.2 The "Ramla" Earthquake of 11 Jumada I, 460 AH, March 18, 1068 AD

We briefly show results of our revision processes and analysis as applied on the case of the Tuesday, 11 Jumada Al-Awla 460 AH 18 March 1068 AD well documented earthquake. This historical earthquake is reported in primary sources of Arabic documents and manuscripts, to have destroyed Ramla in Palestine (causing 15,000 to 25,000 causalities, mostly at Ramla as a result of a tsunami following the earthquake), and to have destroyed Ayla (modern Elat and Aqaba with the death of all but 12 of its inhabitants, Banyas to the North in southwestern Syria, suffered 100 casualties), and to have affected parts of Egypt, northwestern Arabia and Iraq. However the earthquake is referred to in most Arab manuscripts and primary sources as the earthquake of Ramla.

Our Analysis of some modern works revisiting the March, 18 1068 AD earthquake show important problems in interpreting the earthquake effects with some degree of information manipulation freely practiced on the historical data in other contributions as well. Some of the historical seismicity information has clearly been misinterpreted. We detected in a number of otherwise, usually "Authorative" historical seismicity works (Ambraseys et al., 1994; Ambraseys & Melville, 1989), a clear tendency and efforts to maximize the destructive effects of this earthquake in Arabia and to minimize these effects in Ramla and elsewhere. This led to shifting of the earthquake's epicenter hundreds of kilometers from the southern part of the JDST to northwestern Arabia near Tabuk about 250 km far away from the nearest recognized "axis" of the plate boundary. However, the simple plate tectonics and seismogenic sources basic principles are also certainly not in favor of the new location. The Ambraseys approach in dealing with historical texts was further criticized by a specialist "The Translations of Ambraseys were not complete, he altered the description of events in a way incompatible with the way ancient historical text should be treated" Al-Ghunaim (2002) p. 27. This led to very serious location and timing problems for this major earthquake that we examine hereafter.

Location Problems of the Earthquake of Ramla 18 March 1068 AD

Table 25.2 gives a synoptic summary allowing at this stage to compare between what we consider as the more realistic accounts concerning the Ramla earthquake affects and locations (Ambraseys, 1962) and the somewhat artificial radical evolution of ideas concerning this earthquake's description and location as revisited in (Ambraseys & Melville, 1989; Ambraseys et al., 1994).

Table 25.2 Showing the extent in the location evolution of the 1068 AD earthquake
Description after Ambraseys (1962) (Ambraseys & Melville, 1989) Description after Ambraseys et al. (1994)
An earthquake in Palestine. Ramla was destroyed; it extended to the Hejaz. It reached also Wadi-el-Szafrh (Safra), Khaibar, Bedr (Badr), Yanbah (Yanb'u), Wadi Kora, Teima and Tabuk, and it extended as far as Kufa, only two houses remained and 25,000 persons perished A major Earthquake in the Hejaz and northern Arabia ... killed in all about 20,000 people. Aila was completely destroyed with all but 12 of its inhabitants. In Tabuk, three springs of water appeared and in Taima the ground was "split open." Near here a spring of water gushed out. The earthquake was felt at Khaibar, Medina (where the shock brought down two decorative crestings of the mosque of the prophet), Wadi al-Safra, Wadi al-Qura, Badr, and Yanbu'... the earthquake was strong enough in Palestine to damage al-Ramla and ruin many houses with loss of life. Damage was reported from Baniyas, where about 100 people were killed
In conclusion, it is clear from the comparison of the 2 texts (the bold parts in particular) that there was a shift of ideas implicating a serious shift of emphasis which led to a transfer of this earthquake's probable location from the DSF to a none probable one somewhere in Hejaz and northern Arabia. It should be mentioned that first hints implicating a new location of this earthquake to be in Arabia were suggested by (Ambraseys & Melville, 1989)

This evolution is unjustified when closely examined after the original Arabic primary sources

A possible hint and clue towards an explanation of the inherent cause of this transfer of location to Arabia may be in the following "It is a shame, in a sense, that there are not more earthquakes to record in Saudi Arabia itself, and that the focus of our attention has thus strayed inevitably to the surrounding regions." Ambraseys et al. (1994) page xix. Who also admitted the lake of robustness of the earthquake's location in Arabia later elsewhere "A major event in 1068 in the Hejaz in north- western Arabia is unusual not only because of its location but also because of the evidence admittedly slight, suggesting a surface rupture. The location of which must be sought in the region of Tabuk". Ambraseys and Jackson (1998) p. 399 point 9. It should be stressed that the reported "surface rupture" is not at all credible, the primary source this was based upon put it this way "Al Djawzi reports that at Khaibar, the ground opened up and treasures were revealed" (Poirrier & Taher, 1980) p. 2199. An extensive compilation of the Arabic sources of the earthquake of Tuesday 11 Jumada I 460 AH = 18 March 1068 AD is found in Al-Ghunaim (2002) pp.117-120.

Timing Problems and False Twins Related to 1068 AD Ramla Earthquake

After the application of Abou Karaki's algorithm for the detection of errors in the historical seismicity catalogs (Abou Karaki, 1987, 1992, 1995a), the following dates in various catalogs of the region must be regarded as very probably twins of false historical seismicity earthquakes 160 AH, 11 Jumada I 462 AH, 20 April 1067 AD, 20 April 1068 AD, 1069 AD, 2 Feb. 1070 AD, 25 Feb. 1070 AD, 26 Feb. 1070 AD.

These are all related to the Ramla 18 March 1068 AD earthquake, resulting from various possible errors populating a number of lists, references and catalogs, one or more of these or similar errors are still found and possibly propagating in the following works (Abou Karaki, 1987; Ambraseys, 1962, 2009; Ambraseys et al., 1994; Ambraseys & Melville, 1989; Amiran et al., 1994; Ben Menahem, 1979, 1991; Khair et al., 2000; Poirrier & Taher, 1980; Seiberg, 1932; Taher, 1979; Vered & Striem, 1977; Willis, 1928, 1933) a non-exhaustive list.

In conclusion, historical seismicity data was reassessed and subjected to an algorithm for the detection of errors in the historical seismicity catalogs (Abou Karaki, 1987, 1992, 1995a). Tens of false earthquakes were purged from the lists. The critical revision of the historical seismicity catalogs resulted in the following revised slim list Table 25.3.

References

Abou Karaki, N., et al. (2022). Seismological and Remote Sensing Studies in the Dead Sea Zone, Jordan 1987–2021. Applications of Space Techniques on the Natural Hazards in the MENA Region. M. M. Al Saud. Cham, Springer International Publishing: 589-621.

Abou Karaki (1987) Earthquake Catalog

Summary


18 March 1068 AD (11 Jumada I AH 460)

M = 7
Lat = 31 degrees 5 minutes North
Long = 35 degrees 5 minutes East
affected - Ramla

AND

M = 6.5
Lat = 30 degrees North
Long = 35 degrees East
affected - Ayla, Jerusalem, Tabouk, Cairo, Egypt, Arabia, Khaybar, Tayma, Wadi As Safra, Sharm Yanbu

Detailed Discussion
Note by JW: AMBR1 and AMBR2 refer to earlier articles from Ambraseys in 1962. After Najib Abou Karaki wrote this catalog, Ambraseys updated his work correcting earlier errors and adding new information. Hence one is advised to consult Ambraseys (2009) which was completed a few years before Ambraseys died.
English

* 18 MARCH 1068 A.D., Tuesday 11 Jumada I 460 A.H

This earthquake perfectly illustrates the effects of an error Type II.

On Tuesday (10 Jumada I), a violent earthquake took place in Palestine and Egypt. The city of Ramla was destroyed, water flowed from the mouths of wells, there were 25,000 victims, the mosque of Jerusalem split but returned thanks to God above. The sea drew back one day's walk from the coast and came back ... there were many victims (TAHF, TAHA)

Naja: in translating TAHF, regarding the number victims, it says 25, the three zeros did not appear because of a typographic error. The Arabic text allowed us to correct this.

Another testimony ... "the city of Ramla collapsed except two streets, 15,000 victims, effects were felt in Wadi As Safra, Khaybar (in Arabia !), Al Rahba, and Al Kufa (in Iraq), but after this the earth cracked and there appeared treasures!

Tuesday 11 Jamada I, March 18 at the third hour an earthquake struck. Ramla and (the surrounding area ?) was completely destroyed ... The tremor spread to Jerusalem and Tinis (in Egypt - not confused with Tunis! (AMBR1)). Elat was completely destroyed ... the sea retreated ... and resumed its original height. The corner of the main mosque of Cairo was deformed. This earthquake was followed almost immediately by two others.

mentioned as two independent earthquakes in (AMBRI). . 11 Jumada I 460 AH (18 MARCH 1068) same description as above, adding Tayma, Tabouk (in Arabia) (AMBR1). . 11 Jumada I 462 AH (25 FEB. 1070), Ramla, Jerusalem, Egypt (AMBR1).



French

* 18 MARS 1068 apr. J.C., le mardi 11 JUMI. 460 apr. H

Ce seisme illustre parfaitement les effets d'une erreur du type II.

- "Le mardi (10 Jumada I), un tremblement de terre tres violent a eu lieu en Palestine et en Egypte ; la ville de Ramla fut detruite, l'eau jaillit de la bouche des puits, it y eut 25.000 victimes, la mosquee de Jerusalem fut lezardee, puis se ressouda grace a Dieu le Tres Haut ; la mer recula a un jour de marche du littoral et elle revint,..., it y eut beaucoup de victimes."(TAHF, TAHA).

(Naja : dans la traduction de TAHF, a propos du nombre de victimes, on lit 25, les trois zeros ne figurent pas a cause d'une erreur d'impression ,Le texte Arabe nous a permis de rectifier).

. Un autre temoignage ..."la ville de Ramla s'est effondree a l'exception de 2 ruelles, 15.000 victimes, ses effets se firent sentir jusqu'au Wadi As Safra, Khay- bar, (en Arabie !) Al Rahba, et Al Kufa, (en Irak), mais d'apres ce temoignage la terre se fendit et des tresors apparurent !,"

. 462 apr. H, 1070 apr. J.C., (erreur du type II) Le mardi 11 jamada I, le 18 MARS a la troisieme heure un tremblement de terre a Ramla, et sa circonscription qui fut entierement detruite ... La secousse se propagea a Jerusalem, a Tinis (en Egypte, a ne pas confondre avec Tunis! (AMBR1)) Elat fut completement detruite ... la mer se retira ... puis reprit sa position primitive, l'angle de la mosquee principale du Caire fut fausse. Ce seisme fut suivi de deux autres presque tout de suite.

- mentionne come etant deux seismes independants dans (AMBRI).

. 11 jumada I 460 apr. H (18 MARS 1068) meme description que ci-dessus, en y ajoutant, Tayma, Tabouk (en Arabie) (AMBR1).

. 11 jumada I 462 apr. H. (25 FEV. 1070), Ramla, Jerusalem, 1'Egypte (AMBR1).
References

Abou-Karaki, N. (1987). Synthèse et carte sismotectonique des pays de la bordure Orientale de la Méditerranée: sismicité du système de foilles du Jourdain – Mer Morte, University of Strasbourg, France. Ph.D. Diss.

Powerpoint Presentation of Abou Karaki



Ambraseys (2009)

AD 1068 Mar 18 Gulf of Aqaba

A large earthquake in the Gulf of Aqaba and the Hejaz in northwest Arabia occurred during the morning of Tuesday 18 March 1068. It is said that Aila (Eilat), at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba, was completely destroyed with all but 12 of its inhabitants. In Tabuk, three new springs of water appeared at a place called al-Qur, and in Taima the ground was split open. Near here a permanent and productive spring of water gushed out.

The earthquake was felt at Wadi al-Qura, Khaibar, al-Marwa, Medina, where the shock brought down two decorative crestings of the mosque of the Prophet, and Wadi al-Safra, Badr and Yanbu', to the southwest of Medina. In Sinai, the earthquake was strong enough to cause alarm at the monastery of St Catherine. There is some archaeological evidence to suggest earthquake damage at the citadel of Amman in Jordan, possi- bly from this event.

The shock was also experienced in Egypt, where Tinnis apparently suffered some damaged, but not in Alexandria. In Cairo, the only damage reported was to one corner of the mosque of `Amr in Fustat. Water rose in wells in Egypt and Palestine, and the retreat and return of the sea on the Mediterranean coast of Palestine drowned a large number of people.

The earthquake was felt as far as al-Rahba and al- Kufa on the Euphrates in Iraq, the water of which was reported to have overtopped its banks; it was also felt in Baghdad. Two more shocks followed within an hour. The epicentral area of this event must be sought in the Gulf of Aqaba.

This Aqaba-Hejaz earthquake of 18 March 1068 is generally reported together with a separate, locally destructive shock that affected Palestine two months later on 29 May 1068 and the two events are amalgamated into a single very large earthquake, the destructive effects of which extended from Aqaba to Baniyas, a distance of 400 km.

Because of the complexity of the source material the two earthquakes will be discussed together here. Abu Ali ibn al-Banna, a contemporary diarist, provides the earliest description of the earthquake of May, from Damascus. He records the arrival of news early in August 1068 (Shawwal 460 a.H.) of an earthquake in Palestine on 29 May 1068 (24 Rajab 460 a.H.) which destroyed al-Ramla with the exception of two houses and killed 15 000 people. In Jerusalem the Rock split in two and then closed up again, and the sea 'sank' for a day and night, and people who entered it were drowned when it rose again. However, he does not say that the shock was felt in Damascus. Further down his diary Ibn al-Banna records the arrival of news that there was another earthquake in Medina in Arabia, on Tuesday 18 March 1068 (11 Jumada 460 a.H.), which brought down two men Ions from the minaret of the Prophet's Mosque, causing some concern. The earthquake extended to Wadi al- Safa, al-Marwa, Khaibar, Wadi al-Qura, Taima, Tabuk and Aila. In Aila only 12 people who had gone out fishing survived. At Taima, the earthquake caused the ground to open up, disclosing 'treasures', and a second spring of copious flow of water appeared, while at Tabuk more springs burst forth. Later, members of a caravan, who had experienced it personally, confirmed the facts he was given about this event. Wadi al-Safa must be equated with Al-Safra near Medina; and al-Marwa refers to Dhu al- Marwa in Wadi al-Qura. He adds that he himself in Damascus experienced a slight earthquake in March 1068. Ibn al-Banna goes on to repeat the information he had already attributed to the earthquake of 29 May and then contradicts himself by saying that the effects of the earthquake of 18 March subsided, beyond Surair of Hijaz (a Wadi near Medina; Yaqut iii. 88), in most of Syria up to al-Ramla (al-Maqd. 1956, 248, 250-251, 256; Gil 1992, 408).

Ibn al-Qalanisi, a mid-twelfth-century author, provides a description of the earthquake of March 1068 in Palestine, but he says nothing about the earthquake in Arabia (Ibn al-Qalanisi, 94). According to his account, a great earthquake affected Palestine on Tuesday 10 (sic.) Jumada I, 460 a.H. (Monday 17 March 1068), destroying most of the houses and walls in al-Ramla, and damaging its mosque. Most of the population perished beneath the wreckage. It is also related that a teacher was in his school with about 200 boys when the school fell on them. No one asked for news of them, because their families had all perished. Also, water rose up from the mouth of the wells from the violence of the earthquake. About 100 people were killed in Baniyas and likewise in Jerusalem. The essence of this account was used by later authors. It should be noted, however, that other sources give the date of 11 Jumada I, which was correctly a Tuesday.

Azimi, another author writing about 100 years after the event, also mentions only the earthquake that damaged houses in Palestine and al-Ramla and the fact that after the earthquake the water rose in wells (al- Azimi, 358),

A later account by Imad al-Din (in al-Bundari, 34), merely mentions an earthquake in Palestine in Jumada I, 460 a.H., which destroyed districts and demolished buildings. Then, Ibn al-Jauzi (viii, 248), a late-twelfthcentury author writing in Baghdad, amalgamates the effects of the two earthquakes. In addition to the destruction of Ramla, he mentions that the shock brought down two decorative crestings of the mosque of the Prophet in Medina, and reached as far as Wadi al-Safra and Khaibar, where the ground split to reveal 'its buried treasures' . The shock was felt as far away as al-Rahba and Kula, on the Euphrates. This author then quotes a letter, which came to Baghdad from some merchants. The earthquake, according to this letter, caused the whole of Ramla, with the exception of two streets, to be swallowed up and 15 000 people to perish. The dome of the Rock in Jerusalem opened up and then closed again. The sea receded a distance equivalent to a day's journey and then came back over the dry land 'and destroyed the whole world'. The people went down onto the seabed to pick around; the sea rushed back over them and drowned a large number of them, a description identical to that used for other earthquakes to describe seismic sea waves and probably suspect. There is no indication of where this happened.

However, in a different account Ibn al-Jauzi (viii, 256) seems to separate the two earthquakes by giving a different date and account of the event, with some additional information, under the year 462 a.H., dating the earthquake to the third hour of Tuesday 11 Jumada I a.H. 462 (Thursday 25 February 1070). This earthquake, he says, affected al-Ramla and its districts, destroying most of it and demolishing its walls. The shock was general in Jerusalem and Tinnis (sic.). Aila was completely destroyed. The author then briefly mentions again the withdrawal and return of the sea, which may indicate that this happened in the Gulf of Aqaba, and concludes with the statement that the corner of the mosque of `Amr in al- Fustat was spoiled. Two other shocks followed the earthquake almost immediately.

Certain elements of Ibn al-Jauzi's account clearly date back to the contemporary author, Ibn al-Sabi, who is specifically quoted, together with Ibn al-Athir, by the fourteenth-century Syrian author, al Dhahabi (fol. 4b). al Dhahabi claims that he was informed by an Alawi, who was in the Hejaz, that the earthquake occurred there at the same time, which was Tuesday 11 Jumada I, and threw down two crestings from the Mosque of the Prophet; the ground was split open at Taima to reveal gold and a spring of water gushed there. He states also that Aila was destroyed with those who were in it, and in Tabuk three springs appeared. He says this all happened at the same time.

These earliest reports contain all the essential details about the earthquake, later authors such as Ibn al-Athir (x. 57) merely confirming that it affected both Palestine and Egypt, and repeating the details about the water rising in the wells and the retreat and return of the sea. This author also refers to the fissuring of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, and gives the number of casualties in Ramla as 25 000 (sic.). His account is followed by Abu'l-Fida (iii. 186).

Another independent, but not very -detailed, mid-thirteenth-century account, by the continuators of Sawirus (227, Arabic text f. 182), dates the earthquake early on a Tuesday morning, on the second day of Easter week. This fits for 1068, and the time of the day agrees with the statement that the earthquake occurred at about the third hour (Ibn al-Jauzi, viii. 256). Sawirus says that many places were overthrown in al-Ramla, Tinnis and elsewhere, but that the shock had little effect in Alexandria. The date finds further confirmation in the fact that Sawirus mentions that the earthquake was followed by an epidemic in Egypt, which is not widely mentioned in other sources (Ibn al-Dawadari, vi. 387), but may have been the result of the food scarcity that is fully documented (Ibn Muyassir. 19; Ibn Zafir, 74-75). Tinnis was depopulated, and Ramla became deserted as a result of the epidemic. Al-Maqrizi also mentions that Ramla was destroyed and not restored afterwards (al-Maqrizi, Khitat, i. 337, ii. 277).

Additional evidence of the severity of the earthquake in al-Ramla is given by Ibn Shaddad, who says that the city was a great centre to which merchants flocked until the earthquake of 10 (sic.) Jumada I 460 a.H., which erased all traces of it. The inhabitants, he says, moved to Jerusalem, which suggests that Jerusalem itself was not badly damaged by the earthquake (Ibn Shaddad, 182). The late-fifteenth century Egyptian author, Ibn Taghribirdi (ii/2.239), has a less detailed version of this passage in the year 459 a.H., which is too early. These authors also refer to the scarcity of food in Egypt, which continued till 461 a.H., or even later (al- Maqrizi, Khitat, i. 337, ii. 277). Much of Ibn al-Sabi's history is preserved verbatim in Sibt ibn al-Jauzi's Mirat al zaman.

Many later fourteenth-century sources follow Ibn al-Jauzi's reference to the earthquake under both 460 and 462 a.H., with more or less faithful reproductions (al- Nuwairi, iv. 140, 141; Ibn Kathir, xii. 96, 99; Ibn al-Imad, iii. 308, 309).

A much later, late-fifteenth-century source, Al- Suyuti, who also quotes directly from Ibn al-Jauzi, adds Badr, Yanbu, Wadi al Qura, Taima and Tabuk to the list of places mentioned in Arabia (al-Suyuti, kashf 34-35). There is room to suggest that an independent, but problematic, account from the Monastery of St Catherine in Sinai refers to this earthquake. An anonymous author mentions that late in the eleventh century earthquakes strong enough to cause the Egyptian army to abandon the area they had just captured were felt in the monastery (Anon. 1817, 125; Eckenstein 1921, 144-145). This allows the possibility that this earthquake occurred in 1068, but, even if this is not the case, it is unlikely that the earthquake referred to in this section was not also experienced in St Catherine's.

Numerous later authors merely have a brief account of the shock in al-Ramla, of the water rising in the wells and of the sea flooding a coast that is not named A description of Jerusalem mentions the fall of a great lantern with 500 lights in it, from the roof of the Dome of the Rock, in 452 a.H. (AD 1060; Jamal al-Din sub ann.). Le Strange notes that no earthquake is mentioned for this (Le Strange 1890, 130). Either the lantern fell through some other cause or the source makes a dating error. It does not refer to the earthquake of 460 a.H. (1068), which caused the Dome of the Rock to open and close. A much later writer, al-Ulaimi, copies Jamal al- Din's account of the fall of the lantern in 452 a.H., and then mentions the earthquake in 460 a.H., following the standard account of Ibn al Athir, implying two separate events, but he is too late a source for this to be conclusive (al-Ulaimi, al-Uns, i. 270). There is no evidence to suggest that the Dome of the Rock was in fact damaged by the 469/ 1068 earthquake (Creswell 1932; 1940, 172-176). The earliest source, Ibn al-Banna, clearly suggests two earthquakes, the first of which occurred in Palestine, the effects of which became known immediately, and a second earthquake, which occurred two months earlier in the far-off regions of the Gulf of Aqaba and Hijaz, news of which arrived in Palestine after the occurrence of the first event.

If it is assumed that this is the case, then the first earthquake occurred in March 1068 and originated in the Gulf of Aqaba. A second earthquake, two months later, namely in May 1068, originated in Palestine. Minor errors in dating (e.g. 10 or 11 Jumada I; 459 instead of 460 a.H.) are of little consequence. What is significant is that a single earthquake in the region of the Dead Sea fault zone is unlikely to produce damage effects such as those portrayed in the historical sources.

The first earthquake was felt over a very large area, from Medina in the south to Cairo in the west, Rahba and Kufa in the east and at least as far north as Damascus, within a radius of about 600 km, clearly a large-magnitude event. In the very sparsely inhabited, almost desert region along the southernmost part of the Dead Sea fault zone and its extension offshore, where the available evidence situates its epicentral region, information about the few inhabited villages, even had they been destroyed, would not have attracted much attention. The destruction of Aila and the reported ground deformations in the region of Tabuk, which are of unknown origin, but significant enough to be reported, suggest that the epicentral region was in the Gulf of Aqaba.

Aila was occupied from about the middle of the seventh century to about the early part of the twelfth century. Archaeological data suggest earthquake damage, possibly due to the 1068 earthquake, but the evidence is very tenuous (Whitcomb 1997).

Palaeoseismic data suggest that the Aqaba strike-slip fault emerges from the Gulf and appears to cross the seventh-twelfth-century-AD Islamic walled city of Aila, terminating under the city, indicating repeat movement with the last scarp forming sometime between 1045 and 1278 (Niemi and Mansoor 2002).

An alternative interpretation would be that these ground deformations occurred near the main pilgrim route to Mecca, hence the survival of information, but not near an important urban area. Unfortunately this region lacks urban centres, whose destruction would have attracted attention, but the evidence supports the hypoth- esis of an epicentral location to the south, along the southern terminus of the Dead Sea fault through the Aila region or to the east of it (Ambraseys and Melville 1989, 1279). This area is not only more centrally located within the total area where the earthquake was reported as being felt but also could be associated with known active tectonics.

More recently, on the evidence of existing data but without any better justification, the epicentre of the 1068 earthquake has been placed on the Dead Sea fault, at 29.8° N and 35.0° E (Klinger et al. 2000). In the second earthquake damage was concentrated on al-Ramla, and the reports of casualties in Jerusalem and Baniyas indicate that the epicentral region must have been in Palestine, affecting a very small area, which in turn implies an event of relatively small magnitude.

It is primarily the consideration of the damage reported, rather than the dates given, that raises the problem of the location of the earthquake(s). Heavy damage to Ramla seems unambiguous in the Arabic sources, and lesser damage to houses, sufficient to kill about 100 people, occurred in Jerusalem and Baniyas, which would suggest an epicentral region in this area. The occurrence of the seismic sea wave, which can be assumed to have been in the Mediterranean Sea, does not necessarily indicate the epicentral region, but rather the region where there were vulnerable submarine slopes that could produce a flow slide as occurred in the on-land 1202 earthquake (Ambraseys and Melville 1988), and thus does not seem to confirm this.

Several objections arise, however, with regard to seeking the epicentral area of a shallow-depth earthquake of magnitude large enough to be associated with a radius of perceptibility of 600 km in the vicinity of al- Ramla.

In the first place, more reports should have been available from the region to the north, beyond Baniyas, which was Byzantine territory. None of the contemporary and near-contemporary Byzantine historians, however, writing between 1070 and 1120, such as Psellos, Xiphilinos, Manesses, Scylitzes, Attaliates, Glycas and Zonaras, mentions the earthquake (Psellos; Manesses CSHB 127, 219-472; Scylitzes I. CSHB 641-744; Attaliates M. CSHB 1853; Glycas M. CSHB 1836; Zonaras J. PG 134-135).

Furthermore, Syrian and Armenian writers, such as Matthew, Samuel and Michael the Syrian, writing during the same period, who describe in some detail the situation in south-eastern Anatolia and northern Syria during this period, make no reference to an earthquake there in the 1060s.

Secondly, there is some indication that the damage in al-Ramla has been grossly exaggerated, particularly the loss of life, which is estimated in various sources to range from 15 000 to as many as 25 000, since correspondence between leaders of the Jewish communities in Ramla and Jerusalem appears to include no references to a major calamity in the 1060s (Mann 1920, i. 162-163). It is possible that the seemingly exaggerated description of the earthquake in al-Ramla in Muslim sources echoes the earlier destruction of 1033, and refers to the later effects of famine and epidemic, which also affected Egypt (see Ibn al-Muyassir. 35; Ibn Zafir 74-75, who make no reference to the earthquake). The disparity in reported damage between al- Ramla and Jerusalem, only two days march or 38 km apart, even if broadly accurate, cannot be explained by invoking the occurrence of a relatively small, locally damaging earthquake in this part of Palestine. This would be incompatible with the evidence of the effects of the earthquake, which reached as far south as Medina and only as far north as Baniyas, 950 and 100 km from al-Ramla, respectively.

The absence of information from Damascus and Aleppo to the north and the silence of contemporary Byzantine historians argue against the 18 March 1068 earthquake having had an epicentre near al-Ramla. It would seem therefore, that the account of the destruction of al-Ramla, which is well attested by several reliable Arab chroniclers, must either be considered as an exaggeration, bringing it simply within the area of minor damage by a large earthquake to the south, which is not feasible, or accepted at face value, which would require a separate, locally damaging shock of a very much smaller magnitude than that of the March 1068 earthquake in its immediate vicinity. There is little doubt, therefore, that the May 1068 earthquake was a local event of relatively small magnitude in Palestine.

AD 1068 May 29 Ramla

This was a locally destructive earthquake in the region of al-Ramla. It is alleged that the earthquake was destructive at al-Ramla in Palestine, causing the ruin of many houses with loss of life. One account speaks of 15 000 casualties (sic.), including 200 boys at a single school. There is no other evidence of damage in Jerusalem, 40 km from al-Ramla, though it is reported that the roof of the Dome of the Rock was displaced and then returned to its former position. The assertion that the inhabitants of al-Ramla migrated to Jerusalem after the earthquake also suggests that damage there was slight.

However, it is difficult to accept that the same earthquake caused serious damage to Baniyas, 160 km to the north of al-Ramla, where it is said that about 100 people were killed. The absence of information from urban centres between the two towns suggests that damage in Baniyas is grossly exaggerated, as is the loss of 15 000 men reported for al-Ramla. The date of the earthquake is often misreported in earthquake catalogues, under 20 April 1067, 11 November 1067 and 2 February 1070 (for discussion see the previous entry).

Guidoboni and Comastri (2005)

(33) 1068 March 18 - Aila Israel
fissures, formation of new springs

(34) 1068 May 29 - Ramla
tsunami, changes in well capacity, Euphrates overflowed.

These two separate earthquakes have been taken to be a single event in the literature. Ambraseys et al. (1994) suggest that the effects described in the sources may have been caused by two separate events, but on their map they do not indicate the two areas of effects and the two epicentres.

In actual fact, the analysis of the sources has highlighted the occurrence of two earthquakes: one occurred on 18 March 1068 and the other on 29 May of the same year, the effects of which are not, however, altogether separable, in the sense that some locations may have felt both earthquakes.

Numerous Arabic sources between the 11th and 15th centuries report that on the morning of 18 March 1068 (11 Jumada I 460 H.) there was a destructive earthquake in north-west Arabia, and especially in the region of Hejaz, bordering the Red Sea. These texts record that there was also very serious destruction in Palestine, and especially at Ramla. There is a passage in a work by Ibn al-Banna, a contemporary writer who lived at Baghdad, in which he first brings together a description of earthquake effects in both Arabia and Palestine, dating them all to 18 March; but in a later passage effects in Palestine are dated to 29 May 1068 (24 Rajab 460 H.), on the basis of news brought by merchants in August 1068. This latter date suggests that there may have been two separate earthquakes with little more than two months between them. Later sources probably interpreted the two events as a single earthquake. Although we are convinced that the seismic activity recorded by the sources did indeed consist of two separate events, we have nevertheless chosen to gather the descriptions of effects into a single entry, indicating the different affected areas on the map. In the case of some outlying localities those in Egypt, for example it is difficult to establish whether they were struck by the first or the second be other areas which overlap and so cannot be clearly distinguished.

1068 March 18 Effects of the earthquake

All the buildings in Aila, the present-day town of Elat on the Gulf of Aqaba, were destroyed in the earthquake, and all its inhabitants killed, with the exception of 12 fishermen who were at sea when the earthquake occurred. In the Arabian peninsula, there was slight damage at Medina, where two merlons fell from the Mosque of the Prophet. The earthquake also struck Wadi al-Safra' (Al-Safra'), Al-Marwa, Khaybar, Wadi al-Qura, Taima, Tabuk, Yanbu` al Bahr and Badr, but we do not know exactly what effects there were at these places except for environmental effects at Taima and Tabuk. There was also serious damage in other unspecified places in the eastern part of the Arabian peninsula. In Egypt, there was damage at Tinnis and Alexandria, and we are also told that one corner of the congregational mosque in Cairo was damaged. In the Euphrates region, the earthquake was felt at Ruhba (Rawah), Baghdad and Kufa (Al-Kufah).

Environmental effects: at a place called Al-Qur, at Tabuk in the Arabian peninsula, three new springs appeared; at Taima the earth opened up, revealing hidden treasure, and a new spring appeared. According to Ambraseys et al. (1994), the earthquake's epicentral area is to be located in the sparsely inhabited region between Aila and Taima.

Effects of the earthquake in Palestine

All the houses in Ramla collapsed, only two buildings and part of the town walls escaping. The mosque was badly damaged. According to the sources, there were 15,000 victims, including about 200 children who perished in the ruins of a school. Of the available sources for this earthquake, only one, namely the 12th-13th century Arab historian Ibn al-Athir, gives a figure of 25,000 victims at Ramla.

At Baniyas, a Syrian town on the frontiers of present-day Israel., Lebanon and Syria, there were many collapses, and about a hundred victims. The same was true of Jerusalem, according to Ibn al-Qalanisi, a reliable 12th century Arab historian from Damascus, whereas the other available contemporary and later sources simply tell us that in Jerusalem, the rock on which stood the Mosque of the Rock (or Mosque of Omar) was displaced and then returned to its previous position. Environmental effects: the sea withdrew from the Mediterranean coast of Palestine, and then flowed back, engulfing many people. At Ramla, water overflowed from wells. The waters of the Euphrates overflowed its banks

Historical sources

The earthquake is recorded in reliable contemporary and later Arab sources and, for Egypt, in the work of the 14th century Coptic historian Sawirus ibn al-Muqaffa`. The information provided by the Arab historian Ibn al-Banna is of primary importance, and he personally experienced the earthquake at Baghdad, where there was no damage. Ibn al-Banna gathered reliable information for the whole damage zone (except Egypt):
News has arrived that there was a terrible earthquake in the city of the Prophet (Medina) God's blessing and peace be on him! on Tuesday, 11 Juniada I (18 March), which brought down two merlons, from the minaret of the Mosque of the Prophet peace be on him! The people were greatly disturbed by the earthquake on account of this. They turned to God in penitence for their evil deeds, broke instruments of pleasure, and poured away intoxicants. The governor of the city, known as the perfumer of adulterous women' was banished. Death itself is what they encountered. The earthquake then continued its course, overwhelming Wadi al-Safra', Al- Marwa, Khaybar, Wadi al-Qura, Taima, Tabuk and Aila. As for Aila, its inhabitants all perished except for 12 persons who had gone fishing at sea, thus escaping death. As for Taima, it used to have one source of water, God then produced another source in it, the bottom of which fills each year 2,000 dinars. And the earth was laid open disclosing a larger place yielding pure gold and golden jewels. As for Tabuk, God produced near the lotus tree of the Prophet God's blessing be on him! (and) his springs of water, in a place known as Al-Qur, three more springs of water, improving their condition. The earthquake then ploughed through ar-Ramla, 15,000 persons perished and nothing was left in it according to reports, except two houses. The Sacred Rock of Jerusalem moved from its usual place, then returned. At this time, the earthquake subsided, after it had passed through Surair, in the Hejaz, and most of the Syrian territories until it arrived at ar-Ramla. The sea [...] the distance of one day's march. The sea surged and caused great damage. It surged again, after people had gone into it gathering what they could find on its floor; none perished except those who were close to the shore. That is what happened. I hope that God will place the Muslims in renewed security. On this very same day, in the month of Jumada I, we had in fact experienced a slight earthquake; it was this very same one". (translation by G.Makdisi).
Further on in the same work Ibn al-Banna also reports what he learned from some merchants:
News reports from merchants arrived on Thursday (5 or 12 Shawwal, 7 or 14 August) at the residence of the Shaikh Ajall Ibn Jarada to the effect that there have occurred in Palestine and ar-Ramla, on the 24th of Rajab this year (29 May 1068) a terrible earthquake, which destroyed all the dwellings except two. Approximately 15,000 persons perished. The Rock of Jerusalem clove in two, then drew back together, by the will of God exalted is He above all! The sea sank into the earth for a day and a night, and people entered it, gathering from it, but it turned back upon them and caused a number of them to perish" (translation by G.Makdisi).
The report provided by the 12th century Arab historian Ibn al-Jawzi (248) is more concise. He was from Baghdad like his predecessor Ibn al-Banna, from whom he took his information about the earthquake (Ibn al-Jawzi's report was itself taken up later by the 14th century historian Ibn Kathir, in his al-Bidaya wa 'l-nihaya fi 'l-ta'rikh XII, p.99):
In the month of Jumada I [8 March 6 April 1068] the earth shook in Palestine. The town of Ramla was destroyed; the merlons [of the minaret] of the Mosque of the Prophet God bless him and give him peace [at Medina] also collapsed. The earthquake reached the villages of Wadi al-Safra' and Khaybar. The earth split open and treasures came forth. Its effects were also felt at Ruhba and Kufa. Some merchants described the earthquake in a letter, in which they said that the town of Ramla had completely collapsed, with the sole exception of two alleys. There were 15,000 victims [according to the letter]
Information about the earthquake provided by the 12th century historian Ibn al- Qalanisi, who came from Damascus, is limited to Palestine and Syria:
On Tuesday 10 of the month of Jumada I in that year [460 H.] there was a terrible earthquake in Palestine, which destroyed most of the houses and walls at Ramla, and badly damaged its congregational mosque. Most inhabitants perished in the ruins. It was said that a schoolteacher was in his classroom with about 200 children, and the classroom roof collapsed on top of them, but no-one went to look for [their bodies] because their families had perished as well. It was also said that because of the intensity of the earthquake, water came out of the wells. At Baniyas about a hundred people perished in the ruins; and the same thing happened at Jerusalem".
Ibn al-Athir, an Arab historian from Mosul who was active in the late 12th and early 13th century, recorded information about earthquake effects in Palestine which were subsequently taken up by the 15th century historian Ibn Taghribirdi (al-Nujum alzahira, V, p. 80). The former also mentions Egypt as an area where the earthquake was "very strong"
In the month of Jumada I there was a very strong earthquake in Palestine and Egypt, which destroyed Ramla. The water in wells rose to the surface, and 25,000 inhabitants perished. In Jerusalem, the rock [of the Mosque of Vmar, or perhaps the mosque itself, which was known as the Mosque of the Rock], split open, but by the will of God closed up again. The sea receded from the coast for a distance equal to a day's journey, and when it came back it struck those who had approached the shore, killing a great many people.
There is a very detailed account of the earthquake in Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi, a famous historian who lived in the late 12th and early 13th century and was the son of Ibn al- Jawzi.
On Tuesday 11 Jumada I [460 H. = 18 March 1068], there was an earthquake in Palestine which lasted for two and a half hours and destroyed the Ramla area. It was felt as far as Ruhba and Kufa, and only two of the main gates at Ramla were undamaged, and 15,000 townspeople were killed. In Ramla, there were two hundred children at school when it collapsed on top of them, and no-one went in search of them because their parents were dead. The rock of [the mosque of] Jerusalem split open, but then closed up again. Others say that it did not split open at all, but moved and then returned to its original position; and the sea receded [to a distance equal to] a day['s walk] and people went down to the sea bed to pick things up, but the sea came back at them and a large number were killed. Baniyas was destroyed, and loud thunder-claps were heard in the sky, and violent sounds which caused people to faint. The earthquake reached the Euphrates, whose waters overflowed its banks. An Alawite at Hejaz [Arabia], has said that in the period in question an earthquake caused the collapse [in Medina] of two merlons [on the minaret] in the Mosque of the Prophet may the prayer of God and peace be with him and the towns people were disturbed and thought it an ill omen: so they did penance, practised abstinence, poured away their wines and exiled adulterous women from the town. And the earthquake struck Wadi al-Safra', Yun.bu`, Badr, Khaybar, and Wadi al-Qura and spread throughout the Hejaz; and the earth split open and treasures were revealed, and gold, silver and jewels were found. The dinar was equivalent to one mithqal and a half by weight and a spring gushed forth [sufficiently violently] to be worth 2,000 dinars a year. At Tabuk, three more springs appeared than had been there before. The earthquake completely destroyed the eastern part of the Hejaz, and it also destroyed Aylat, killing all its inhabitants, with the exception of 12 men who had gone fishing at sea. And a letter from some merchants in the month of Rajab [460 H. = 6 May 4 June 1068] reported that when they arrived at Damascus, they found neither sultan nor market, and the people had taken over the city, and it was impossible to enter or leave. The commander of the army defeated the governor of Damascus, forcing him to withdrawn to `Usqalan, and the people destroyed the palace where he usually dwelt; and the same thing had happened throughout the Syrian territories and the nearby coastal area. And what is amazing is that we have seen that the earthquake affected coastal areas, Jerusalem, the Syrian territories, Medina, Tabuk and Tima, and the whole of the Hejaz and Al- Bilad al-Furatiyya [the Euphrates area]; and it all happened in a single night half way through Jumada I [460 H. = 22 March 1068].
Ibn Shadd-ad, an Arab historian from Syria (active in the 14th century) paid particular attention to what happened at Ramla.
After becoming a city, Ramla was famous for its trade and as a work place; travellers went there and traders settled there, until the day when an earthquake struck, on 10 Jumada I in 460 [H. = 17 March 1068]. It destroyed houses and demolished the city walls, reducing it to rubble, and water overflowed from wells. The rock of Jerusalem split open and then came together again. A large proportion of the inhabitants of Ramla made for Aylat, rebuilt it, and turned it into a town.
Al-Dhahabi (1247-1348), a historian and theologian from Damascus, gathered information about the earthquake from the chronicles of Ibn al-Athir, Abu Yala ben Qalanisi and Ibn al-Sabuni. He records that.
In this year [460 H. = 1067-1068], there was a violent earthquake at Ramla which damaged it so badly that water overflowed from wells and, according to Ibn al-Athir, 25,000 inhabitants perished. Abu Yalu ben Qalanisi records that there were about 200 children in a school at Ramla when it collapsed on top of them, but no-one went to look for them because their families had perished as well, and Baniyas was struck in the same way. Ibn al-Sabuni has said: 'An Alawite who happened to be in the Hejaz, has told how there was an earthquake in the period mentioned, that is to say on Tuesday 11 Jumada / [460 H. = 18 March 1068], and how it caused two merlons [on the minaret] to collapse at the Mosque of the Prophet [at Medina] may the prayer of God and peace be with him and how the earth split open and gold and silver treasures came forth, and a spring gushed forth, and Aylat was destroyed with its inhabitants, and at Tabuk three springs all appeared at the same time. As for Ibn al-Athir, he has said that the rock of [the mosque of] Jerusalem split open and then came together again thanks to the will of God; and the sea receded from the shore for a distance equal to a day[s walk]; people went down along the sea bed to see what they could find, but the water came back over them and they perished.
While the effects of the earthquake in Egypt are recorded only in a sporadic and summary way in Arab sources, the report by the Coptic historian Sawirus ibn al-Muqaffa` is in that sense more detailed.
Suddenly there was a violent earthquake at dawn on Tuesday, the second day of Easter [18 March 1068], such that various places were destroyed at Ramla, Tinnis and elsewhere, and at Alexandria. A subsequent epidemic was so severe that only about one hundred inhabitants survived, of the thousands who lived at Tinnis.
There is another passage (256) in the work of Sawirus ibn al-Muqaffa` where he records an earthquake as having occurred on 18 March in the year 1070, but since the information he provides is exactly the same as that given by Arab sources for the earthquake of 18 March 1068, it is almost certain that he has made a mistake over the date, and that what follows must refer to the 1068 earthquake:
Amongst the events of that year [462 H.], at the third hour on Tuesday 11 Jumada I, corresponding to 18 Adar in the Syriac calendar [= 18 March 1070], there was a tremendous earthquake at Ramla and its district. The people fled, and its walls were destroyed. The shocks reached as far as Jerusalem and Tinnis [Tannis?]; Aylat completely collapsed. The sea receded so far during the earthquake that its bed was revealed and people could walk on the bottom until the sea returned to its normal level. One corner of the congregational mosque in Cairo moved. The earthquake was followed by two more shocks within the same period.
In the seismological literature and catalogues, the discrepancies between the sources as to the number of victims and the date of the earthquake have given rise to some mistakes.

Taher (1979, p.40) quotes Ibn al-Athir inaccurately, recording 25 victims at Ramla (whereas the Arab historian actually wrote "25,000" a figure which itself clashes with that of 15,000, as generally accepted in Arab historiography). As for dating problems, Ben-Menahem (1979) speaks of an earthquake on 25 February 1070 at Ramla and Cairo; Taher (1979, p.41) does the same for an earthquake at Cairo and Damietta, taking the Muslim date of Tuesday 11 Jumada I (18 Adar/March) 460 H. as being in the year 1070 on p.41, but in 1169 on p.306. In connection with this earthquake, Taher also suggests (p.41; 128) that "the date corresponds to the year 460", i.e. to the earthquake which he dates to 18 March 1168. This doublet seems to have arisen from an insufficient analysis of the sources. Similarly, al-Hakeem (1988, p.21) gives two separate earthquakes , one in 1068 and the other in 1170 (in fact it was a different event; see below).

Ambraseys et al (1994)


Fig. 2.8 1068 March 18, Northern Hejaz. (Ambraseys et al, 1994)

1068 March 18 Tuesday 11 Jumada I, 460 Northern Hejaz

A major earthquake in the Hejaz and northwest Arabia occurred during the morning and was reported to have killed in all about 20000 people. Aila at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba was completely destroyed with all but twelve of its inhabitants. In Tabuk, three new springs of water appeared at a place called al-Qur, and in Taima the ground was split open to reveal buried treasures of gold and golden jewellery. Near here a permanent and productive spring of water gushed out. The earthquake was felt at Wadi al-Qura, Khaibar, al-Marwa, Medina (where the shock brought down two decorative crestings of the mosque of the Prophet), and Wadi al-Safra, Badr and Yanbu', to the southwest of Medina (see Figure 2.8).1

In Sinai, the earthquake was strong enough to cause alarm at the monastery of St Catherine.2 The shock was also experienced in Egypt, where Tinnis was apparently damaged, but not in Alexandria.3 In Cairo, the only damage reported was to one corner of the mosque of 'Amr in Fustat.4 Water rose in wells in Egypt and Palestine, and the retreat and return of the sea on the Mediterranean coast of Palestine drowned a large number of people (see below). The earthquake was felt as far as al-Rahba and al-Kufa on the Euphrates, the water of which was reported to have overtopped its banks;5 it was also felt in Baghdad.6 Two more shocks followed within an hour.7

The epicentral area of this event must be sought in the sparsely inhabited region between Aila and Taima, where the available evidence points to faulting but where information about the few inhabited villages, even if destroyed, would not attract much attention.8

It is generally reported that the earthquake was also destructive at al-Ramla (Ramallah) in Palestine, causing the ruin of many houses with loss of life. One account speaks of 15 000 casualties, including 200 lads at one school. Damage extended to Baniyas, where about 100 people were killed, and the same in Jerusalem.9 There is no other evidence of damage in Jerusalem, though it is reported that the roof of the Dome of the Rock was displaced and then returned to its former position.10 The assertion that the inhabitants of al-Ramla migrated to Jerusalem after the earthquake also suggests damage there was slight.11 There is some archaeological evidence to suggest earthquake damage at the citadel of Amman in Jordan, possibly from this event.12 The absence of information from Damascus and Aleppo to the north, and the silence of contemporary Byzantine historians, all argues against the 18 March 1068 earthquake having an epicentre near al-Ramla, which is 500 km from the region between Tabuk and Taima. In fact, a separate, locally destructive shock affected Palestine on 24 Rajab/29 May, two months after the earthquake in northwest Arabia,13 and the two events have been amalgamated by later authors. The tsunami and effect on wells in Palestine possibly occurred during this earthquake, rather than in March.

The date of this earthquake is often misreported in earthquake catalogues, under 1067 April 20,1067 November 11, and 1070 February 2.14

Footnotes

1 Ibn al-Banna, in Makdisi (1956), pp. 250-1, 256. He says it reached from Surair in Hejaz (a wadi near Medina, see Yaqut, III, 88-9) to al-Ramla and most of Syria. Ibn al-Banna's Wadi al-Safa must be equated with al-Safra near Medina; and al-Marwa refers to (Dhu) al-Marwa in Wadi al-Qura. See also Sibt b. al-Jauzi, Paris Ms. fol. IIIvo-III2ro, who says that all the places involved were shaken 'the same night', though he also records that the shock occurred at 'two and a half hours' of the morning (c. 8.30); al-Dhahabi, Ms. Or.50, fol. 4V0; al-Suyuti, pp. 34-5/20-1.

2 Anon. (1817), p. 125, under 1091 (see below); Eckenstein (1921), pp. 144-5, allows the possibility that the events in question occurred in 1068/9, but even if this is not the case, it is unlikely that the earthquake was not experienced in St Catherine's.

3 Sawirus b. al-Muqaffa', II/2, 182/trans. p. 277.

4 Ibn al-Jauzi, VIII, 256. He gives additional information about the effects of the earthquake in a second account, in which he dates the shock Tuesday 11 Jumada I, 462/25 February 1070. This misleads later authors and many modern cataloguers (see below). The date should clearly be 460 H, for Ibn al-Jauzi gives an alternative date of 18 Adhar (18 March in the Syriac calendar).

5 Sibt b. al-Jauzi, l.c.

6 Ibn al-Banna, p. 251.

7 Ibn al-Jauzi, p. 256; al-Suyuti, l.c.

8 Melville (1984a); Ambraseys and Melville (1989).

9 Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 94, gives Tuesday 10 (sic.) Jumada I; Ibn al-Banna, followed by Ibn al-Jauzi, VIII, 248, has 15 000 casualties; later authors have 25 000!

10 Ibn al-Banna, l.c.. Sibt b. al-Jauzi notes that other accounts say the Dome was cracked, cf. Ibn al-Athir, X, 20, and al-'Ulaimi, p. 270/trans. p. 69. The latter previously refers to the fall of a great lantern in the Dome, in 452/1060, which is mentioned by earlier authors who do not refer to the earthquake, see Le Strange (1887), pp. 286-7, 304: there may be some connection.

11 Ibn Shaddad, A'laq, p. 182.

12 A. Northedge, pers. comm. (1990). The chronological evidence is not very conclusive.

13 The contemporary Baghdad diarist, Ibn al-Banna, records the arrival of news early in Shawwal/August of an earthquake in Palestine in Rajab/May, Makdisi, p. 248. See also Gil (1992), p. 408. Unfortunately, Ibn al-Banna himself then repeats much of this information in his report of the Jumada I/March earthquake, misleading later writers, such as Ibn al-Jauzi. Contemporary correspondence between leaders of the Jewish communities in Jerusalem and al-Ramla appears to include no reference to the total destruction of the latter, under either date. It is possible that the seemingly exaggerated description of the earthquake in al-Ramla in Muslim sources echoes the earlier devastation of 1033, and refers to the later effects of famine and epidemic, which also affected Egypt, see Ibn al-Muyassir, p. 35, and Ibn Zafir, pp. 74-5, who make no reference to the earthquake. Sawirus, l.c., describes the depopulation of Tinnis and al-Ramla by an epidemic. Note also that Sawirus's account of the 1033 event (see above) could equally well apply to the 1068 earthquake and confusion between the two is clearly possible.

14 See Sieberg (1932a), p. 802, (1932b), p. 193; Kallner-Amiran (1951), p. 227; Ben-Menahem (1979), pp. 259, 287 (where the event is located offshore Yavne, a misidentification of Yanbu'). The date 1067 April 20 arises because Sieberg's late fifteenth-century source incorrectly gives the year 459 H; I11 November 1067 is the first day of the year 460 H, 25 February 1070 refers to the year 462 H, see above, note 4.

References mentioned

Anonymous (1817) Description of the Holy Mount Sina. N. Glyka, Venice (in Greek).

Eckenstein, L. (1921) History of Sinai. London

Gil (1992)

Gil (1992:408-409 n. 60) discussed the earthquake accounts

The first to mention this earthquake was Abu al-Hasan b. Abmad al-Banna'; see al-Banna', 239 (and the translation and editor's comment, ibid., 248). He was a contemporary and told this on the basis of merchants' letters which, he says, reached Baghdad on 1 Shawwal 460, 3 August 1068; ibid., 240, he tells of another earthquake, prior to that of Ramla, which occurred in Hejaz (Medina and elsewhere), and destroyed Eilat as well, on 11 Jumada I of that year, 18 March AD 1068. Starting with Ibn al-Jawzi, this account was copied by many. Apart from Ibn al-Jawzi, who gave the information on the quake in Hejaz separately (but erroneously ascribed it to the year 462), all the others combined the accounts and made of them a story of one earthquake, and those who took the trouble to give the date, gave it as Jumada I. See: Ibn al Jawzi, Munta34m, V, 248, 256; the fact that he mistakenly recorded the year as AH 462 is proven by the Christian date he himself gives as parallel to 11 Jumada I: 18 Adhar (March), and this was correct only in AH 460. See further: al-`Azimi, in Cahen, JA, 230 (1938), 358; Ibn al-Athir, Kama, X, 57 (who increased the number of killed to 25,000); Dhahabi, 'Ibar, III, 246; idem, Duwal, 208; Ibn Shaddad (MS), 119b; (printed), 182; he is the only one who has the strange addition: `most of the inhabitants of Ramla afterwards passed to Jerusalem (Iliya) and built it and fortified it'; it seems that the version is distorted and it was probably written there (approximately) that the inhabitants of Ramla fled to Jerusalem after the earthquake, but that they returned and rebuilt their city afterwards. Ibn Kattfir, Biddya, XII, 96 (who also speaks of two earthquakes, like Ibn al-Jawzi, from whom he copied); Ibn Taghri Bardi, V, 80; `Ijlaymi, 270; Macirizi, itti`az, II, 277, who adds: the destruction of Ramla was final, for it was not rebuilt (it seems that what the aforementioned account of Ibn Shaddid intended to contradict is that latter opinion, which does not sound credible at all); Ibn al-Daw5clari, 387; see more references in the editor's note to al-Banna': Maqdisi, BSOAS, 18(1956), 250, n. 5.

Arieh (1977)

Arieh, E. (1977). An Evaluation of Six Significant Historical Earthquakes, Jerusalem, Israel: Report for the Seismological Section of the Geologic Survey of Israel.

2. THE EARTHQUAKE OF MARCH 17 (or 18th) 1068

a. Sources

This earthquake "destroyed most of the buildings of Ramleh as well as its wall. In Bs:11as one hundred people died under the debris, and Jerusalem suffered similarly" (4l-Qalanisi, Dhayal p. 94).

Abu al-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi writes that according to a witness 15,000 people died (in Ramlah); the Holy Rock in Jerusalem was cleft and miraculously rejoined (probably meaning the Dome of the Rock, which is a relatively light structure. The rock is unfissured so far, E.A.). "The sea retreated for a distance of one day's march and when it returned it destroyed the world" (probably meaning "everything") (p. 248). Ibn Taghri Birdi (Nujum, vol. V, p. 80), who described this earthquake, added that "the city of Ayla (Eilat) was completely ruined and all its inhabitants perished".

b. Estimate of Intensities

The arabic sources mention only the damage in Ramleh, Banias, Jerusalem and Ayla (Eilat). It seems that, had such an offshore earthquake ruined Ramleh, Ayla and caused grave damage to Banias (about 400 km from Ayla), it should also have had devastating effects on other ports and cities near Ramleh such as Ghaza, Jaffa, Lydda, Caesarea etc. However, no source, arabic or otherwise, mentions such effects. It is therefore presumed that the description of Ramleh's destruction was greatly exaggerated. The evidence is evaluated as follows:

Table 2: The 1068 Earthquake



The intensity data are plotted on Figure 2 which is similar to the previously prepared map (Arieh, Fig. 2.5.2.-3). The data are too scanty for determining reasonable isoseismal contours. The earthquake could have had its origin somewhere offshore, if credit is given to the tsunami-like phenomenon, described by Ibn al-Jawzi and others.

The destruction of Ayla (Eilat) must probably be connected with an earthquake, originating in the Dead Sea-Arava rift system. Otherwise it cannot be explained how such a tremendous offshore earthquake, which destroyed Ramleh and Eilat, did not have any devastating effects on some other villages between them, specially near the coast.

The assumption of an inland epicenter (probably at the Dead Sea-Jordan Valley Rift) may explain the high seismic intensities attained at localities near the Rift (Ayla, Jerusalem, Banias), but it does not explain the absence of reports on devastating effects on Nablus and other nearby localities. Such an assumption should be based also on a reasonable proof that the described destruction of Ramleh was grossly exaggerated which can hardly be accomplished on the basis of the available sources. Therefore, the epicenter location is still unknown.

Concerning the seismic intensity at NP-1 site, it should be noticed that no damage was reported from neighboring cities (Ghaza, Ascalon, Jaffa, etc.). Assuming therefore that seismic intensity at NP-1 was lower than in Ramleh and similar to undamaged Ascalon, it could not exceed VIII (MMS).



Paleoclimate - Droughts

References

References

Scientific Literature

Abou-Karaki, N. (1987). Synthèse et carte sismotectonique des pays de la bordure Orientale de la Mediterranee: sismicite du systeme de foilles du Jourdain a Mer Morte, University of Strasbourg, France. Ph.D.

Ambraseys and Jackson (1998). "Faulting associated with historical and recent earthquakes in the Eastern Mediterranean region." Geophysical Journal International 133(2): 390-406.

Ambraseys and Jackson (1998). "Faulting associated with historical and recent earthquakes in the Eastern Mediterranean region." Geophysical Journal International 133(2): 390-406.

Amit, R., et al. (2002). "Paleoseismic evidence for time dependency of seismic response on a fault system in the southern Arava Valley, Dead Sea rift, Israel." Geological Society of America Bulletin 114(2): 192-206.

ANTONOPOULOS, J. (1980). "Data from investigation on seismic Sea-waves events in the Eastern Mediterranean from 1000 to 1500 A.D." Annals of Geophysics.

Arieh, E. (1977). An Evaluation of Six Significant Historical Earthquakes, Jerusalem, Israel: Report for the Seismological Sectionof the Geologic Survey of Israel.

Karcz, I., et al. (1977). "Archaeological evidence for Subrecent seismic activity along the Dead Sea-Jordan Rift." Nature 269(5625): 234-235.

Klinger, Y., Avouac, J. P., Abu Karaki, N., Dobrath, L., Bourles, D., Reyss, J. L. (2000), 'Shp rate on the Dead Sea transform fault in northern Araba valley (Jordan)', GJI,142, 755-768.

Niemi and Mansoor, (2002). Nearly a millennium of seismic quiescence in Aqaba, Jordan along the southern Dead Sea transform. Abstracts with Programs. Geological Society of America, Geological Society of America.

Niemi, T. M. (2014). Chapter 2. The Regional Environment: in The Roman Aqaba Project Final Report volume 1: The Regional Environment and the Regional Survey Archaeological Reports 19. S. T. a. S. Parker, A.M., III (eds). Boston, MA, American School of Oriental Research. 1: 33-80.

Salamon, A., et al. (2011). "A critical evaluation of tsunami records reported for the Levant Coast from the second millennium bce to the present." Isr. J. Earth Sci. 58: 327-354.

Zilberman, E., et al. (2005). "Surface ruptures induced by the devastating 1068 AD earthquake in the southern Arava valley, Dead Sea Rift, Israel." Tectonophysics 408(14): 79-99.

Ancient Texts

Anonymous (1817), Perigraphi tou hagiou orous Sina, Venice: N. Glycas.

Ibn al-Athir Izz al-Din ( 1851-76, 1872). (Kitab) al-Kamil fil-tarikh (The Complete History). (C) RHC Hist.Orient. C. J. Tornberg. Leiden, Paris.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_ibn_al-Athir
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Dahab. Tarikh: al-Dahabii, Tarikh al-Islam, MS BL Or. 49 and 50; Paris MS Ar. 1581; Kitab al-'ibar fi khabar man ghabara, 5 volumes, ed. S. Munajjid, Kuwait, 1960-66;
Kitab duwa al-Islam al-kabir, MS BM Or. 48-50, with Dhail ed. al-Sakhawi, Hyderabad, 1919; trans. A. Negre, Damascus 1979, p. 13.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Dhahabi
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(Sawirus), M. I. a.-M. (1943). History of the Patriarchs of the Egyptian Church. A. a.-M. and and Burmester. Cairo.

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Most of Al-Maqrizi's works, exceeding 200,[7] are concerned with Egypt. The most important is the Mawaiz wa al-'i'tibar bi dhikr al-khitat wa al-'athar (2 vols., Bulaq, 1854), translated into French by Urbain Bouriant as Description topographique et historique de l'Egypte (Paris, 1895â1900; compare A. R. Guest, "A List of Writers, Books and other Authorities mentioned by El Maqrizi in his Khitat," in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1902, pp. 103â125).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Maqrizi
arabic page which google translates to English

al-'Ulaimi (1866 (A.H. 1283)). al-Uns al-jalil bi-tarikh al-Quds. wa'l-Khalil. Cairo.

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al-Azimi, Tarikh al-muktasar, Chronicle, ed. C. Cahen, J. Asiat., 230,358,1938.

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al-Imadi = Ibn al-Hanbali.

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Ibn al-Qalanisi, The Damascus Chronicle of the Crusades, abbrev. trans. H. Gibb, London: Luzac, 1932.

Ibn Shaddad, al-Nawadir al-sultaniyya wa'l-nahasin al-Yusufiyya, Cairo, 1928.

Ibn Shaddad, Alaq al-khatira fi dhikr umara al-Sham wa 'l-Jazira, ed. S. Dahhan, Topographie historique de Ibn Saddad, Liban, Jordanie, Palestine, Damascus: Institute Francais de Damas, 1963.

Ibn Taghribirdi, Abu'l Mahasin, Hawadith al-duhur fi mmada `l-ayyamm wa 7-shuhur, ed. W. Popper, in Semitic Philology, vol. 8, Berkeley and Los Angeles 1930-42; partly trans. W. Popper, New Haven, 1967.

Ibn Taghribirdi, Abu'l Mahasin, Al-nujurn az-zahira fi'muluk Misr Wal-Qahira, ed. F. M. Shlatut, Cairo, 1929-72, 16 volumes; also ed. and partly trans. in W. Popper, The History of Egypt 1382-1469 AD, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1915-60 [P].

al-Nuwairi, Muhammad b Qasim, Kitab al-ilman, vol. iv, ed. A. S. Atiya, Hyderabad, 1390/1970.

al-Nuwairi, Muhammad b. Qasim, Nuhayat, MS Leiden Or. 2-0.

Ibn al-Qalanisi (Dh), Dhail tarikh Dimishq, Continuation of the history of Hilal al-Sabi, ed. H. F. Amédroz, Leiden, 1908.