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Taher (1996)

Taher (1996)

English Translation

ZONE II - The Mediterranean Near East, the Eastern Anatolian Fault, the Northern Fault and the Dead Sea Fault: a triple junction


This region, as we know, is subject to very violent earthquakes. The long valley watered by the Jordan, and partly occupied by Lake Tiberias and the Dead Sea or Lake Asphaltus, follows a deep fissure in the earth's crust. The destruction of the cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Seboim , Segor and Adama, buried, according to tradition, under a rain of fire, seems to be attributed to volcanic action. The Bible has similar images for the last Day when "the bowels of the earth will be opened" , with perhaps more emphasis on cosmic chaos60.

60 Zechariah, 14/4.

Main earthquakes

528 AD: according to the Syriacs, the year 838 after Alexander (2nd year of the reign of Justinian, 527-565), an earthquake occurs in Antioch; collapse and sliding of the Qulûdhiya mountain into the Euphrates which is blocked, causing flooding. The river abandons its bed to look for another passage61.

13 H./634: terrible earthquake which ravages Palestine for 30 days; epidemics; the walls and citadel of Aleppo are destroyed62.

23/643 : earthquake in Damascus63.

94/712 : earthquake on 6 djumâdâ II (March 10 = adâr) in Châm; the maximum intensity zone is located in Antioch where the houses are demolished; duration of 40 days64. Almost all historians report, under the caliph `Abd al-Malik, seismic tremors of a similar duration (40 days).

100/722 : earthquake in Châm . Caliph `Umar b. ` Abd al-`Azîz wrote to people because of the earthquake in Châm , in order to persuade them that whoever fulfills the duty of alms is heard65.

130/747 : earthquake in Châm, in the month of Ramadan (month of May). Several seismic tremors; the most violent earthquake is in Jerusalem; the western and eastern parts of the Dome of the Rock were damaged; numerous victims including many transmitters of traditions of the Prophet (of Medinan origin). The caliph Abû Dja`far al-Mansûr removes the silver and gold plates which covered the doors of the Dome of the Rock since the caliphate of `Abd al-Malik b. Marwan. Dinars and dirhams are minted which will be used to finance the reconstructions66.

140/757 : earthquakes in al-Massîsa ; the surrounding wall is weakened. The caliph al-Mansûr decrees the reconstruction of al-Massisa under the responsibility of Djibrayl b. Yahya . The inhabitants of this town were few in number. The wall was rebuilt and the city was called al-Ma`mûra . The construction manager builds a large mosque. He paid the wages of 1000 workers67.

158/774 : second earthquake in Jerusalem under the caliphate of al-Mahdî; reconstruction of the Dome of the Rock; the architecture was modified: al-Mahdî had it rebuilt lower and wider68.

187/802 : earthquake in al-Massisa causing the walls to collapse and the springs to dry up69.

220/835: earthquake lasting 40 days in Antioch; destruction of the city70.

232/847 : earthquakes are increasing around the world, particularly in Châm . The ramparts in Damascus and Homs are destroyed; the most violent earthquakes occur in Antioch and in the ` Awâsim . This intense seismic activity occurs for several days71.

233/848 : Damascus is shaken by an earthquake at dawn on Thursday 11 Rabi “II; a quarter of the Umayyad mosque is ruined, the large stones are torn up and the minaret collapses; bridges and houses collapse. The seismic wave travels through the Ghûta , it destroys Dâreya , al-Mazza , Bayt Lihya and others; it reaches Antioch72.

239/854 : the earth trembles in Tiberias during the night; a rock 80 cubits long and 50 wide breaks away from the mountain causing numerous victims73.

242/856 : earthquakes in Châm and Yemen and other regions, accompanied by a great uproar74.

245/860 : earthquake with strong shaking in Antioch, in Shawwâl (December); it caused a large number of victims, destroyed 1500 houses, demolished 90 towers of the ramparts; terrible uproar: Mount al-Aqra ` (bald) collapses into the stormy sea; black, dark and foul-smelling smoke (so perhaps an underwater eruption with sulfuric vapors ¬). A parasang away, a river is completely submerged underground. At the same time the earth trembles in Balis , al-Raqqa, Harrân , Ra's al-`Ayn , Homs, Damascus, al-Ruhâ , Tarsus, al-Masîsa and Adana75.

258/872: earthquake for two days in Samarra with crash, destruction of most of the city; 20,000 victims, it is said76.

267/881: earthquakes in Châm , in Egypt, in the Arabian Peninsula, in Africa and in Andalusia, accompanied by a terrible crash77.

340/951 : earthquake in Aleppo, Ra`bân , Dulûk , Tell Hamid, and al-`Awâsim for 40 days; numerous victims; 3 towers collapse from the ramparts of Dulûk ; the citadel of Ra`bân is damaged; the emir Sayf al-Dawla sent his brother Abû Firâs al-Hamdânî to this citadel , to restore it, with a detachment of the army; he made the repairs in 37 days78.

360/970 : the earth trembles in Antioch, a good part of Syria is affected; Emperor -Johannes _ Tzimiskes ( Chamchiq ) sent 12,000 workers under the order of Mikayil al-Burdjî for the reconstruction of the city79.

362/974 : prodigious earthquake in Damascus and its region; seismic tremors were felt in Antioch, bringing down several towers80.

381/991: prodigious earthquake in Damascus, Muharram 17 (April 6 ); near a mining house are destroyed, causing the death of a large number of people; that night, the houses of Balabak collapsed. The inhabitants left their homes to seek refuge in the desert, under tents, and the tremors lasted until Friday Safar 17 (May 6)81.

393/1002 : the earth trembles in Châm , ` Awâsim and in Thughûr , burying many people under the rubble82..

416/1025 : asteroid fall in Aleppo in the month of Rabr II (month of June); we heard their shock, violent like thunderclaps83..

417/1026 : the imperial city (Constantinople) is ravaged during the first four days of kânûn I, at the time of Constantine VIII, by a seismic shock which causes a number of houses to collapse84..

425/1033- 1034: on Safar 10 (January 10) a very violent earthquake devastates Syria and Egypt; its maximum strength manifests itself in Ramla. Ibn al-Athîr says that the inhabitants left their houses for a few days and about a third of the houses collapsed, killing many people under the rubble85.. We have several testimonies about this earthquake, Jewish, Christian and Muslim. ` Ezra Haddad86., commenting on the earthquake that occurred during the journey of Benyâmîn (561-569) (this is the earthquake of 565), writes: “This district is very famous because of the frequency of earthquakes which affected it at different times.” Among the old Jewish manuscripts, we find an article on al-Ramla which contains a magnificent description of the earthquake that occurred in Syria and Palestine on 12 tabîth (or Thursday) 425. Yahyâ b. Sa'îd al-Antâqî 87 says for his part: “The caliph al-Zâhir undertook that year to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, after having fortified al-Ramla. The builders began to destroy many churches outside the city for the purposes of the work; they took the stones to build the walls, then, occurred this prodigious earthquake the like of which had not been seen nor heard of until then, at the end of the morning of Thursday 10 Safar . Among its damage, there are many walls destroyed, the victims amounting to a considerable number; the town of Ariha falls on its inhabitants, as well as Nablus and neighboring villages. Part of the Jerusalem mosque collapsed along with many houses and churches in the district. In Acre, too, houses collapsed on their inhabitants and the victims were numerous. The sea recedes then returns in a tidal wave. » Ibn al-Djawzi88 also mentions this.

438/1046 : earthquake in Akhlât and Diyârbakîr destroying the citadel and the ramparts89.

439/1047: earthquake in al-Ramla; people evacuate the city90.

442/ 1050: the night of 5 âb (August) in the year 1362 after Alexander (442 H.), violent earthquake in Antioch and Ghandjara ( Gankiri in Anatolia), causing the destruction of houses; following a landslide, formation of a hot water geyser; a church and a citadel are submerged; the town is surrounded by water which drowns 67 farms; duration: 7 days; people flee their homes carrying their belongings up the mountains. Outside the city, a river flowed backwards, from south to north like the river al-`Asî ( the Orontes)91.

455/1063 : in the month of sha`bân (July) an earthquake occurs in Antioch and Lâdhiqiyya , in part of the Rûm country , in Tripoli, Tire and Acre and in Syria, the walls of Tripoli collapse. Ibn Kathîr says that the earthquake is felt in Wâsit92.

460/1068 : Tuesday 10 djumâdâ I (March 18) prodigious earthquake in Palestine at Ramla, Jerusalem; destruction of houses; numerous victims; tsunami. The earthquake is felt in Egypt and Ibn al-Djawzî adds Wâdî al-Safrâ and Khaybar where the earth splits and treasures appear; he still notes Rahba and Kûfa93.

462/1069: Ibn al-Djawzi94 reports an earthquake on Tuesday 11 djumâdâ , 18 adâr (March) in Ramla, Jerusalem; it is also felt in Egypt where the angle of the mosque of `Amr is distorted; in Tinnîs and Aylat which is completely destroyed; the sea recedes revealing the seabed; this earthquake is followed by two other tremors.

479/1086 : earthquake in Syria, Jazira and Iraq; the villages are devastated; exodus to the desert95.

484/1091 : on the night of Tuesday 9 Sha`bân (September) an unprecedented earthquake occurred in Syria. In Antioch many houses were destroyed and the Notre-Dame church was shaken ; many victims are buried; 70 towers of the ramparts are demolished; evacuation of houses; restoration of the city due to Sultan Malik Shâh 96.

487/1094 : in djumâdâ I (May-June) there is a series of earthquakes, night and day in Syria, but Ibn al-Athîr specifies that the earthquakes did not cause destruction97.

508/1114 : on 18 djumâdâ II (November 20), an earthquake occurred in Syria, in Edessa, which brought down 13 towers of its walls and part of the walls of Harrân ; many houses collapsed on their inhabitants. In Sumaysât and Bâlis 100 houses fell, half of the citadel collapsed and the other half was saved. Ibn al-Athîr says that an intense earthquake occurred in Jazira and that many people perished under the rubble98.

532/1137: in the month of Safar (October), earthquake in Syria and Mosul99.

533/1138 : Ibn al-Qalânisî writes: “On Tuesday 4 Safar (October 12) in the afternoon a tremendous earthquake occurred in Damascus”; three other tremors followed on Friday night at dusk. On Safar 19 (October 27) there was another triple tremor. The maximum power is recorded in the North of Syria, in Aleppo where there were 100 tremors according to those who exaggerate, 80 according to more precise witnesses; many houses are demolished; walls and ramparts are cracked as are the walls of the citadel. Ibn al-Athîr mentions a great earthquake in Syria and Jazira ; it lasts several nights and is accompanied by noise100. Ibn al-`Adîm101 said: “On Thursday , Safar 13 (October 21), a prodigious earthquake occurred, followed by other tremors; the disaster continues, people evacuate their homes in Aleppo to reach the countryside. Stones fall from the walls into the street and people hear a terrible noise. The citadel of al-Athârib collapsed killing 600 Muslims but the governor ` Imâd al-Dîn escapes with a ¬few men. The destruction affects many cities: Chieh , Tell ` Amâr , Tell Khalid and Zardana ; we saw the earth tremble and the stones shake like wheat in the sieve; many houses are destroyed, the walls are cracked, the two east and west walls of the citadel are split. The tremors lasted until the month of Shawwâl (January 1120). The atabek ` Imad al-Dîn had levied a tax of 10,000 dinars, then this earthquake occurred ¬which made the atabek flee the citadel. This was the reason why this new tax was canceled. »

546/1151 : on the night of 13 djumâdâ II (September 28), three tremors occurred in the region of Busra, Hawran as well as in all their surroundings. In Busra, many houses are destroyed. B. al-Qalânisî who lived in Damascus said: “On Saturday 22 Shawwâl (3 shubât = February 3, 1152) a little before dawn the earth suffered three enormous tremors”102.

551/1156 on the night of Thursday 9 sha`bân 551 / 27 aylûl (September) at 8 a.m. a prodigious earthquake occurs; the ground shakes 3 or 4 times, and then, on the night of Wednesday 22 Sha`bân , another earthquake occurs; it is less violent and has 6 shocks; on the night of Saturday 25 of the same month, another earthquake until the end of the day. We received information from Aleppo and Hamâ reporting serious damage: a tower collapsed in Apamea; it is mentioned 40 shakes. On Wednesday 29 Sha`bân there was another earthquake, then another at the end of the night. And on the first Monday of Ramadan there was a terrible earthquake which repeated a second and third time on Tuesday 3 Ramadan during the day. The first daytime shock was very violent, the second and third were less strong than the first; tremors still took place at midday, and other very intense ones at midnight. After that, on the night of Friday 15 Ramadan again, an earthquake occurred in the morning; other tremors took place, of lesser importance, followed by others at the beginning of Saturday night, and still others on the night of Friday 23 Ramadan in the first third of the night. On Sunday 2 Shawwâl (November 18) of the same year, in the middle of the day, another earthquake occurred. And, on Thursday 7 Shawwâl , another shock at the time of midday prayer; the following Monday, an earthquake occurs, followed by another weaker one, then a third and a fourth; on the night of Sunday 23 Shawwâl the earth still trembles; other shocks occur which are not counted due to their abundance. Damascus and its suburbs are spared; but, on the other hand , the news comes from Aleppo that there were many damaged houses there, with the exception of Shayzar (Caesarea), most of the houses collapsed on the inhabitants, many were killed . The inhabitants of Kafr Tâb and Hamâ were afraid of having the same fate103.

552/1157: on the night of Wednesday 19 Safar (April 3), in the early morning an earthquake took place, then a second followed, weaker; the night of the following Thursday, another a few hours later, and a fourth after Friday prayers. News comes from northern Syria reporting a series of significant tremors in the cities of Caesarea, Hamâ , Kafr Tâb and Apamea near Aleppo104. On Thursday 25 djumâdâ I, a significant earthquake after dawn was followed by a tremor at the 6th hour and another at the 8th hour on Thursday; the third is stronger than the first two and more destructive. At the end of the day, there is a fourth earthquake at dusk. On the night of Sunday 4 djumâdâ II, at noon, a new shock occurred followed by another weaker one105. We are receiving information from northern countries according to which Aleppo was affected by an earthquake which distressed the inhabitants and caused them great damage; same event in Homs which was partially destroyed, the same for Hamâ , Kafr Tab , Apamea. Repairs carried out after the latest earthquakes were reduced to nothing; in Taymâ the effects of the earthquake are felt with great violence. At the 7th hour of Monday 4 Rajab in Damascus, we had never seen such an earthquake; people evacuated their homes. At the beginning of the night of the same day a new shock takes place, then another at midnight, and another at the end of the night, weaker than the first. On Friday 8th Rajab, another earthquake overwhelms people in the middle of the night, and yet another in the early morning; same thing on Saturday night, Sunday night, Monday night and the following ones. These cataclysms inspired a poet. On the 29th of Rajab, another earthquake; the city gate is opened and the inhabitants go out to reach the fields and the desert106. Wednesday 24 Ramadan, another earthquake; the destruction is significant in northern Syria; we were informed that in Aleppo strong tremors accompanied by detonations shook the houses and the ramparts on a daily basis. On the night of Saturday 10 Shawwâl, weaker tremors occur, others strong and painful after the evening prayer107. At the beginning of the night of Saturday 10 dhû - l-qi`da , an earthquake was followed by another, weaker one. On Sunday, at the 2' hour we feel another one. On the night of Friday 23 dhû -l- qi`cla , at the first hour of the night, an earthquake shook the houses. The night of Sunday 25 dhû - l-qi`da , another earthquake. The last Friday of dhû - l-qi`da , at the 12th hour of the day, another earthquake. We are informed that Nûr al-Dîn left Damascus at the head of his army towards the north, when he learned that the Franks were gathering. They waited until the earthquakes had destroyed citadels, fortresses and houses before raiding them. Nûr al-Dîn came out to protect the ruins, and maintain peace in Homs, Kafr Tab , Caesarea, Hamâ and other cities.

553/1158 ( Rabr I / April 17 ): we learn that an earthquake occurred in Aleppo. It destroyed homes, damaged the walls and the citadel108. On the night of Saturday the 25th of the same month, earthquake in Damascus. On Wednesday 23 Rajab, during midday prayer, an earthquake caused great fear to the people. Thursday 24th of Rajab, earthquake followed by another at midday prayer.

554/1159 : the first Friday109 of Muharram, earthquake at dawn, followed the same day by two less strong tremors. On Friday 9 djumâdâ I110, a violent wind blew; at the end of the night, two very violent and unbearable shocks.

555/1160 : that year Ibn al-Qalânisî died . We lose with his death the eyewitness who described the earthquakes in Syria. According to Ibn al-`Adîm111, earthquakes occurred for seven years, causing many victims. Most historians stop the time of the earthquakes at 552/1157 ; Ibn al-Djawzi112 wrote thus that year: “We learned in Ramadan that an earthquake had shaken Châm in the month of Rajab. It had affected 13 cities: 8 were located in the Muslim country, namely Aleppo, Hamâ , Caesarea, Kafr Tâb , Apamea, Homs, Ma'arrat , Tell Hurrân and 5 cities in the Frankish possessions, i.e. Hisn ` Araqa , Ladhiqiyya , Tripoli and Antioch . A teacher present in Hamâ said that he had left school for matters that concerned him; that then, the earthquake destroyed most of the city, and the school collapsed on all the children; the teacher said: “I haven’t found anyone to give me news of the students”113. The citadel of Chayzar (Caesarea) is also cited in the same context, Chayzar has not often been the subject of comments among historians114, except in connection with earthquakes, especially that of 552 A.H., and for the sole purpose to explain the causes of the disappearance of the Banû Munqidh . Emir Usama b. Munqidh115 composed a poetic work in which he mourns his family; it also brings together the poems to which we give the name “ nasily ” or tears over missing beings. Abu Shama116 indicates having read in the Dîwân of Prince Usâma that people had fled luxurious houses to settle in wooden cabins. Some Frankish historians117 report that in the fall and spring following 1156 AD a series of earthquakes occurred in Syria. Cyprus and the coastal cities north of Tripoli are affected by the tremors. In August 1157, the Orontes valley was hit by serious tremors.

565/1170 : on Shawwâl 12 (June 30),118, there was a terrible earthquake; its effects are felt in Syria, in Djezîra , in Mosul, in Iraq and in other countries, the zone of maximum intensity being Syria; he caused numerous devastation in Damascus, Belabak , Homs, Hamâ , Cézarée , Bârîn , Aleppo, al-`Awâsim ; we add119 Antioch, Lâdhiqiyya , Djabala , and all the cities of the coast, up to the countries of Rûm . It destroyed walls, ramparts and citadels and caused countless victims. Nûr al-Dîn travels to damaged towns and citadels to repair them. We learned of the seriousness of the damage among the Franks in the citadels, near Bârîn , Hisn al-Akrâd , Sâfithâ and al-Ruqâ . The Jewish traveler Benyamîn (Benjamin) of Tudela120 reports that Tripoli had been afflicted by an earthquake before his arrival. There were victims among the Jews and also among the other inhabitants. Abu Shama121 says that the people in Syria settled in wooden huts; in Aleppo, Nûr al-Dîn built a wooden house with better security.

597/1200 : Ibn al-Athîr122 writes: “In the month of sha`bân , the earth trembles in Syria, in Jazira , in Egypt, and in the land of Rûm . » It is the Syrian coast which is the most affected; destruction ruins Tripoli, Tyre, Acre, Nablus; destruction as far as Damascus, Homs, Hamâ ; the town of Busra is ruined. The minimum damage area is in Iraq. Sibt b. al-Djawzi123 adds Cyprus where there are very high waves and boats are propelled on the coast. He also adds Akhlât , Armenia, and Adharbaydjân . Many victims are buried under the rubble.

598/1201: Monday 26 Sha`bân - 20 âb (August) an earthquake occurs and Homs is destroyed with its citadel, as well as Hisn al-Akrâd . The earthquake spread from Cyprus to Nablus and neighboring regions. Damage in three cities of the Sâhil : Tyre, Tripoli, ` Arqa , and numerous devastations in the Muslim countries of the North124. Al-Baghdâdî lived in Egypt; he witnessed the earthquake. He gives information from his friends in Châm , messages ¬announcing the earthquake in Hamâ and Damascus which he transcribes word for word125.

599/1202 : at the beginning of Muharram126 (September 20), on Saturday night, we see shooting stars in the sky, from east to west. We have never seen such a phenomenon, except at the birth of the Prophet, or in 241 and 600.

600/1203 : earthquake127 in most countries: in Syria especially, in the country of Rûm , Sicily, Cyprus, Egypt, Djafira ; it is felt in Mosul, Iraq, and other countries; major damage to the walls of Tyre, most of Syria was affected. The earthquake spread to Ceuta, in the Maghreb, with the same effects.

604/1208 : Abû Shama128 says that an earthquake occurred in Khilat and its surroundings with collapse of the ground; the sultan (a1-`Âdil Ayûb ) had stayed there and had left the place a night earlier. Ibn al-Athîr129 testifies to the earthquake in Mosul; it devastates most neighboring countries. Sibt ibn al-Djawzi130 does not mention it, but he was surprised to see so many corpses along his pilgrim route.

608/1212 : on the night of 27 dhû - l-qi`da , a terrible earthquake131 occurred in Karak and Shawbak ; numerous victims in Transjordan as well as in Egypt and Cairo; destruction of fortifications and houses; numerous victims. The highest intensity was felt at Aylât , at the seaside. Before the earthquake we felt a “black” wind and observed shooting stars.

658/ 1259: the night of 6 Rabr II, seismic tremors132 in Damascus and in several places, with rain, cold, violent winds, thunder and lightning; the Badr al-Dîn princes Karâdjâ , governor of the citadel of Damascus, and Djamal al-Dîn al-Sayrafî revolted. Katbughâ (a tartar) arrives and besieges the citadel. People are afraid of the earthquake, the upheaval of nature and the attack of the Tartars.

660/1261: earthquake in Syria133.

667/1269 : prodigious earthquake134 (the year 1580 after Alexander) in Armenia (country of Sîs ), in Qaliqala ; citadels are destroyed ( Serawand , ` Amawes and al-Hadjar al-Asfar ) and the largest Armenian monastery, that of King Bâlût ; almost 8,000 victims.

671/ 1273: Abû I- Faradj al-Maltî says: “On the night of Wednesday 18 kânûn II (1584 after Alexander) a violent earthquake occurred in Adharbaydjân and especially Tabriz ; destruction of houses, mosques and the tops of towers; 250 victims among Arabs. »

674/1275 : prodigious earthquake135 in Khilat and Ardjîs ; it spreads to Diyârbakîr , Mayafariqin and Mârdîn ; destruction of homes, sûqs and fonduqs .

683/1284 : al-Dhahabî136 says that Damascus and its region were very agitated by a violent earthquake. Egyptian soldiers were camped in the valley and the river overflowed. Al-Yâfi'î137 said it was likely because of the earthquake. Ibn al-Imad138 note: overflowing waters, breakdown of bridges at Bab al-Faradîs , damage to the Muqaddamiyya madrasa .

686/1287 : several earthquakes139, one of which damaged the citadel of Safad ; the sultan (al-Mansûr Qalâwûn ) is busy with repairs during half of the month of muharram. On Muharram 21 (March) the citadel of Homs was affected by a shock after it had just been repaired. On the night of Saturday 5 Safar (March 21), the earthquake destroyed most of the tower of Lâdhiqiyya (Latakia) which stood in the sea; it was she who protected the port; the dovecote (for the transmission of messages) and the lighthouse are destroyed, this is one of the reasons for the ease with which the Muslims took the tower of Lâdhiqiyya from the Franks.

692/1292-1293: in the month of Safar (December January), the earth shakes140 in Ghaza , Ramla, Lud and in the Sâhil killing a large number of people; the minarets of the Ghaza and Ramla mosques collapse. A decree from the sultan designates the emir ` Alâ ' al-Dîn Aydghudi al-Shuja`î as the sultan's delegate to Damascus and sent him with workers to carry out repairs in Karak.

702/1303 : Al-Maqrîzî141 says: “A courier from Safad announces that on the day of the earthquake, a large section of the wall of the citadel of Safad collapsed and that the sea receded several parasanges in Acre and Alexandria, exposing the seabed”; the walls of the Umayyad mosque in Damascus were cracked. Ibn Bahadur142 said: “The earthquake continues 5 daradja (minute) causing the earth to shudder for 20 days and an incalculable number of victims disappeared under the rubble. »

706/1306 : landslide143 (a mountain) in Bârîn ; al-Maqrîzî144 and Ibn Taghrîbardî145 report the same story, while specifying that mail reached King al-Nâsir from Hamâ .

723/1323 : in Syria, appearance of springs and overflowing of rivers due to the earthquake. Al-Dimashqî146 reports this example to show the benefits of earthquakes.

739/1339 : in the month of Rajab (January), an earthquake occurs in Tripoli; it causes 60 victims147.

741/ 1341: in the month of dhû -l- hidjdja (May), a prodigious earthquake occurs in Syria and Egypt; countless victims; many boats shipwreck148.

744/1343: terrible earthquake149 in Syria and Egypt. Its greatest violence is in Syria, in the Aleppo region. It is located at the 4th hour of Saturday 16 Sha`bân (December). It damaged the citadel of Aleppo, the northern border posts: Sis, Mardin , ` Ayntâb , Qal'at al-Rûm , al-Bira, al-Rawend , Mambidj ; some say it spread as far as Mardin . A weaker shock follows that one. The maximum intensity zone is in Mambidj , which is largely destroyed, where there are many victims buried under the rubble. Al-`Aynî150 tells us the following information: “On the day of the earthquake, his father was not yet an adult; he remained with his family for 40 days outside the city, as did the Aleppins and all the inhabitants of Syria.” Ibn Kathir151 said: “On Saturday, Shaliân 15, a very slight earthquake occurred in Damascus. »

768/1366 : in the month of Safar (October), earthquake in Safad152.

802/1399 : the night of 17 Muharram (September 20), weak earthquake in Damascus153.

806/1404: Ibn Hadjar154 says that on Sha`bân 8 (February 11) the earth shook in Aleppo and its region with great violence. There is significant damage. Before this shock, the earth shook on Friday 3 Djumâdâ II at noon, then the earthquake calmed down, only to resume several times throughout the year. Earthquakes are more violent in the west. Al-Maqrîzî155 says that in Sha`ban the news came from Tripoli du Cham, of a very violent earthquake, which had destroyed a large number of houses and the citadel of al-Marqab ; the earthquake had spread to Lâdhiqiyya . Djabala , the citadel of Homs, Shaghr-Bakas ( Thaghr-Bakâs ), and several regions of the Sâhil and the mountains; numerous victims. Ibn al-Shihna156 says: “A very violent earthquake occurs in Aleppo, and in a large number of countries.” Then came a lighter earthquake, which was accompanied by battles (Tamerlane). B. al-Shihna says: “At the end of the world, earthquakes and battles will be abundant. I think the last hour is coming .”

807/1404 : Ibn Hadjar157 tells us that in djumâdâ I (November), the earth trembles violently in Aleppo and the people are overwhelmed; everything stops, then the shaking resumes twice without causing any destruction.

809/1407 : in the month of dhû - l-qi`da , a very violent earthquake158 took place in Antioch; many victims are buried under the rubble.

811/1408 : on Sha`ban 10 (December 30), chroniclers159 report that a very violent earthquake occurs in Aleppo, Ladhiqiyya , Djabala , and Homs where many neighborhoods and the citadel are shaken; 15 residents died under the rubble. In Djabala , there were also 15 victims. The city of Thaghr-Bakâs is completely destroyed, with its citadel; and most of its population died, except for 50 survivors. The earth split over a distance of a mile, from Al-Qusîr to Saltûhum , it is a part in the mountain which was transported during the night to a distance of a mile with its trees, its sources without anyone realizing it. The Sâhil and the mountains are affected and the ice from the summit of Mount al-Aqra ` (Antioch) descends towards the sea. The sea has a tidal range of 10 parasanges. Sailors say the boats made landfall on the outgoing tide, then the tide came back and there was no devastation. The earth is shaking in Cyprus and many localities are ruined.

822/1419: Al-Maqrîzî160 says: “On Tuesday, Safar 17 (March 15), the earth trembled in Bursâ , in the kingdom of Rûm , for three days and three nights without interruption. The city walls are ravaged, most of the houses too, without a single one remaining unscathed. From the mountain comes a piece as big as half of the pyramids of Egypt . The earth splits, springs spring forth at the Wâdî Azraq and rivers overflow. The earthquake followed a west-east direction and it resumed to last 40 days, with one, two, three or even four tremors daily, so that people sought refuge in the desert. Then the earthquakes start again to last for a year. Al-'Aynî161 says: “On 29 Rabi "I (April), the sun underwent an eclipse, before setting, and on that day, a serious earthquake occurred in Arzandjan which caused many victims." The same phenomenon takes place in Istanbul, where it destroyed many houses. A1-Maqrîzî162 mentions that in the month of dhû -l- hidjdja (December), the earth trembles in Istanbul as well as in many other places; the sea was very rough and a tidal wave occurred.

863/1458 : a very violent earthquake163 occurs in Karak. The citadel, ramparts and towers were damaged, one hundred people died.

889/1484 : in Rabi ' I (March 29), Aleppo is affected by six frightening earthquakes164

943/1536: Ramadan 17, weak earthquake in Damascus165.

971/1563: the night of Monday 14 Muharram, violent earthquake in Syria, with crash; destruction of houses in Damascus166.

972/1563 : the night of Wednesday 18 dhû -l- hidjdja (July 17), earthquake in Damascus; shaking with crash that continues almost a daradja (minute)167.

996/1588 : start of safar (January), violent earthquake in Tabûk , during the stay of pilgrims168.

1012/1603 : the night of Saturday Shawwâl 11 (March 25), violent earthquake in Damascus in the Bekaa, sound of thunder169.

1015/1606 : the night of Tuesday 17 djumâdâ II (October 21), earthquake in Belabak170. 1018/1610 : 11 dhû -l- hidjdja (March 8), violent earthquake in Aleppo171.

1027/1618: Rajab 15 (July 9), weak earthquake in Damascus; another earthquake during the month of sha`bân172.

1029/1619 : landslide from the mountain to the village of Darkûsh173.

1035/1626 : Wednesday 12 rue II (January 11), weak earthquake in Damascus; more violent in Hamâ collapses the al-Dahsha market ; numerous victims under the rubble174.

1037/1627 : the night of Wednesday 15 Rabr I (November 25), violent earthquake in Damascus, without damage175.

1099/1688: Friday 21 Ramadan (July 20), the earth trembles in Izmir, in the country of Rûm , and near Constantinople, with great violence, and the earthquake demolishes the walls, the houses, the hotels, the markets, and mosques. The buildings collapse and are swallowed up in the earth, and fire mixed with sulfurous vapors appears (underwater eruption; at sea, sulfuric vapors). The number of victims rises above 50,000. In the affected places there are only a few survivors, except those who are outside the city or in the gardens (far from constructions ): they embark on a free boat towards Cyprus, then towards Acre, it is on Tuesday 6 Shawwâl that the boat docks in Acre176.

1117/1705 : on the night of Tuesday 7 Sha'bâil (November 25), an earthquake177 wakes up people in Damascus and its region. An hour later, another more violent earthquake in Syria; several seismic tremors in Damascus; destruction of houses, damage to the Umayyad mosque, at the top of the minaret of al-Murshidiyy a, at the minaret of the al-Afram mosque (in al-Sâlihiyya ). In Maghârat al-Dâm at the summit of Mount Qâsyûn and at the citadel of Qastal ; destruction of the village and monastery of Yabrûd176; numerous victims.

1124/1712 : the night of Wednesday 29 dhû - l-qi`da (December 28), weak earthquake in Damascus179.

1129/1717 : on Saturday 26 djumâdâ (June 7), a violent earthquake occurred in Caesarea in the country of Rûm ; it is said to have been the cause of the destruction of half the city and four villages in the district180.

1148/1735: Saturday 11 Rajab (November 23), earthquake in Damascus during the night181. 1159/1746 : Sunday at one o'clock in the afternoon, 15 djumâdâ II, earthquake in Damascus182. 1167/1753: the night of Thursday 19 Safar (3 kânûn II), at the 3rd hour of the night, a light earthquake occurs in Damascus; in some places of the governor's palace, stones fall on the people , and there are two victims: a Muslim and a Christian.

1170/1757: Al-Bidîrî183 says: “On the night of 14 dhû -l- hidjdja , the moon underwent an eclipse, and on 22 dhû -l- hidjdja (September 6), the earth shook for a long time, as had not happened for several years . The earthquake lasts several days and nights; and this also occurs after an eclipse of the sun which had made the stars appear in broad daylight .”

1173/ 1759: earthquakes, several seismic tremors on the night of Tuesday 8 Rabi I shortly before dawn with 2 or 3 tremors per week, until the night of Monday 6 Rabi.' II, the tremors continue to be less numerous until the end of this year in Syria (Jerusalem, Ghaza , Sayda, Safad , Homs, Hamâ , Caesarea, Hisn al-Akrâd , Antioch, Damascus, Aleppo, Qal'at al-Berîdj , Hassiyya , and Nablus ); destruction of buildings, damage to the Umayyad mosque: the northern pillar is destroyed, the large dome too, the Bâb al-Barîd market is ruined; most of the houses in Damascus are demolished, as are the mosques; numerous victims. Then in Damascus, before the end of the year, an epidemic occurs; most mosques were rebuilt thanks to the resources of the Waqfs, and the great mosques of Damascus, Latakia ( Lâdhiqiyya ), Sulaymâniyya , were rebuilt with funds from the Ottoman state184 .

1174/1760 : A1-Bidîrî185 writes: “The third night of Ramadan, at the time of the twilight prayer, an earthquake occurs in Damascus, the people cut short the prayer, flee in an abominable stampede, they lose the head and also their clothes. The next night passed in the same way .

61 Al-Bîrûnî , Tahdîd , 48, 49.

62 B. al-`Amid al-Makin , Târîkh , 19; B. Shaddâd , al-A'laq 1/23.

63 Al-Maqifisi , al-Bad', 2/36.

64 Al-Isfahânî al-Khuwârazmî, Târîkh al-Khuwâraznfi, 187; B. al-Athîr, al-Kâmil, 4/582.

65 Al-Suyûtî , Kashf , 13.

66 Al-Dhahabî , Târîkh al-Islâm, 5/39, 40; Al-`Ulîmî , al-Uns , 1/237, 238.

67 B. al-Athîr , al-Kâmil , 5/500. This is the ancient Greek city of Mopsuestia, cf. Honigmann , EI, t. III, p. 591-596.

68 Al-'Ulîmî, al-Uns , 1/282, 283.

69 B. al-Athîr , al-Kâmil , 6/189.

70 Al-Suyûtî , Kashf , 25.

71 Al-Suyûtî , op. cit ., 25; he cited another earthquake in the year 230 AH with the same details and events.

72 Al-Dhahabi, al-`Mar, 1//413; al-Suyûtî , Kashf , 25, 26.

73 B. al-`Imâd, Shadharat, 2/91 .

74 Al-Tabarî , Târîkh , 3/12/1433. Al-Tabarî , Târîkh , 3/12/1872. We know that in the year 244 the caliph al-Mutawwakil had intended to transfer the capital to Damascus but ultimately had abandoned his project finding the country inconvenient. Al-Tabarî , Târîkh , 3/12/1436.

76 Al-Tabarî, Târîkh, 3/12/1872. We can classify Samarra in Iraq.

77 B. al-Athîr , al-Kânzil , 7/361.

78 B. Taghribardî , al-Nudjûm , 3/305 ; Yâqût , Mu`djam , 2/791.

79 Al-Antâqî , Târîkh , 139.

80 Al-Maqrîzî , // ti`etz , 1/132.

81 Al-Antâqî, Târîkh, 173; al-Maqrîzî, itti`az, 2/273.

82 B. Taghrîbardî , al-Nudjean , 4/207; B. Taghrîbardî cites an earthquake in the year 385/995 with the same details. al - Nudjûm , 4/169.

83 Al-Antâqi , Târîkh , 2/250.

84 Al-Antâce , Târîkh , 2/250.

85 Al-Kâmit , 9/438.

86 Travel of Benjamin of Tudela, ed. `Ezra Haddâd , Baghdâd, 1945, p. 88, 89, note 3. There is in this text, a description that E. Haddâd translates from Hebrew: ( Dinab , II, 232) “People evacuate their houses to take refuge in the streets, walls fall, ceilings crack at the top of the walls, well-built houses collapse, new buildings collapse, people perish buried ¬under rubble, unable to find safety here or there; people evacuate their homes without thinking about the belongings they leave behind. They have abandoned their possessions, cannot find a way to escape. direction they take headlong, they encounter only the will of God, then disperse. The buildings that remain standing are nevertheless cracked and have lost their balance. Faced with such horror that the eyes contemplated, that the ears heard, the brain came out of the head. These events occurred at sunset; they occurred suddenly in Ramla and throughout Palestine. The citadels and the countryside were leveled (brought) to the same level as the sea as far as Banyas , from the south of the mountain to Jerusalem and from the regions neighboring the sea to Nablus and its villages. In Tiberias and its district, we saw the mountains moving like sheep, the rocks exploded and in the forests, the trees bent, the wells overflowed and the tongue was exhausted in recounting the catastrophe. »

87 Al-Antâqî , Târîkh , 2/272, which links the earthquake to the destruction and looting of churches.

88 B. al-Djawzî , Al-Muntazam , 8/77 writes: “An earthquake ¬occurs in Ramla, people evacuate the city with their children, their wives, their slaves and spend eight days outside. The earthquake destroys a third of the city and cuts up the great mosque, kills a good part of the population, also affects Nablus where it destroys houses and kills 300 victims; he overthrows a neighboring village which is swallowed up in the earth with its people and its flocks; other villages had the same fate. Part of the walls of the mosque of Jerusalem collapses, as well as the synagogue -of David in large part, part of the tomb of Abraham is destroyed but the room is saved, the minaret of the great mosque of ` Asqalân collapsed and the top of the Ghaza minaret suffered the same fate. This year at the same time, the plague occurs in Baghdad. »

89 B. Taghrîbardî , al-Nudjûm , 5/41 ; Kashf , 32.

40 Al-Farqî , Târîkh , p. 161.

91 Yâqût , Mu`djam , 1/382. Al-Qazwînî , ed. al - Halwadji , p. 12, relates the earthquake to the year 444 AH.

92 B. al-Djawzî , al-Muntazam , 8/231; B. al-Athîr , al-Kâmil , 10/30 ; B. Kathir , al-Biddya . 12/89.

93 B. al-Qalânisî , Dhayl , 94; B. al-Athîr , al-Kâmil , 10/57; B. al-Djawzî , al-Muntazam , 8/248.

94 B. al-Djawzî , al-Muntazam , 8/25; the date corresponds to the year 460; see also al-Suyûtî , Kashf

95 B. al-Athîr , al-Kâmil , 10/158.

96 B. al-Qalânisî , Dhayl , 120; B. al-Athîr , al-Kâmil , 10/200.

97 B. al-Qalânisî , Dhayl , 127; B. al-Athîr , al-Kâmil , 10/200.

98 B. al-Qalânisî , Dhayl , 191; B. al-Djawzî , al-Muntazam , 9/180, 181.

99 B. al-Athîr , al-Kâmil , 11/66; al-Suyûtî , Kashf .

100 B. al-Qalânisî , Dhayl , 202; B. al-Athîr , al-Kâmil , 11/71.

101 B. al-`Adîm , Zubda , 2/270 , 271.

102 B. al-Qalânisî , Dhayl , 317. B. al-Qalânisî is also an eyewitness to the following earthquakes.

103 B. al-Qalânisî , Dhayl , 337. Abu Shama, al-Rawdatayn , 1/103, 104.

104 B. al-Qalânisî , Dhayl , p. 337;

105 B. Qalânisî , op. cit ., 342.

106 al - Qalânisî . op . cit ., p. 343, 344.

107 al - Qalânisî , ibidem, 346.

108 B. al-Qalânisî , ibidem, 352.

109 al - Qalânisî , ibidem, 354.

110 B. al-Qalânist , ibid., 357.

111 in Zubda , 2/308.

112 M-Muntazam, 10/176.

113 We heard the same anecdote about the earthquake of the year 460 which occurred in Palestine.

114 B. al-Athîr , al-Kdmil , 11/2; Abû Shâma , al-Rawdatayn , 1/112; B. al-`Adîm , Zubda , 2/307 ; B. Khalikân , Wafayât , 1/368; Abû 1-Fida, al-Mukhtasar , 3/31,32.

115 Diwân, ed. Badawî , and `Abdul- Majîd , Kitdb al-mandzil wa -l- diydr , p. 104, 105.

116 A1-Rawdatayn, 1/185, 186.

117 Collection of Historians of the Crusades, Robert de Torgny , year 1157; William of Tyre, XVII p. 847,853 ¬; see Cahen , Northern Syria, p. 396; Runciman , History of Crusades , vol. II, p. 343, 344.

118 B. al-Athîr , al-Bâhir , 145; Abfl Shâma , al-Rawdatayn , 1/184, 185.

119 See Sibt B. al-Djawzî , Mir'dt , 8/174, 175; B. al-'Affin, Zubda , 2/185; B. Shaddâd , al-Nawâder , 43; B. Wasil , Mufarridj , 1/185.

120 Travel, ed. ` Ezra Haddâd , p. 88, the trip took place between 561 and 569 AH.

121 AI- Rawdatayn , 1/228.

122 M-Kamil/, 12/110.

123 Mir'ât , 8/308, 309.

124 Sibt B. al-Djawzî , Mir'ât , 8/331.

125 Mukhtasar , p. 262- 270: Text of the message from Hamâ : “On the 26th of Sha`bân an earthquake occurred and it was almost as if the earth had started moving; the mountains parted and everyone believed that it was the Last Hour. There were two tremors: the first lasted an hour or a little more, and the second was less long but more violent. Some citadels were affected. The first, that of Hamâ , suffered despite the quality of its architecture; that of Bârîn too, despite its solidity and good finish, and that of Balabak also despite its robustness and good construction. About distant countries and citadels we have not received any precise information that I can mention. On Tuesday the 27th of this month, at noon, an earthquake occurred of which everyone was aware: those who slept and those who were awake, everyone was shaken; those who were standing as well as those who were sitting. Another shock also took place that day during the afternoon prayer. We received news from Damascus that the earthquake had damaged the eastern minaret of the mosque and most of the Kallâsa as well as the entire hospital ( Baymâristân ) . Several houses collapsed on their residents who were killed. Here is the text of the message: “The Mamlûk says: An earthquake occurred on the night of Monday 26 Sha`bân at dawn and it lasted for some time; some of his comrades specified:

time to read the “ Sûrat al-Kahf ” One of my masters ( mashâyikh ) in Damascus, mentions that he had never seen such a shock before. The damage extends to the cemetery, it also concerns sixteen battlements of the mosque; a minaret; the other which is cracked; the lead dome called al-Nasr, the Kallâsa which collapsed killing two men, then another was killed on the gate of Djîrûn ; finally, -numerous collapses occurred in many places and affected several houses. Muslim countries are affected: Banyâs in part; Safad , where only the governor's sons remain as survivors; Tibnîn also, and Nablus of which not a wall remains standing, except the alley of Samira'; he specifies that Jerusalem is spared. As for Bayt Djin , only the foundations and the walls remain, and even then they have collapsed. The country of Haurân is ruined and the location of its villages cannot be recognized. Acre is largely destroyed, Tire and ` Arqâ are ruined by a third like Safîta . In Mount Lebanon, people had gone out to pick green currants, and the mountain closed in on them. There were approximately 200 victims; people talk about it a lot .”

126 Sibt B. al-Djawzî , Mir'ât , 8/333.

127 B. al-Athîr , al-Kâmil , 12/198 ; B. al-Wardî , Tatimma , 2/122; Abfl l- Faradj al-Maltî , Târîkh , Madjallat al-Mashriq , 1954, p.425, 1204 AD (1515 after Alexander).

128 Al-Dhayl ' alâ al-Rawdatayn , 64.

129 B. al-Athîr . al - Kâmil , 12/277.

130 Mir'ât, 8/347 .

131 Abû Shâma , al-Dhayl , 78.

132 A1-Maqrîzî, al-Sulûk , 1/2/426.

133 A1-Qalqashandî, Ma'âthir , 2/114.

134 A1-Maltî, Târîkh , Madjallat al-Mashriq , 148; al-`Ayni . ' Uqd , manuscript 3/20/553.

135 A1-Yûnînî, Dhayl mir'ât al-zaman ; al-`Aynî , ' Uqd , mss.

136 Al-Ibar , 5/342 .

137 Mir'ât al-djinân , 4/198.

138 Shadharat , 5/381.

139 B. ` Abd al-Zâhir , Tashrîf , 151, 152.

140 A1-Maqrîzî, al-Sulûk , 1121944; B. al-Furât , Târîkh , 8/154.

141 A I- Sultik , 1/2/944.

142 Futûh al-nasr , ms. 2/206.

143 A1-Nûwayrî, Nihâya , ms. 3/1/155-158 ; B. Aybak pre-cise 25 minutes, Kanz , ms. 9/110-113.

144 A1-Sulûk, 2/1/23.

145 Al-Nudjûm , 8/222.

146 Nukhba, 84, 85.

147 Mir'ât , 4/300 ; B. al-'Imâd , Shadharat , 6/120.

148 B. al-'Imâd , Shadharat , 6/127 .

149 B. al-Wardî , Tatimma , 2]338.

150 ` Liqd , ms. 24/1/70.

151 Al-Birldya , 14/211.

152 B. al-'Imâd , Shadharat , 6/210 .

153 B. Hadjar , Inbâ ', 2/296.

154 Inbâ ', 2/262.

155 Al-Suluk , 3/3/1122.

156 Rawd al-munazir , ms. Egyptian BN.

157 Inbâ ', 2/262.

158 A1-Suyûtî, Kashf , 56.

159 B. Hadjar , Inbâ ', 2/400, 401; al-Maqrîzî , al-Sulak , 4/1/80, 81: B. al-Imâd , Shadharat , 7/89.

160 Al-Suluk , 4/1/482, 483.

161 Uqd , ms. 25/3/481

162 Al-Suluk, 4/1/513.

163 A1-Suyûtî, Kashf , 58.

164 Ibidem, 59.

165 Manuscript no. 7136 from the al-Zâhiriyya library in Damascus, notes by the father of al-Nidjm al-Ghâzî on a Suyûtî , Kashf , fol. 140A.

166 Ibidem, notes from al-Ghâzî ’s father .

167 Ibidem, fol. 140A.

168 Ibidem , fol. 140A ; notes of al-Nabulsi .

169 Ibidem.

170 Ibidem.

171 Ibidem.

72 Ibidem, fol. 140 B.

173 Ibidem, Darkûsh citadel near Antioch, see Yaqût , Mu'djam .

174 Ibidem.

175 Ibidem.

176 Al-Ghâzî , al-Tadhkira , BEO, 1975, p. 76.Ibidem.

177 Notes of al-Nabulsi , ms. al-Zniriyya , ibid., fol. 141A, 141B ; BEO, Damascus, 1975, p. 61.

178 A town between Hums and Balabak , Yaqût , Mu`djam .

179 Ms. al-Zâhiriyya , ibidem, fol. 141B.

180 Texts, ed. Taher, BEO, Damascus, 1975, p. 71.

181 Ibidem, p. 61, 76.

192 Ibidem, p. 102; al-Murâdî , Silk al-durar , 3/279.

183 Yawmiyyât (al-Hawddith ), see Texts, ëd . Taher, BEO, Damascus, 1975.

184 More details, Texts, ed. Taher, BEO, Damascus, 1975; Volney, Journey to Egypt and Syria, p. 166.

185 A1-Haweidith, p. 229: Texts, ed. Taher, ibid., p. 101.

Original French



Earthquakes have left deep traces in Islamic history, as Muhammad Kurd 'Alï reminds us in his history of the mosques of Syria: "the mosques naturally suffered the outrages of Heaven and Earth, like the other buildings, factories or private residences. Throughout Islamic history, earthquakes destroyed entire cities. The collapse of “Bald Mountain” (al-gabal al-aqra') caused the death of the population of Lattakieh in 242 AH; the same earthquake ruined Tripoli and most of the coast. The earthquake of 460 A.D. devastated Palestine; that of 552 H. ravaged Lattakieh, Tripoli, Antioch, ťArqa, Hisn-al-Akrãd, Afämiya, al-Ma'arra, Kfar Tab, Šayzar, Hamã and Hims. For all the earthquakes which followed the latter until the last century, we can record the same disasters. One of the most important was that of 1173 A.H., which, in certain cities, did not leave a wall standing or a man alive. »

Many Damascene historians have written about the earthquakes that shook the region in the 12th century AH. These texts constitute important documents; on the one hand as an expression of man's reflection on earthquakes, on the other as a record of the destruction which ensued on the level of civilization.

These historians considered earthquakes as supernatural and obscure events destroying the environment and man. They were also attributed to divine Almighty Power which, through them, punished men for their corruption and wickedness. To appease divine wrath, there were religious practices such as prayers, fasts or invocations.

In this century, minds were not yet ready to seek a rational cause for earthquakes and the mentality of the time could only receive an explanation of a religious and mythical nature. Our historians also established a direct relationship between earthquakes and certain natural events such as seasonal and even economic and social changes, as if they were closely linked to the plague, high prices, or depravity of morals.

The texts we present fill a gap due to the lack of attention given to the relationship between natural disasters and history. The terrestrial globe has been subjected to physical upheavals at various periods of the historical era, just as humanity has suffered economic and social disasters, epidemics and wars, even if the two kinds of phenomena cannot be considered as perfectly corollary. These upheavals are comparable, but naturally to an extremely reduced extent, to those experienced in prehistoric times. We can particularly cite as an example the earthquake of 1173 A.H. (1759): this was the continuation of earthquakes which shook many regions of the globe from the year 1169 A.H./1755 A.D.- VS.; it interested Europe in the form of the Lisbon earthquake. We find in the Nasr-al-matãni a description of the ruins he left in the Arab Maghreb. There is no doubt that the devastation caused by earthquakes in regions where the religious spirit prevailed contributed to a certain extent to the birth of materialist logic and philosophy based on reason, just as they were instrumental in the crystallization of modern thought, in Europe in particular. The Arabs, who from the 4th century AH had resorted to logical and philosophical explanations to account for earthquakes, turned away from them at the end of the Mamluk period, and they violently attacked such a point of view the Turkish era.

I am happy to have the opportunity to thank Mr. Thierry Bianquis here for the help and encouragement he gave me during the completion of this work.

Summary Table

Summary Table

Taher (1974)