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1458 CE Quake

November 1458 CE

by Jefferson Williams









Introduction & Summary

Multiple sources writing not long after the event attest to an earthquake which devastated Karak and caused damage in Jerusalem, Ramla, and Khalil (Hebron) in November 1458 CE. Ibn Taghribirdi, who was ~38 years old when the earthquake struck, gives the most detailed account while other authors who were children when the earthquake struck give brief accounts which, for the most part, duplicate Ibn Taghribirdi's reports (Ibn Taghribirdi wrote about the earthquake in two different books). There appears to be corroborating paleoseismic evidence for this earthquake in the Dead Sea and the Araba.

Textual Evidence

<
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
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 - النجوم الزاهرة في ملوك مصر والقاهرة) is a history of Egypt from 641 CE - 1467 CE (W. Popper in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 1, 1991:138). Ḥawādith al-duhūr fī madá al-ayyām wa-al-shuhūr (Arabic: حوادث الدهور في مدى الأيام والشهور) covers Egyptian history from 1250–1517 and continues Suluk li-ma'rifat duwwal al-muluk by al-Maqrizi (Ibn Taghribirdi Explained). Ibn Tagri Birdi died in 1470 CE.

Muslim 15th c. CE Cairo
Account

Described the earthquake in two different texts providing a date of Wednesday 8 November 1458 CE in one and Thursday 16 November 1458 CE in another. States that the earthquake was sufficiently strong in Syria to cause the collapse of most of the town walls, the government building, and many dwellings in the town of Karak. Also mentioned that some structures and towers on the Citadel of Karak were destroyed. Further wrote that minarets in Ramla and Khalil (Hebron) collapsed while in Jerusalem a minaret and a great dome which was close to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre partially collapsed.

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, Science) 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

States that a violent earthquake killed 100 people and destroyed much of the citadel along with its walls and towers at Karak. Dated the earthquake to A.H. 863 (8 Nov. 1458 - 27 Oct. 1459 CE).

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 a minaret in Jerusalem was partly destroyed by an earthquake in Muharram A.H. 863 (8 November - 7 December 1458 CE).

Ibn Iyas Arabic
Biography

Ibn Iyas was born in Egypt in 1448 CE and died in 1522 CE. His ancestors were Mamluks (W.M. Brinner in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:812-813). He studied under as-Suyuti, for whom he seems to have had little respect, and 'Abd al-Basit b. Khalil al-Hanafi, a Hanafi jurist and historian (W.M. Brinner in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:812-813). Most of his writings are historical in nature. His major work was Flowers in the Chronicles of the Ages (Bada'i' al-zuhur fi waqa'i' al-duhur), a perfunctory survey of all Egyptian history down to the Mamluk period, followed by a brief year by year summary of events, growing progressively more detailed as he nears his own time (W.M. Brinner in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:812-813).

Muslim before 1522 CE Egypt
Account

States that between 8 November and 7 December 1458 CE, there was a strong and violent earthquake in Syria which caused the collapse of a great number of houses in Jerusalem and Khalil but was slight in Cairo.

Other Authors n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Account

According to Ambraseys et al (1994) and Ambraseys (2009) 'Abd al-Basit [JW: who was one of Ibn Iyar's teachers] mentions seismic damage in Ludd [which is adjacent to Ramla] and Al-Sakhawi and Mujir al-Din date seismic destruction in Jerusalem to 5 Muharram (12 November).

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

Seismic Effects

Seismic Effects
Effect Sources Notes
Destruction in Karak Ibn Taghribirdi, as-Suyuti
Strong or Violent in Syria Ibn Taghribirdi, Ibn Iyas presumably Greater Syria
Minaret collapsed in Ramla Ibn Taghribirdi
Destruction in Khalil (aka Hebron) Ibn Taghribirdi, Ibn Iyas Ibn Taghribirdi only says a minaret collapsed in Khalil.
Ibn Iyas says a great number of houses collapsed.
Damage in Jerusalem Ibn Taghribirdi, Mujir al-Din, Ibn Iyas Ibn Taghribirdi mentions partial minaret and partial Dome damage
Mujir al-Din only mentions partial minaret damage
Ibn Iyas says a great number of houses collapsed in Jerusalem but does not mention a minaret or a dome
Slight in Cairo Ibn Taghribirdi, Ibn Iyas

Locations

Locations
Effect Sources Notes
Karak Ibn Taghribirdi, as-Suyuti
Jerusalem Ibn Taghribirdi, Ibn Iyas, Mujir al-Din
Khalil (aka Hebron) Ibn Taghribirdi, Ibn Iyas
Ramla Ibn Taghribirdi
Ludd 'Abd al-Basit Ambraseys et al (1994) states that 'Abd al-Basit [JW: who was one of Ibn Iyas' teachers], fol. 122vo, is the only author to mention Ludd [which is adjacent to Ramla]. Ambraseys (2009) repeats this information.
Syria Ibn Taghribirdi, Ibn Iyas presumably Greater Syria
Cairo Ibn Taghribirdi, Ibn Iyas slight shock

Dates

Dates
Date Sources Notes
Wednesday 8 November 1458 CE Ibn Taghribirdi in Nujum Date and day of the week are compatible
Thursday 16 November 1458 CE Ibn Taghribirdi in Hawadith Date and day of the week are compatible
12 November 1458 CE Al-Sakhawi, Mujir al-Din Ambraseys et al (1994) and Ambraseys (2009) state that Al-Sakhawi and Mujir al-Din date seismic destruction in Jerusalem to 5 Muharram (12 November).
8 November - 7 December 1458 CE Ibn Iyas, Mujir al-Din Muharram A.H. 863
8 Nov. 1458 - 27 Oct. 1459 CE as-Suyuti A.H. 863

Hawadith al-duhur fi mmada ‘l-ayyamm wa ‘l-shuhur and The shining stars in the kings of Egypt and Cairo by Ibn Tagri Birdi

حوادث الدهور في مدى الأيام والشهور by بردي يبن

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 - النجوم الزاهرة في ملوك مصر والقاهرة) is a history of Egypt from 641 CE - 1467 CE (W. Popper in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 1, 1991:138). Ḥawādith al-duhūr fī madá al-ayyām wa-al-shuhūr (Arabic: حوادث الدهور في مدى الأيام والشهور) covers Egyptian history from 1250–1517 and continues Suluk li-ma'rifat duwwal al-muluk by al-Maqrizi (Ibn Taghribirdi Explained). Ibn Tagri Birdi died in 1470 CE.

Excerpts
English of Nujum from Ambraseys (2009)

(863 Muharram 1) There was a violent earthquake in the city of al-Kerak which destroyed some structures of its citadel, its houses, and its towers. 1 Muharram was a Wednesday. (Ibn Taghribirdi, Nujum xvi. 127/Popper vi. 82, vii. 5)

English of Nujum from Guidoboni and Comastri (2005)

At the beginning of the month [of Muharram] there was a terrible earthquake in the town of Karak, which destroyed various parts of the citadel, including houses and towers. It was Wednesday [8 November].

English of Hawadith from Guidoboni and Comastri (2005)

On Thursday 9 [of Muharram = 16 November 1458], there was a minor earthquake at new Cairo, but it was sufficiently strong in Syria to cause the collapse of most of the town walls, the government building and many dwellings in the town of Karak. Furthermore, the minaret collapsed in the town of Ramla, as well as another minaret at Khalil, part of a minaret in Jerusalem and the great dome which was close to the Qumama [the church of the Holy Sepulchre].

Original Document - Hawadith

  • not bookmarked


Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
Wednesday 8 November 1458 CE Wednesday 1 Muharram A.H. 863 none
  • from Nujum
  • Calculated using CHRONOS
  • 1 Muharram A.H. 863 fell on a Wednesday (calculated using CHRONOS)
Thursday 16 November 1458 CE Thursday 9 Muharram A.H. 863 none
  • from Hawadith
  • Calculated using CHRONOS
  • 9 Muharram A.H. 863 fell on a Thursday (calculated using CHRONOS
Seismic Effects Locations Online Versions and Further Reading
References

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. - from Ambraseys (2009)

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]. - from Ambraseys (2009)



Ibn Taghribirdi, al-Nujum al-zahira, ed. F.M.Shaltut et al., 16 vols., Cairo 1929-72. - from Guidoboni and Comastri (2005)

Ibn Taghribirdi, Hawadith al-duhar fi mada 'l-ayyam wa 'l-shuhur, ed. W.Popper, Pubis in Semitic Philol., vol.VIII, Berkeley-Los Angeles 1930-42. - from Guidoboni and Comastri (2005)

Popper (1976) History of Egypt, 1382-1469 A.D.: 1399-1411 A.D by Ibn Taghribirdi

Parts of al-Nujum al-zahira fi muluk Misr wa'l-Qahira in Arabic

A short summary al-Nujum al-zahira fi muluk Misr wa'l-Qahira in Arabic

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

Massoud, S. (2007). The Chronicles and Annalistic Sources of the Early Mamluk Circassian Period, Brill.

Notes
Misc. Notes

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

Ibn Tagri Birdi explained

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, Science) 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 Ambraseys (2009)

In [8]63 a very violent earthquake took place in al-Karl, destroying parts of its citadel, walls and towers. 100 people died.' (al-Suyuti, 123/41)

English from Guidoboni and Comastri (2005)

A violent earthquake destroyed a large part of the citadel and its towers at Karak. A hundred people were killed" [863 H. = 8 November 1458 - 27 October 1459].

English from Sprenger (1843)

A.H. 863. At Kerk 100 lives lost by an earthquake.

English from Sprenger (1843) - embedded



An Original Manuscript - Arabic

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



























Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
8 Nov. 1458 - 27 Oct. 1459 CE A.H. 863 none Calculated using CHRONOS
Seismic Effects Locations 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.

Guest, A. R. (1902), ‘The Delta in the Middle Ages’, J. R. Asiat. Soc. for 1912, 941–982.

References from 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)

Another minaret sits on top of the Zawiah of the Derguiâh; it was partly destroyed by the earthquake which took place in Muharram, the year 863.

French from Sauvaire (1876)

Un autre minaret surmonte la Zâwieh de la Derguiâh ; il fut détruit en partie par le tremblement de terre qui eut lieu en moharram, l'année 863.

French from Sauvaire (1876) - embedded



English of a different part of the text from Ambraseys (2009)

The Zawiah of the Derguiah [Court Door], next to the hospital of Salah ad-Din, near the citadel. This is one of a number of buildings erected by Helen, mother of Constantine who built the church of Qumameh [St Sepulchre]. It is topped by a minaret which is partly destroyed. (al-'Ulaimi, 599-600)

Original Document

  • not bookmarked


Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
8 November - 7 December 1458 CE Muharram A.H. 863 none Calculated using CHRONOS
Seismic Effects Locations Online Versions and Further Reading
References

al-’Ulaimi, al-Uns al-jalil bi-tarikh al-Quds wa’l-Khalil, ed. Cairo, 1283/1866; abrev. trans. J. Sauvaire, Histoire de Jerusalem et d’Hebron, Paris, 1876; also 2 volumes, ed. Najof, 1388/1968. - from Ambraseys (2009)

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.

Flowers in the Chronicles of the Ages by Ibn Iyas

بدائع الزهور في وقائع الدهور by Ibn Iyas

Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Ibn Iyas
Ibn Ayas
Muhammad ibn Iyas
Abu 'l-Barakat Muhammad b. Ahmad, Zayn (Shibab) al-Din al-Nasiri al-Djarkasi al-Hanafi
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

Ibn Iyas was born in Egypt in 1448 CE and died in 1522 CE. His ancestors were Mamluks (W.M. Brinner in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:812-813). He studied under as-Suyuti, for whom he seems to have had little respect, and 'Abd al-Basit b. Khalil al-Hanafi, a Hanafi jurist and historian (W.M. Brinner in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:812-813). Most of his writings are historical in nature. His major work was Flowers in the Chronicles of the Ages (Bada'i' al-zuhur fi waqa'i' al-duhur), a perfunctory survey of all Egyptian history down to the Mamluk period, followed by a brief year by year summary of events, growing progressively more detailed as he nears his own time (W.M. Brinner in Encyclopedia of Islam v. 3, 1991:812-813).

Excerpts
English from Guidoboni and Comastri (2005)

In that month [Muharram], there was an earthquake in new Cairo, but it was slight. A similar one occurred in the region of Syria, but there it was a strong and violent shock, causing the collapse of a great number of houses in Jerusalem and Khalil.

Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
8 November - 7 December 1458 CE Muharram A.H. 863 none Calculated using CHRONOS
Seismic Effects Locations Online Versions and Further Reading
References

Ibn Iyas, Bada'i' al-zuhur fi waqa'i' al-duhur, ed P.Kahle and M.Mostafa, 5 vols., Cairo-Wiesbaden 1960-75. Partly trans. G .Wiet, Histoire des Mamlouks Circassiens, II, Cairo 1945; G. Wiet, Journal d'un bourgeois du Caire, 2 vols., Paris 1955-60. - from Guidoboni and Comastri (2005)

Ibn Iyas, Bada'i' al-dhuhur fi waqa'i' al-duhur, Bulaq, 1896-98. - from Guidoboni and Comastri (2005)

Ibn Iyas, Kitab ta'rikh Misr, 3 vols., ed. Bulaq, 1311/1835-36. - from Guidoboni and Comastri (2005)

Ibn Iyas, Muhammad b. Ahmad, Bada’i al-zuhur fi waqa’i’ al-duhur, ed. Cairo 1893–96; W: partial trans. G. Wiet, Journal d’un bourgeois du Caire, 2 volumes, Paris, 1955–60. - from Ambraseys (2009)

Ibn Iyas, 1921, An account of the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in the year A.H. 922 (A.D. 1516)

worldcat entry for Flowers in the Chronicles of the Ages by Ibn Iyas in Arabic

References from the Encyclopedia of Islam

Wustenfeld, Geschichtschreiber, no. 513

Brockelmann, II, 295; S II, 405

M. Sobernheim, Ibn Iyas, in El1, ii, 414

Ibn lyas, Bada'i' al-zuhur . . ., 3 vols., Cairo 1301-06/1884-88, Bulak 1311-12/1894br>
Fihris. . ., ed. Muh. 'Ali al-Biblawi, Bulak 1314/1896br>
Ibn lyas, Bada'i' al-zuhur . . ., 3 vols., ed. P. Kahle, M. Mostafa, M. Sobernheim, Bibliotheca Islamica, v, Istanbul 1931-9br>
op. cit., 2nd rev. ed,, ed. M. Mostafa, Bibliotheca Islamica, 5c-5e, Cairo 1960-63br>
Indices, ed. A. Schimmel, 1945

Translations

W. H.Salmon, An account of the Ottoman conquest of Egypt, Orient. Trans. Fund, N.S. vol. xxv, 1921 (the preface by D. Margoliouth is especially useful)

the following French translation with index covers the years 872-928 (note change in title): G. Wiet, Histoire des Mamlouks Circassiens, ii, Inst. Fr. d'arch. or., 1945

idem, Journal d'un bourgeois du Caire, 2 vols., Bibl. gen. de ''Ecole prat. des Hautes Etudes, 1955-60.

Notes
Discussion regarding Bada'i' al-zuhur fi waqa'i' al-duhur from the Encyclopedia of Islam

In the first published versions in three volumes (Cairo, 1301-06/1884-88; reprinted Bulak, 1311-12/1894), the history of Egypt from the beginning to the year 815/1412 is covered in the first volume, the second deals with the years 815-9o6/ 1412-1501, the end of the reign of al-'Adil Tuman Bay, and the third with the years 922-8/1516-22, the reign of the last Mamluk sultan al-Ashraf Tuman Bay, omitting the reign of Sultan al-Ghawri (906-21/1501-15). This brief resume both indicates the disproportionate coverage allotted to various periods and points to the problem whether the entire work is to be attributed to Ibn lyas. The account of al-Ghawri's reign, while missing from the manuscripts on which the Cairo - Bulak editions were based, is found in other manuscripts and was included in a re-edition of the parts of the work dealing with the years 872-928/1467-1522, i.e., that period of which Ibn lyas was an eyewitness observer (3 vols. ed. by P. Kahle, M. Mostafa, M. Sobernheim, Bibliotheca Islamica, v, 1931-39; revised ed., M. Mostafa, 1960- 63). While earlier portions of the work (from the reign of Ka'it Bay) are written in a brief, almost vernacular style, the final section, from 922/1516 onwards, is not only fuller and more detailed, but also more finished and polished in style, leading K. Vollers (in Revue d'Egypte, 1895, 544-73) to the conclusion that Ibn lyas may not have been the author of this later section, a view disputed by M. Sobernheim (El1, ii, 414), who saw in this difference in style the possible conflation of two versions or the combination of a personal diary with a court circular. These later portions include detailed reports on life in Cairo, especially at the Mamluk court, obituaries of famous men, poems (many of them by the author) in honour of scholars as well as men in power, accounts of civil calamities, records of prices and market trends, as well as details on causes celebres of the day. The work is of great value, therefore, on a number of levels. As an eyewitness account, and, moreover, by a writer close to the ruling circles, it is similar to the work of Ibn Taghribirdi half a century earlier, although Ibn lyas certainly lacks the historical sense and the style of the earlier author. It is of great value as an attempt by a contemporary observer to evaluate and explain the defeat of the Mamluks by the Ottoman Turks. The author is highly critical of Sultan al-Ghawri, whom he blames for the financial plight of the state, and seems aware that corrupt administration, internecine strife in Mamluk circles, and the neglect of artillery all contributed to the Mamluk defeat. Finally, the language of portions of the text, reflecting the vernacular in Cairo of the author's day, is of value to students of Arabic dialectology.

Other works attributed to Ibn Iyas from the Encyclopedia of Islam

The other works attributed to Ibn lyas are: Mardj al-zuhur fi waka'i' al-duhur, a popular history of the patriarchs and prophets, perhaps not by Ibn lyas; Nashk al-azhar fl 'adja'ib al-aktar, a cosmography with specific reference to Egypt, written in 922/1517 and much used by 19th-century scholars; a little-known work of which only one manuscript is extant: Nuzhat al-umam fi 'l-'adja'ib wa 'l-hikam; extracts from Bada'i', entitled Djawahir al-suluk', and Muntazam bad' al-dunya wa-ta'rlkh al-umam in three volumes (attribution uncertain, cf. C. Cahen, in REI, iii (1936), 358), these last two extant in one copy each in Istanbul.

Other Authors

Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
12 November 1458 CE 5 Muharram A.H. 863 none Date calculated using CHRONOS. Day of the week was a Sunday (calculated using CHRONOS)
Seismic Effects

Archaeoseismic Evidence

Location (with hotlink) Status Intensity Notes
Karak Rebuilding efforts may have removed destruction evidence leaving rebuilding evidence instead.
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.
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.
Baydha possible ≥ 8 Late Islamic (Mamluk/Ottoman) earthquake - Sinibaldi (2018:75) reports that Mosque 2 (aka the Western Mosque) which Sinibaldi (2016:95) dates to not earlier than the 13th-14th century CE (Mamluk period) was probably destroyed by an earthquake.
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
Karak



Petra - Introduction



Petra - Jabal Harun



Petra - The Petra Church



Petra - The Ridge Church and the Blue Chapel



Shivta



Baydha



el-Lejjun



Castellum of Qasr Bshir



Landslide Evidence

Tsunamogenic Evidence

Paleoseismic Evidence

Location (with hotlink) Status Intensity Notes
Jordan Valley - Tell Saidiyeh and Ghor Kabed Trenches unlikely to 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 no evidence The top of Kagan et. al. (2011)'s section in En Feshka began around 1300 CE.
Dead Sea - Nahal Darga possible ≥ 7 Enzel et. al. (2000) identified a 25-50 cm. thick seismite in coarse grained lithology in Deformed Unit 10 at the base of Stratigraphic Unit 13 which dated to 1450-1550 CE (~ 400-500 yrs BP).
Dead Sea - En Gedi possible 8.3 - 9.1
  • Seismite assigned to an earthquake in 1458 CE from Agnon et al (2006)
Migowski et. al. (2004) assigned a 1458 CE date to a 13 cm. thick Type 4 seismite at a depth of 66 cm. (0.66 m).
Dead Sea - Nahal Ze 'elim possible 8.2 - 9.0 Ken-Tor et al (2001a) did not encounter any seismites at site ZA-1 whose age ranges encompassed 1458 CE. At site ZA-2, Kagan et. al. (2011) encountered a 10 cm. thick Type 4 seismite which was dated to ~1525 CE ± 125. The date was not within their Bayesian modeled range and was extrapolated. Kagan et. al. (2011) suggested that this particular seismite formed during an earthquake in 1458 CE.
Araba - Introduction n/a n/a n/a
Araba - Qasr Tilah possible ≥ 7 Haynes et al. (2006) dated Event I to 1515-1918 CE.
Araba - Taybeh Trench possible LeFevre et al. (2018) assigned a 1458 CE date to a seismite labeled as E2 which was age modeled to 1581 CE ± 133.
Araba - Qatar Trench possible ≥ 7 Klinger et. al. (2015) identified one seismic event which fits.
Event Mean Date Age Range Quake Assignment (Klinger) Quake Assignment (Williams)
E1 1447 CE ± 13 1434-1459 CE 1458 CE Quake not assigned
Araba - Taba Sabhka Trench possible ≥ 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 - Elat Sabhka Trenches possible Kanari et al (2020) dated Event E2 in Trench T3 to after 1294 CE and assigned it to earthquakes in 1458 or 1588 CE. Kanari et al (2020) dated sand blows SB1 and SB2 in Trench T3 to between 1287 and 1635 CE and suggested they may have formed during an earthquake in 1458 CE.
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
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

The top of Kagan et. al. (2011)'s section in En Feshka began around 1300 CE.



Dead Sea - Nahal Darga

Enzel et. al. (2000) identified a 25-50 cm. thick seismite in coarse grained lithology in Deformed Unit 10 at the base of Stratigraphic Unit 13 which dated to 1450-1550 CE (~ 400-500 yrs BP).



Dead Sea - En Gedi

Migowski et. al. (2004) assigned a 1458 CE date to a 13 cm. thick Type 4 seismite at a depth of 66 cm. (0.66 m).



Dead Sea - Nahal Ze 'elim

Ken-Tor et al (2001a) did not encounter any seismites at site ZA-1 whose age ranges encompassed 1458 CE. At site ZA-2, Kagan et. al. (2011) encountered a 10 cm. thick Type 4 seismite which was dated to ~1525 CE ± 125. The date was not within their Bayesian modeled range and was extrapolated. Kagan et. al. (2011) suggested that this particular seismite formed during an earthquake in 1458 CE.



Araba - Introduction



Araba - Qasr Tilah

Haynes et al. (2006) dated Event I to 1515-1918 CE.



Araba - Taybeh Trench

LeFevre et al. (2018) assigned a 1458 CE date to a seismite labeled as E2 which was age modeled to 1581 CE ± 133.



Araba - Qatar Trench

Klinger et. al. (2015) identified one seismic event which fits.

Event Mean Date Age Range Quake Assignment (Klinger) Quake Assignment (Williams)
E1 1447 CE ± 13 1434-1459 CE 1458 CE Quake not assigned


Araba - 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.



Araba - Elat Sabhka Trenches

Kanari et al (2020) dated Event E2 in Trench T3 to after 1294 CE and assigned it to earthquakes in 1458 or 1588 CE. Kanari et al (2020) dated sand blows SB1 and SB2 in Trench T3 to between 1287 and 1635 CE and suggested they may have formed during an earthquake in 1458 CE.



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

Ambraseys (2009)

AD 1458 Nov 16 al-Karak

A damaging earthquake occurred in southern Jordan. It destroyed parts of the citadel of al-Karak, including some towers and parts of the walls, as well as the governor's palace and many houses. It is reported that 100 people were killed in al-Karak alone. The shock destroyed minarets in al-Ramla, Ludd and Hebron (al-Khalil). In Jerusalem the top part of the minaret over the Zawiya al-Darkalt collapsed and the dome near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was destroyed. The shock was felt weakly in Cairo. Ibn Taghribirdi (Hawadith, viii/2. 319), dates the event to Thursday 9 Muharram/16 November. In his Nujum (xvi. 127/trans. Popper, vi. 82), he has a briefer account dated Wednesday 1 Muharram 864/8 November 1458. In view of the uncertainty, the date given elsewhere (al-'Ulaimi) is preferred. Kallner-Amiran (1951, 229), relying on various modern catalogues, duplicates this earthquake under 1456 and 1458, apparently identifying the latter with the Van earthquake in Iran of 861/23 April 1457. Al-Suyuti's source has not been identified, and might not refer exclusively to al-Karak. Ibn-Iyas (ii. 350) merely says many houses were destroyed between Jerusalem and Hebron, while Abd al-Basit (fol. 122v), is the only author to mention Ludd. A story in Al-'Ulaimi (599) makes it clear that the dome (qubba) was contiguous with the south side of the Holy Sepulchre, the al-Qumama. The noise of the Christians 'reading their books' there could sometimes be heard as far as as the Dome of the Rock, to the irritation of the Muslims, who saw the destruction of the chapel as retribution from God. The Christians were prevented from rebuilding the chapel. Both authors date the event 5 Muharram (12 November). According to al-Sakhawi, the damaged minaret in Jerusalem was situated over the the Bab Asbat, i.e. Bab Asbat, situated in the northeast corner of the sanctuary of the Dome of the Rock; see Burgoyne and Richards (1987, 415-418). The top of the minaret was also repaired after the earthquake of 1927 (Al-Salchawi, Dhail f. 4r;' A1'Ulaimi, 298. 400/trans. Sauvaire pp. 165, 170.

Notes

(863 Muharram 1) There was a violent earthquake in the city of al-Kerak which destroyed some structures of its citadel, its houses, and its towers. 1" Muharram was a Wednesday.' (Ibn Taghribirdi, Hawadith 319, also Nujum xvi. 127/Popper vi. 82, vii. 5)
In [8]63 a very violent earthquake took place in al-Karl, destroying parts of its citadel, walls and towers. 100 people died.' (al-Suyuti, 123/41)
The Zawiah of the Derguiah [Court Door], next to the hospital of Salah ad-Din, near the citadel. This is one of a number of buildings erected by Helen, mother of Constantine who built the church of Qumameh [St Sepulchre]. It is topped by a minaret which is partly destroyed . (al-'Ulaimi, 599-600)
There is another minaret atop the Zawiah of the Derguiah: it was partly destroyed by an earthquake, which took puce in Mohurram 863.' (al-'Ulaimi, 415-418)

Guidoboni and Comastri (2005)


Fig. 127 (Guidoboni and Comastri, 2005 )

(324) 1458 November 8 or 16 Al-Karak [western Jordan]

In the month of November 1458, a strong earthquake struck southern Palestine. At Al-Karak, part of the citadel was destroyed, most of the town walls collapsed, as well as the government building and many houses and towers. There were about one hundred victims. Minarets collapsed at Ramla and Al-Khalil (Hebron). Part of a minaret collapsed in Jerusalem, as well as the great dome next to the church of the Holy Sepulchre. The shock was felt to a slight extent in Cairo.

There is some uncertainty as to the day when the earthquake occurred. The contemporary Arab historian Ibn Taghribirdi deals with the event in two of his works: in Hawadith he records the date as Thursday 9 Muharram (16 November); while in Nujum it is given as Wednesday 1 Muharram (8 November). The days of the week correspond correctly to the dates. Other Arab writers, all of whom lived in the second half of the 15th century and were only a few years old at the time of the earthquake, simply give the month or the year of the earthquake. In Hawadith, Ibn Taghribirdi provides the most detailed overall description of the earthquake:
On Thursday 9 [of Muharram = 16 November 1458], there was a minor earthquake at new Cairo, but it was sufficiently strong in Syria to cause the collapse of most of the town walls, the government building and many dwellings in the town of Karak. Furthermore, the minaret collapsed in the town of Ramla, as well as another minaret at Khalil, part of a minaret in Jerusalem and the great dome which was close to the Qumama [the church of the Holy Sepulchre].
In Nujum, Ibn Taghribirdi simply records the earthquake effects at Al-Karak:
At the beginning of the month [of Muharram] there was a terrible earthquake in the town of Karak, which destroyed various parts of the citadel, including houses and towers. It was Wednesday [8 November].
Al-Ulaimi mentions some effects at Jerusalem, his native city:
A minaret overlooks the Zawiya al-Darka [a building in the city], part of which was destroyed in the earthquake which occurred in the month of Muharram 863 [of the Hegira = 8 November - 7 December 1458].
The information provided by Ibn Iyas is in more general terms:
In that month [Muharram], there was an earthquake in new Cairo, but it was slight. A similar one occurred in the region of Syria, but there it was a strong and violent shock, causing the collapse of a great number of houses in Jerusalem and Khalil.
al-Suyuti specifies the number of victims at Al-Karak, which does not appear in the other sources:
A violent earthquake destroyed a large part of the citadel and its towers at Karak. A hundred people were killed" [863 H. = 8 November 1458 - 27 October 1459].
Poirier and Taher (1980, p.2193) date this earthquake generically to the year 1459 and give the single locality of Al-Karak an intensity of grade VIII MM. Amiran et al. (1994, pp.270-1) give three incorrect dates (1456, 1457 and 1459) for this event, though they indicate that it may have been a single occurrence. Ambraseys et al. (1994, pp.49-50) prefer to date the earthquake to 12 November 1458, because two other unpublished Arab authors agree on that date, and give it an epicentral intensity of class D which is equivalent in their classification to a range from between damaging and destructive (approximately VII to IX MSK).

Ambraseys et al (1994)


Fig. 2.16 1458 November 12, Dead Sea. (Ambraseys et al, 1994)

1458 November 12 Sunday 5 Muharram 863 Dead Sea

A damaging earthquake in southern Palestine was weakly felt in Cairo (see Figure 2.16). It destroyed parts of the citadel of al-Karak, including towers and parts of the walls, as well as the governor's palace and many houses.1 It is reported that 100 people were killed in al-Karak.2

The shock destroyed minarets in al-Ramla, Ludd and Hebron (al-Khalil).3 In Jerusalem, the top part of the minaret over the Zawiya al-Darkah was thrown down and a dome near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was destroyed.4

Footnotes

1 Ibn Taghribirdi, Hawadith, VIII/2, 319, dates the event Thursday 9 Muharram/16 November. In his Nujum, XVI, 127/trans. Popper, VI, 82, he has a briefer account dated Wednesday 1 Muharram 863/ 8 November. In view of this uncertainty, the date given elsewhere (see note 4) is preferred. Kallner-Amiran (1951), p. 229, relying on various early catalogues, duplicates this shock under 1456 and 1458, apparently identifying the latter with the Van earthquake of 861/23 April 1457.

2 Al-Suyuti, p. 58/41: his source has not been identified, and might not refer exclusively to al-Karak. Ibn Iyas, II, 350, merely says many houses were destroyed between Jerusalem and Hebron.

3 'Abd al-Basit, fol. 122vo, is the only author to mention Ludd.

4 Al-Sakhawi, Dhail, fol. 4ro; al-'Ulaimi, pp. 398, 400/trans. Sauvaire, pp. 165, 170. A story in al-'Ulaimi, pp. 599-600, makes it clear that the dome {qubba) was contiguous with the south side of the Holy Sepulchre (al-Qumama). The noise of the Christians 'reading their books' there sometimes could be heard as far as the Dome of the Rock, to the irritation of the Muslims, who saw the destruction of the chapel as retribution from God. The Christians were prevented from rebuilding the chapel. Both authors date the event 5 Muharram (12 November). According to al-Sakhawi, the damaged minaret in Jerusalem was situated over the Bab Asbab, i.e. the Bab Asbat, situated in the northeast corner of the sanctuary of the Dome of the Rock, see al-'Ulaimi, esp. p. 381/trans. Sauvaire, p. 129, and Burgoyne and Richards (1987), pp. 415-18; the top of the minaret was also repaired after the earthquake of 1927.

Abou Karaki (1987) Earthquake Catalog

English

* from 8 NOV. 1458 - 28 OCT. 1459 AD, 863 A.H

- 1458 A.D., 863 A.H., a violent earthquake in Karak having destroyed many sites of the citadel and its towers; there were 100 deaths. (TAHA)

- 1459 A.D., 863 A.H., Karak (VIII) (PTAH)

French

* J = Dans l'intervalle (8 NOV. 1458, 28 OCT. 1459), année 863 apr. H.

- 1458 apr. J.C., 863 apr. H, un séisme violent à Karak ayant détruit beaucoup de sites de la citadelle et ses tours; il y a eu 100 morts. (TAHA)

- 1459 apr. J.C, 863, Karak (VIII), (PTAH)

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.

Paleoclimate - Droughts

References

Taher, M. A. (1979). Corpus des textes arabes relatifs aux tremblements de terre et autres catastrophes naturelles de la conquête arabe au XII H./XVIII J.C. [S.l.], [s.n.].