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Sibyl Quake

76 – 81 CE – probably between June 78 CE and June 79 CE

by Jefferson Williams









Introduction & Summary

An earthquake is reported in Cyprus based on a variety of sources. If one considers the inconsistent and sometimes ambiguous dating provided by the sources, the earthquake is constrained to the date range of 76 – 81 CE. A number of later sources synchronized the time of the earthquake in Cyprus with a Great Plague in Rome. Seutonius probably provides the most reliable date for the Great Plague in Rome as he was 10 years old and living in Rome at the time. He dates the Great Plague to the reign of Titus (24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE). The Syballine Oracles, which appears to be the most reliable source for the earthquake in Cyprus, appears to date the earthquake in Cyprus to the reign of Titus (24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE).

Coin data from the mint at Cyprus and Antioch provides another date - June 78 - June 79 CE - during the last year of Vespasian’s life (Amandry, 1993). Combined together, these time markers suggest an earthquake in Cyprus which struck in the last year of Vespasian’s life or the beginning of his successor Titus's reign (24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE). However, one must consider that conflation of the earthquake in Cyprus with a plague in Rome comes from later writing authors who all seem to derive their account from Eusebius. Syncellus and Elias of Nisibis cited Eusebius and Orosius account reads like an abridged version of Eusebius. Because Eusebius may have created a false synchronicity, the date provided by the coin evidence seems more reliable. The earthquake in Cyprus probably struck between June 78 and June 79 CE.

One of the sources, Philostratus, indicates that this earthquake may have been felt in Tarsus. Another source, the Sibylline Oracles, states that an earthquake hit Cyprus destroying both Paphos and Salamis. Since some sources state that three cities in Cyprus were destroyed, Ambraseys (2009) speculated that the third destroyed city was probably Citium.

The Sibylline Oracles may also suggest that the southern coast of Cyprus was struck by a tsunami due to this earthquake. The Sibylline Oracles present ex eventu prophecy which can recall events with good accuracy. Antonopoulos (1980:148-150) interpreted the original Greek and suggested that the relevant passages referred to an inundation from a Winter Hurricane rather than a tsunami. If a tsunami did accompany the earthquake and Philostratus' reference to shaking felt in Tarsus refers to the same earthquake, this would suggest an epicenter off of the southern coast of Cyprus. However, Philostratus' date for the shaking experienced in Tarsus suffers from imprecision so this is a speculative possibility.

Ambraseys (2009), and Guidoboni et. al. (1994) offer differing interpretations of the year; selecting 76 and 77 CE respectively. Neither Ambraseys (2009), nor Guidoboni et. al. (1994) cited Amandry's (1993) coin evidence and both probably provide dates which are too low.

Textual Evidence

Text (with hotlink) Original Language Biographical Info Religion Date of Composition Location Composed Notes
History Against the Pagans by Orosius Latin
Biography

Paulus Orosius (c. 380 - c.420) was a Roman Priest who wrote several books but his most famous is History Against the Pagans which was completed in ~416/417 CE. Orosius, who may have been born in Spain, spent time in North Africa as a student of Augustine of Hippo and in Palestine where he collaborated with Jerome (Fear, 2010:2-4). History Against the Pagans is a history of the secular world written from a Christian perspective (Fear, 2010:7). Fear (2010:7) notes that the Histories, though well written, do show signs of misunderstanding of their source material, and while, as will be seen, some of these ‘misunderstandings’ are deliberate, others are not.

Christian ~416-417 CE Palestine and/or Gallaecia (northwest Hispania) and/or places between. States that an earthquake destroyed 3 cities in Cyprus and there was a plague in Rome during the 9th year of Vespasian's reign (1 July 77 and 30 June 78 CE). Suetonius, who is probably the most reliable source for the date of the Great Plague in Rome, dates the plague to the reign of Titus, Vespasian's son and successor, who ruled from 24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE.
Chronicon by Eusebius Greek translated to Latin by Jerome
Biography

Eusebius of Caesarea (c.260/265 - 339 CE) also known as Eusebius Pamphilus is regarded as one of the most learned Christians of late antiquity (4th-6th centuries CE). He wrote numerous works of great value to historians including a History of the Church (aka Ecclesiastical History) which earned him a reputation as the "Father" of Church History. Despite this reputation, his works are not necessarily historically accurate and some scholars have accused him of dishonesty. Nevertheless, his writings are of great value due to both the volume of output and Eusebius' habit of quoting earlier works - many of which have been lost. Eusebius was born in Syria or Palestine, probably in Palestine close to Caesarea where he lived from a young age. Sometime before ~300 CE, he completed the first editions of two influential works - a History of the Church and Chronicon - a universal calendar of events from "Creation" until Eusebius' own time. In ~313 CE, Eusebius became Bishop of Caesarea. He also became an adviser to Emperor Constantine (r. 306-337 CE) and wrote a biography of the Emperor titled "In Praise of Constantine". A dedicated bibliophile, Eusebius managed or had access to the large library in Caesarea yet despite achieving fluency in Syriac and Greek, he apparently never mastered Latin. Eusebius wrote Chronicon in two parts. Although the original Greek text has been lost, later Chroniclers preserved significant parts of the manuscript. Jerome translated all of the second part (Book 2) into Latin.

Christian Early 4th century CE Caesarea States that an earthquake destroyed 3 cities in Cyprus between 1 July 77 CE and 30 June 78 CE (the 1st year of 214th Olympiad). Says the earthquake struck in the same year as a great plague in Rome. Suetonius, likely the most reliable source for the date of the plague, says the plague in Rome occurred during the the reign of Titus - i.e., from 24 June 79 to 13 September 81 CE.
The Life of the Caesars by Suetonius Latin
Biography

Suetonius was a close friend of Pliny the Younger, was favored by Roman Emperors Trajan and Hadrian, and may have been Hadrian's personal secretary. Suetonius was possibly dismissed by Hadrian due to suspicions of having an affair with Hadrian's wife Vibia Sabina. Hadrian was, at a minimum. bisexual (he took male lovers) and may have been gay. He and Vibia Sabina had no children. Suetonius also had a childless marriage. Epitome de Caesaribus attributed to Aurelius Victor (14.8) reports that Hadrian treated Vibia Sabina like a slave and eventually drove her to suicide. Such details not only show that Suetonius and Vibia Sabina may have shared a close emotional connection but they also attest to Suetonius' close connections to Roman aristocracy. When this is combined with his reputation as a studious writer and his early date of composition (he would have been around 10 years old when the plague struck Rome), one realizes that Suetonius is probably the most reliable source for the date of the Great Plague in Rome.

121 CE Background info - Suetonius does not mention the earthquake but he does mention a plague in Rome during the reign of Titus who ruled from 24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE.
Epitome de Caesaribus attributed to Aurelius Victor Latin
Biography

Although Epitome de Caesaribus is attributed to Aurelius Victor (320 – 390 CE) who was Governor of Pannonia Secunda and praefectus urbi in Rome (Bird, 2014), it may have been written by an anonymous Pagan author It contains brief summaries about the Roman Emperors from Augustus to Theodosius the Great.

Likely a Pagan end of the 4th century CE Does not mention the earthquake. Mentions a plague in Rome during the reign of Titus who ruled from 24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE.
Sibylline Oracles Latin
Biography

The Syballine Books were a collection of oracular utterances set out in Greek hexameter from mystical women known as Sibyls. These closely guarded books (or book) were partially destroyed by a fire in 83 BCE and destroyed entirely (burned) in the late 4th or early 5th century CE. The Sibylline Oracles are forgeries of the the Syballine Books and perhaps might be more appropriately titled the Pseudo-Sibylline Oracles. These forgeries appear to have been extensively rewritten by successive authors between the 2nd and 6th centuries CE and contain a pastiche of Pagan, Jewish, and Christian content all expressed in a prophetic poetic form. In the rewriting, reference was made to actual events so as to bolster the power of the prophecy. This means that these books contain ex eventu prophecy - prophecy written "after the fact". As such, the Sibylline Oracles appear to contain some accurate information about natural disasters and historical events. The poem which describes the earthquake in Cyprus was likely written or rewritten by a Jewish or Jewish Christian author(s). The intent of the poem is to predict God's punishment on Rome and Roman Emperor Titus in particular for having been the General who ended the First Jewish War - killing many Jews and destroying the Second Temple. Divine retribution takes the form of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius (79 CE) which destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum and apparently an earthquake in Cyprus.

Jewish or possibly a Jewish Christian. The final form of the book was likely finished in the 6th century CE. Presents what appears to be reliable ex eventu prophecy in poetic form. Says that an earthquake overthrew Salamis and Paphos on Cyprus and appears to date this to during the reign of Emperor Titus who ruled from 24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE. Mention of dark water washing over Cyprus may be an allusion to an associated tsunami (or a storm). Because other sources mention that three cities in Cyprus were destroyed and Salamis and Paphos are at either end of the island, Ambraseys (2009) speculated that, if the Sibylline Oracles can be trusted, the third city that was destroyed was probably Citium.
The Life of Apollonius of Tyana by Philostratus Greek
Biography

Philostratus was a Greek Sophist who wrote a biography titled The Life of Apollonius of Tyana for Julia Domna, the wife of Roman Emperor Septimius Severus and the mother of Roman Emperor Caracalla. Apollonius of Tyana was a wandering Greek philosopher and reputed mystic who lived in the 1st century CE.

between 217 and 238 CE likely Rome, possibly Athens Violent seismic shaking may have been reported in Tarsus some time in the 70s CE.
Chronography by Elias of Nisibis Syriac and Arabic
Biography

Elias of Nisibis was a cleric of the Church of the East, who served as bishop of Beth Nuhadra (1002–1008) and archbishop of Nisibis (1008–1046) (wikipedia). He wrote a number of texts but is best known for Chronography which he composed in the early 11th century CE. Enclclopedia Iranica describes Chronography as follows:

His renowned Chronography on history is preserved in a single manuscript with only a few major lacunae. It is divided into two parts, in Syriac with Arabic translation following each paragraph for most of the first part. The first part, modeled on the Chronicle of Eusebius, treats universal and ecclesiastical history up to 1018 C.E. in the form of tables, usually with accurate references given to the sources. The second part is a manual of the different calendars used in the Orient.

Church of the East Early 11th c. Nusaybin, Turkey Elias of Nisibis, citing Eusebius, states that there was an earthquake in Cyprus where for three days there were collapses. Again citing Eusebius, he says that in the following year there was a plague in Rome such that more than 10,000 died in a day He supplied a range of dates.
Full Range of Dates for Earthquake in Cyprus and Plague in Rome
Date Range Event
1 July 73 - 30 June 77 CE Earthquake in Cyprus
1 July 73 to 30 Sept. 77 CE Plague in Rome
The Chronicle of Georgius Syncellos Greek
Biography

In 808 CE, George Syncellus began work on a Chronicle intending to cover "Creation" until his own times. By 810 CE, Syncellus had written up to 285 CE when Diocletian became Emperor. Syncellus's incapacitation or demise in 810 CE meant that this is where his Chronicle ends. Before he died, however, he convinced his friend Theophanes to finish the Chronicle - which he did. Theophanes took Syncellus's apparently large collection of source material and extended it to 813 CE. How much Theophanes's extended Chronicle was based on Syncellus' source material is a matter of debate (Neville, 2018:56). How much editing or redaction Theophanes performed on Syncellus' work up to 285 CE may also be unknown.

George Syncellus seemed to have had an obsession with time. He believed that Christ's Incarnation at the beginning of A.M.a 5501 and his Resurrection in A.M.a 5534 both occurred on 25 March, the same day as the day of creation (Tuffin and Adler, 2002:xxix). Syncellus and his descendant Theophanes used an older method the count years - the Alexandrian Anno Mundi system - A.M.a - which had at its basis a search for the date of Creation and the date of Easter. The end result of this quest, however, may be significant chronological uncertainty in the work of Theophanes/Syncellus. Both present multiple time markers in the combined text which are frequently inconsistent or inaccurate.

Not much is known about Syncellus' life. His date and place of birth seem to be unknown. Because Syncellus mentions having personally visited various sites in Palestine, there is some speculation that he may have lived for some time in a monastery near Bethlehem before moving to Constantinople but this is not known for sure (Neville, 2018:57 and Tuffin and Adler, 2002:xxx). At some point in time he was appointed to the high ranking ecclesiastical position of syncellus (literally "cell-mate") to Tarasios the Patriarch of Constantinople. He started writing his Chronicle after he retired from this position although presumably he would have been gathering source material before he began writing.

Some of George Syncellus' sources include Julius Africanus (c.160-240 CE), Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 260/265-339 CE), and the monks Panodoros and Annianos, both early 5th century monks from Alexandria who developed the Alexandrian version of Anno Mundi reckoning. Syncellus, like Theophanes, was strongly opposed to the iconoclasm of his time and may have suffered due to his outspoken views on the subject.

Orthodox (Byzantine rite) 808-810 CE ( Adler and Tuffin, 2002:lxx) Vicinity of Constantinople Mentions the Great Plague in Rome and that in Cyprus, three cities collapsed in an earthquake during the same year. Dates these to A.M.a 5564 (25 Mar. 71 to 24 Mar. 72 CE). Includes other historical markers in his account which are chronologically inconsistent with this date.
Vita Hilarion by Jerome Latin
Biography

Jerome (Hieronymus in Latin) was a Christian Priest who authored and translated many works including an influential translation of the Old and New Testaments from Hebrew and Greek into Latin creating most of what is known as the Vulgate - a text which was used by the Catholic Church for over 1500 years. He was born in Stridon in the Roman province of Dalmatia between 342 and 347 CE. He lived in a monastery in Bethlehem starting in 382 CE and died there in 420 CE.

Jerome wrote the Life of Hilarion (Vita Hilarion) in Bethlehem in 390 CE. Hilarion lived from 291 – 371 CE.

Christian 390 CE Bethlehem No mention of the earthquake or plague in Rome despite Antonopoulos (1980:148 n.1) stating that it referred to both.
Chronicon Paschale Greek
Biography

Neville (2018:52) describes the anonymous 7th century CE Chronicon Paschale (aka Chronicum Alexandrinum, Constantinopolitanum, or Fasti Siculi) as follows:

This text is found in the tenth-century Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1941. The early leaves of the manuscript, where one would normally find the author’s name and title, have been lost. The modern title, “Paschal Chronicle” (from the Latin, “Chronicon Paschale”), derives from the author’s interest in the correct dating of Easter. We know nothing about the author. Some scholars have speculated that the author was a member of the clergy,1 while others suggest that he was a layman working in imperial administration.2

The Paschal Chronicle is both a universal history from the Creation until 628, as well as an extended argument about the proper calculation of the dates of liturgical feasts. The author is concerned with demonstrating that the liturgical cycle used in Constantinople employs the correct dates for both the moveable feasts, such as Easter, and the fixed feasts, such as Annunciation on March 15 or the Presentation in the Temple on February 2. The determination of the passage of time, as reckoned by both history and the movements of the stars, served to establish definitively the proper dates of liturgical celebrations. The enumeration of years plays a role in the author’s efforts to establish a definitive chronology of human history. Each year is listed separately. Some key events of secular history are briefly described under the headings of the years so that the text also serves as a universal chronicle.
Footnotes

1 Michael Whitby and Mary Whitby , Chronicon Paschale 284– 628 AD ( Liverpool : Liverpool University Press , 1989 ), xxvii ; Heinrich Gelzer , Sextus Julius Africanus und die byzantinische Chronographie ( Leipzig : Teubner , 1885 ), 138 .

2 Warren T. Treadgold , The Early Byzantine Historians ( New York : Palgrave Macmillan , 2007 ), 341– 42

Neville (2018:53) adds that the author of the Pascal Chronicle argued that the Incarnation took place in anno mundi 5509, based on his calculation of the Easter cycle [Whitby and Whitby, Chronicon Paschale , xv.]. Some have speculated that the author was a cleric attached to the suite of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Sergius I.

Christian about 630 CE possibly Constantinople Antonopoulos (1980:148 n.1) reported that Chronicon Paschale (p. 248D) contained a reference to this earthquake and the Great Plague in Rome. However, I cannot find anything in a Latin translation by Dindorf (1832) which refers to the earthquake or the plague.
Opus Chronologicum by Calvisius Latin
Biography

Sethus Calvisius (1556–1615 CE), who was also known as Setho Calvisio or Seth Kalwitz, was a German music theorist, composer, chronologer, astronomer, and teacher of the late Renaissance. He published Opus Chronologicum in Latin in 1605 CE.

1605 CE probably Leipzig, Germany very late source which cites Eusebius and states that an earthquake affected 3 cities in Cyprus. Among them was Salamis. Dates presented use a different method of reckoning the Anno Mundi calendar than I am familiar with and will not be explored here because this source adds no new information.
Transfer of the Roman Mint Amandry (1993) notes that the Mint which was moved to Cyprus in 76 CE was moved back to Antioch in 80 CE. He suggests an earthquake in 78 CE was the reason for the move back to Antioch noting that the scarcity of coins produced in the 10th year of Vespasian’s reign (78/79 CE), the absence of coins from the first year of Titus’ reign (79/80 CE), and the reappearance of coins in the next year of Titus’ reign (80/81 CE) was likely due to interrupted production after the earthquake. Vespasian's reign ended when he died on 24 June 79 CE. Based on Amandry (1993), this would place the earthquake sometime in the year prior to 24 June 79 CE (e.g., June 78 - June 79 CE). Antonopoulos (1980) and later Ambraseys (2009) provide a different less credible argument that the transfer of the mint supports a 76 CE date for the earthquake.
Dates from various authors for The Great Plague in Rome and the Earthquake in Cyprus Seutonius probably provides the most reliable date for the Great Plague in Rome and the Syballine Oracles may provide the most reliable date for the Earthquakes in Cyprus. Seutonius dates the Great Plague to the reign of Titus (24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE) and the Syballine Oracles appears to date the Earthquake in Cyprus to the reign of Titus (24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE).
Antonopoulos (1980)
Text (with hotlink) Original Language Biographical Info Religion Date of Composition Location Composed Notes
History Against the Pagans by Orosius

Background and Biography

Background and Biography

Paulus Orosius (c. 380 - c.420) was a Roman Priest who wrote several books but his most famous is History Against the Pagans which was completed in ~416/417 CE. Orosius, who may have been born in Spain, spent time in North Africa as a student of Augustine of Hippo and in Palestine where he collaborated with Jerome (Fear, 2010:2-4). History Against the Pagans is a history of the secular world written from a Christian perspective (Fear, 2010:7). Fear (2010:7) notes that the Histories, though well written, do show signs of misunderstanding of their source material, and while, as will be seen, some of these ‘misunderstandings’ are deliberate, others are not.

Excerpts
English from Fear (2010)

In the ninth year of this emperor's reign, an earthquake destroyed three cities of Cyprus and at Rome there was a great plague. Vespasian died of dysentery at his country place among the Sabines in the ninth year of his principate.

Latin

Nono autem imperii eius anno tres civitates Cypri terrae motu corruerunt et Romae magna pestilentia fuit.

Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
1 July 77 to 30 June 78 CE the ninth year of this emperor's [Vespasian] reign none Calculated with CHRONOS. Vespasian's rule began on 1 July 69 CE
24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE at Rome there was a great plague none Suetonius who is probably the most reliable source for the date of the Great Plague in Rome dates the plague to the reign of Titus who ruled from 24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE.
Seismic Effects Locations Sources
Sources according to Fear (2010)

Fear (2010:15-16) described Orosius' sources as follows:

The sources Orosius used were probably not great in number, though a specious lustre of wide reading comes from his secondary use of the fragments of authors found in the notes of Jerome’s Chronicle. His main source for Greek history is Justin’s epitome of Pompeius Trogus’s Philippic History.83 Justin composed his epitome in the second or third century AD, while Trogus’s original work dates from the end of the first century BC. Livy, often at second hand via epitomes, the second-century historian Florus, and late fourth-century writer Eutropius form the main base of Orosius’s passages concerning the Roman Republic. In the Imperial period, Eutropius’s work becomes more prominent along with the now lost fourth century ‘History of the Emperors’ or Kaisergeschichte.84 Orosius also shows knowledge of Caesar, Sallust, Tacitus, and Suetonius. His approach to these sources was by no means naive. While at times he takes material verbatim or with very minor alterations, they are more often approached with a careful eye for selectivity. Instances of failed prophecy are seized upon as demonstrations of the folly of pagan religion,85 while pagan prophecies that seemingly come true are suppressed,86 as are accounts of successful pagan divine intervention.87 At times more open manipulation occurs. Leonidas’s speech to the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae is carefully edited to give it a sense quite different to the original found in Justin.88 Similarly, the sack of the Phoceans’ temples is portrayed as evidence of the impotence of the pagan gods, but Orosius’s source, Justin, presents it as divinely inspired punishment for the Phoceans’ earlier blasphemy.89 Later Orosius tells us that the consul Gurges was defeated after the ‘snake of Aesculapius’ was brought to Rome, leaving the reader to infer that there is a causal link between the two events. In Livy, however, who is Orosius’s source, the two events occur in the opposite order.90 Pagan sources are used to discredit the oracle of Ammon, and Mithridates’ final speech is also recruited to the cause of refuting paganism by a careful misinterpretation of its actual sense.91 This studied editing of the pagan past is intended to leave the reader feeling that Christianity’s critics are refuted by the very authors they would claim as their own.
Footnotes

83 For a discussion of this work see Yardley and Heckel (1997) and Yardley (2003).

84 The existence of the Kaisergeschicte was postulated by Enmann (1883). For modern discussions, see Barnes (1970) and Burgess (1995).

85 e.g. 3.22.3 and 4.13.14.

86 e.g. 4.10.3, where the sacred chickens rightly predict the Roman defeat at the battle of Drepanum.

87 For example, at 2.10, Orosius suppresses Justin’s comments that before Salamis Xerxes had sacked Delphi and hence was waging war on the gods as well as the Greeks, as he has no wish to imply that pagan gods could have been a factor in the Greeks’ victory at Salamis. He also suppresses the Delphic oracle’s comments about the wooden walls of Athens being her salvation.

88 2.9.6.

89 3.12.17; cf. the destruction of the Temple of Vesta at 4.11.9.

90 3.22.5–6; Livy, Per. 11.

91 3.16.13 and 6.14.11–17

Online Versions and Further Reading Notes
Calendars used by Orosius

Fear (2010:18) described Chronological Systems used by Orosius.

Given his wish to show that secular events prove the truth of Christianity, it is perhaps not surprising that Orosius uses the common chronological systems of his day rather than one centred on the incarnation. Such a system was not in fact available: the universal Christian chronology used today was devised some 100 years after Orosius’s death by Dionysius Exiguus.105 However, it is noticeable that Orosius chooses not to date events from the birth of Abraham, as does Eusebius/Jerome’s Chronicle. Rather, prior to the foundation of Rome, Orosius dates events by Olympiads. He then uses, as was common in Roman historiography, the date of Rome’s foundation as the starting point for his chronology.106 Orosius dates the foundation of Rome to 752 years before the birth of Christ, a year which fell in the sixth Olympiad and 414 years after the fall of Troy.107 The date of the foundation of Rome was subject to some dispute in antiquity. The commonest accepted date was that posited by the late republican scholar Varro – 754/3 BC. However, Orosius’s date has official sanction in that it is that which was used by the Capitoline Fasti, the official list of Roman magistrates erected in the forum at Rome, and it may be for this reason that he chose it, as it would once again link his account of the Roman past with the ‘official’ version of the day.
Footnotes

105 See Declercq (2002).

106 Normally such dates are styled AUC (Ab Urbe Condita), ‘from the foundation of the City’.

107 2.4.1; 6.22. Eusebius places Rome’s foundation in the fourth year of the sixth Olympiad, 1264 years after the birth of Abraham.

Chronicon by Eusebius

Background and Biography

Background and Biography

Eusebius of Caesarea (c.260/265 - 339 CE) also known as Eusebius Pamphilus is regarded as one of the most learned Christians of late antiquity (4th-6th centuries CE). He wrote numerous works of great value to historians including a History of the Church (aka Ecclesiastical History) which earned him a reputation as the "Father" of Church History. Despite this reputation, his works are not necessarily historically accurate and some scholars have accused him of dishonesty. Nevertheless, his writings are of great value due to both the volume of output and Eusebius' habit of quoting earlier works - many of which have been lost. Eusebius was born in Syria or Palestine, probably in Palestine close to Caesarea where he lived from a young age. Sometime before ~300 CE, he completed the first editions of two influential works - a History of the Church and Chronicon - a universal calendar of events from "Creation" until Eusebius' own time. In ~313 CE, Eusebius became Bishop of Caesarea. He also became an adviser to Emperor Constantine (r. 306-337 CE) and wrote a biography of the Emperor titled "In Praise of Constantine". A dedicated bibliophile, Eusebius managed or had access to the large library in Caesarea yet despite achieving fluency in Syriac and Greek, he apparently never mastered Latin. Eusebius wrote Chronicon in two parts. Although the original Greek text has been lost, later Chroniclers preserved significant parts of the manuscript. Jerome translated all of the second part (Book 2) into Latin.

Excerpts
English translation of Jerome's Latin translation of Eusebius' Chronicon Book Two

Three cities in Cyprus were destroyed all together in an earthquake. A massive plague happened at Rome, so that for many days about 10,000 men were listed in the daily register of the dead

Latin (partial)

Tres civitates Cypri terrae motu conruerunt.

English translation of Jerome's Latin translation of Eusebius' Chronicon Book Two - embedded



Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
1 July 77 CE to 30 June 78 CE Eusebius dates this section to the first year of the 214th Olympiad none Calculated with CHRONOS
24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE Same year that A massive plague happened at Rome none Suetonius who is probably the most reliable source for the date of the Great Plague in Rome dates the plague to the reign of Titus who ruled from 24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE.
Seismic Effects Locations Online Versions and Further Reading

The Life of the Caesars by Suetonius

Background and Biography

Background and Biography

Suetonius was a close friend of Pliny the Younger, was favored by Roman Emperors Trajan and Hadrian, and may have been Hadrian's personal secretary. Suetonius was possibly dismissed by Hadrian due to suspicions of having an affair with Hadrian's wife Vibia Sabina. Hadrian was, at a minimum. bisexual (he took male lovers) and may have been gay. He and Vibia Sabina had no children. Suetonius also had a childless marriage. Epitome de Caesaribus attributed to Aurelius Victor (14.8) reports that Hadrian treated Vibia Sabina like a slave and eventually drove her to suicide. Such details not only show that Suetonius and Vibia Sabina may have shared a close emotional connection but they also attest to Suetonius' close connections to Roman aristocracy. When this is combined with his reputation as a studious writer and his early date of composition (he would have been around 10 years old when the plague struck Rome), one realizes that Suetonius is probably the most reliable source for the date of the Great Plague in Rome.

Excerpts

Suetonius in his book The Life of the Caesars mentions a plague in Rome during the reign of Titus who ruled from 24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE.
English

There were some dreadful disasters during his reign [Titus], such as the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Campania, a fire at Rome which continued three days and as many nights, and a plague the like of which had hardly ever been known before.

Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE plague in Rome during the reign of Titus none Titus ruled from 24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE

Epitome de Caesaribus attributed to Aurelius Victor

Background and Biography

Background and Biography

Although Epitome de Caesaribus is attributed to Aurelius Victor (320 – 390 CE) who was Governor of Pannonia Secunda and praefectus urbi in Rome (Bird, 2014), it may have been written by an anonymous Pagan author It contains brief summaries about the Roman Emperors from Augustus to Theodosius the Great.

Excerpts
English

In his time, Mount Vesuvius in Campania began to flame, and at Rome there was a fire for three days and three nights without an evening's respite. Pestilence, too, there was, as much as scarcely ever before.

Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE plague and fire in Rome during the reign of Titus none Titus ruled from 24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE

Sibylline Oracles

Background and Biography

Background and Biography

The Syballine Books were a collection of oracular utterances set out in Greek hexameter from mystical women known as Sibyls. These closely guarded books (or book) were partially destroyed by a fire in 83 BCE and destroyed entirely (burned) in the late 4th or early 5th century CE. The Sibylline Oracles are forgeries of the the Syballine Books and perhaps might be more appropriately titled the Pseudo-Sibylline Oracles. These forgeries appear to have been extensively rewritten by successive authors between the 2nd and 6th centuries CE and contain a pastiche of Pagan, Jewish, and Christian content all expressed in a prophetic poetic form. In the rewriting, reference was made to actual events so as to bolster the power of the prophecy. This means that these books contain ex eventu prophecy - prophecy written "after the fact". As such, the Sibylline Oracles appear to contain some accurate information about natural disasters and historical events. The poem which describes the earthquake in Cyprus was likely written or rewritten by a Jewish or Jewish Christian author(s). The intent of the poem is to predict God's punishment on Rome and Roman Emperor Titus in particular for having been the General who ended the First Jewish War - killing many Jews and destroying the Second Temple. Divine retribution takes the form of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius (79 CE) which destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum and apparently an earthquake in Cyprus.

Excerpts

In Book IV Verses 166-168 of the Sibylline Oracles, there is a poetic description of an earthquake and possible tsunami striking the Cypriot cities of Salamis and Paphos.
English from Terry (1890)

Unknown, who shall some time dare loathsome guilt
Of matricide, and many other things,
Having confidence in his most wicked hands.
160 And many for the throne shall stain with blood
Rome's soil while he flees over Parthian land.
And out of Syria shall come Rome's foremost man,
Who having burned the temple of Solyma,
And having slaughtered many of the Jews,
165 Shall bring destruction on their great broad land.
And then too shall an earthquake overthrow
Both Salamis and Paphos, when dark water
Shall dash o'er Cyprus washed by many a wave
.
But when from deep cleft of Italian land
170 Fire shall come flashing forth in the broad heaven,
And many cities burn and men destroy
And much black ashes shall fill the great sky
And small drops like red earth shall fall from heaven,
Then know the anger of the God of heaven

English from Terry (1890) - embedded

  • see p. 106 starting with Unknown, who shall some time dare loathsome guilt
  • Book IV
  • from Terry (1890)


Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE The exegesis of the poem in Notes suggests that the earthquake in Cyprus happened during the reign of Titus who ruled from 24 June 79 to 13 September 81 CE none
  • "Rome's foremost man" refers to Titus who was the Roman General who destroyed the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE and then became "Rome's foremost man" when he later became Emperor.

  • "Rome's foremost man" (i.e., Titus) is said to have burned the temple of Solyma and slaughtered many of the Jews. Solyma refers to King Solomon who built the first Temple. Thus the temple of Solyma is referring to the Second Temple by its older traditional name.

  • Shall bring destruction on their great broad land refers to calamities experienced in Roman territories during Titus' brief reign as Emperor (24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE).

  • But when from deep cleft of Italian land
    170 Fire shall come flashing forth in the broad heaven,
    And many cities burn and men destroy
    And much black ashes shall fill the great sky
    And small drops like red earth shall fall from heaven
    refers to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the autumn of 79 CE - just a few months after Titus became Emperor.

  • Then know the anger of the God of heaven indicates that the author of this text viewed the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and possibly the earthquake in Cyprus as divine retribution for Titus' central role in the First Jewish War and destruction of the Second Temple.

  • This suggests that the earthquake in Cyprus, like the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, is dated to the reign of Titus (24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE).
Seismic Effects Locations Because other sources mention that three cities in Cyprus were destroyed and Salamis and Paphos are at either end of the island, Ambraseys (2009), speculated that, if the Sibylline Oracles can be trusted, the third city that was destroyed was probably Citium.

Online Versions and Further Reading
References

Online Versions and Further Reading Notes
The Original Sibylline Books vs. The Sibylline Oracles

Sacred-Texts.com describes The original Sibylline Books as follows:

The original Sibylline Books were closely-guarded oracular scrolls written by prophetic priestesses (the Sibylls) in the Etruscan and early Roman Era as far back as the 6th Century B.C.E. These books were destroyed, partially in a fire in 83 B.C.E., and finally burned by order of the Roman General Flavius Stilicho (365-408 C.E.).
The Sibylline Oracles which describes the Sibyl Quake should perhaps be titled the Pseudo-Sibylline Oracles because they are forgeries of The original Sibylline Books. Sacred-Texts.com describes them as follows:
The texts which are presented here are forgeries, probably composed between the second to sixth century C.E. They purport to predict events which were already history or mythological history at the time of composition, as well as vague all-purpose predictions, especially woe for various cities and countries such as Rome and Assyria. They are an odd pastiche of Hellenistic and Roman Pagan mythology, including Homer and Hesiod; Jewish legends such as the Garden of Eden, Noah and the Tower of Babel; thinly veiled references to historical figures such as Alexander the Great and Cleopatra, as well as a long list of Roman Emperors; and last but not least, Gnostic and early Christian homilies and eschatological writings, all in no particular order. There may be actual residue of the original Sibylline books wedged in here and there, but this is dubious.
The Pseudo-Sibyllines were referenced by the early Church fathers and in one instance have a Christian code-phrase in successive first letters on each line (an 'acrostic'). These books, in spite of their Pagan content, have been described as part of the Apocrypha, although they do not appear on any of the canonical lists.

The Life of Apollonius of Tyana by Philostratus

The Roman Empire in 69 CE The Roman Empire in 69 CE

Click on Image for high resolution magnifiable image

Wikipedia - Steerpike and Andrei nacu

CC BY-SA 3.0 nl


Background and Biography
Background and Biography

Philostratus was a Greek Sophist who wrote a biography titled The Life of Apollonius of Tyana for Julia Domna, the wife of Roman Emperor Septimius Severus and the mother of Roman Emperor Caracalla. Apollonius of Tyana was a wandering Greek philosopher and reputed mystic who lived in the 1st century CE.

Excerpts
English from Conybeare (1912)

The ruler of Syria had plunged into a feud, by disseminating among the citizens suspicions such that when they met in assembly they all quarreled with one another. But a violent earthquake happening to occur, they were all cowering, and as is usual in the case of heavenly portents, praying for one another.

English from Conybeare (1912) - embedded



Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
70s CE various parts of the text - see Notes none Philostratus is not specific about the date. Two earlier passages locate Apollonius in Tarsus - one in ~69 CE1 and another sometime later2. Two later passages places Apollonius in Tarsus3 sometime on or after 81 CE4. In the interim, Apollonius is reported to have wandered5 to a variety of locales around the Mediterranean (Phoenicia, Cilicia, Ionia, Achaea, and Italy). The synchronicity of the earthquake with a feud initiated by the ruler of Syria would place Apollonius in Cilicia or less likely in Phoenicia.6 Although Philostratus does not specify a date, it seems likely that the earthquake was felt in the 70’s CE.
Footnotes

1 Book 6 Section 30 recounts a meeting between Apollonius and future Roman Emperor Titus in Tarsus. During the interview, Titus claims to be co ruling with his father Vespasian at the start of Vespasian’s reign when Titus was 30 years old and Vespasian was 60 which consistently places the meeting in 69 CE.

English - Book 6 Section 30

[6.30] And after Titus had been proclaimed autocrat in Rome and rewarded with the meed of his valor, he went away to become the colleague in empire of his father; but he did not forget Apollonius, and thinking that even a short interview with him would be precious to himself, he besought him to come to Tarsus; and when he arrived he embraced him, saying: "My father has told me by letter everything in respect of which he consulted you; and lo, here is his letter, in which you are described as his benefactor and the being to whom we owe all that we are. Now though I am only just thirty years of age, I am held worthy of the same privileges which my father only attained at the age of sixty. I am called to the throne and to rule, perhaps before I have learned myself to obey, and I therefore dread lest I am undertaking a task beyond my powers."

Thereupon Apollonius, after stroking his neck, said (for had as stout a neck as any athlete in training): "And who will force so sturdy a bull-neck as yours under the yoke?"

"He that from my youth up reared me as calf," answered Titus, meaning his own father, and implying that he could only be controlled by the latter, who had accustomed him from childhood to obey himself.

"I am delighted then," said Apollonius, "in the first place to see you prepared to subordinate yourself to your father, whom without being his natural children so many are delighted to obey, and next to see you rendering to his court a homage in which others will associate yourself. When youth and age are paired in authority, is there any lyre or any flute that will produce so sweet a harmony and so nicely blended? For the qualities of old age will be associated with those of youth, with the result that old age will gain in strength and youth in discipline."

2 Book 6 Section 34 places Apollonius in Tarsus.
English - Book 6 Section 34

[6.34] Now the inhabitants of Tarsus had previously detested Apollonius, because of the violent reproaches which he addressed to them, owing to the fact that through their languid indifference and sensual indolence they could not put up with the vigor of his remarks. But on this occasion they became such devoted admirers of our hero as to regard him as their second founder and the mainstay of their city.

For on one occasion the Emperor was offering a sacrifice in public, when the whole body of citizens met and presented a petition to him asking for certain great favors; and he replied that he would mention the matter to his father, and be himself their ambassador to procure them what they wanted; whereupon Apollonius stepped forward and said: "Supposing I convicted some who are standing here of being your own and your father's enemies, and of having sent legates to Jerusalem to excite a rebellion, and of being the secret allies of your most open enemies, what would happen to them?"

"Why, what else," said the Emperor, "than instant death?"

"Then is it not disgraceful," replied Apollonius, "that you should be instant in demanding their punishment, and yet dilatory in conferring a boon; and be ready yourself to undertake the punishment, but reserve the benefaction until you can see and consult your father?"

But the king, over-delighted with this remark, said: "I grant the favors they ask for, for my father will not be annoyed at my yielding to truth and to yourself."

3 Book 6 Section 43 locates Apollonius in Tarsus.
English - Book 6 Section 43

[6.43] Here too is a story which they tell of him in Tarsus. A mad dog had attacked a lad, and as a result of the bite the lad behaved exactly like a dog, for he barked and howled and went on all four feet using his hands as such, and ran about in that manner. And he had been ill in this way for thirty days, when Apollonius, who had recently come to Tarsus, met him and ordered a search to be made for the dog which had done the harm.

But they said that the dog had not been found, because the youth had been attacked outside the wall when he was practicing with javelins, nor could they learn from the patient what the dog was like, for he did not even know himself any more. Then Apollonius reflected for a moment and said: "O Damis, the dog is a white shaggy sheep-dog, as big as an Amphilochian hound, and he is standing at a certain fountain trembling all over, for he is longing to drink the water, but at the same time is afraid of it. Bring him to me to the bank of the river, where there are the wrestling grounds, merely telling that it is I who call him."

So Damis dragged the dog along, and it crouched at the feet of Apollonius, crying out as a suppliant might do before an altar. But he quite tamed it by stroking it with his hand, and then he stood the lad close by, holding him with his hand; and in order that the multitude might be cognizant of so great a mystery, he said: "The soul of Telephus of Mysia has been transferred into this boy, and the Fates impose the same things upon him as upon Telephus."

And with these words he bade the dog lick the wound all round where he had bitten the boy, so that the agent of the wound might in turn be its physician and healer.note After that the boy returned to his father and recognized his mother, and saluted his comrades as before, and drank of the waters of the Cydnus. Nor did the sage neglect the dog either, but after offering a prayer to the river he sent the dog across it; and when the dog had crossed the river, he took his stand on the opposite bank, and began to bark, a thing which mad dogs rarely do, and he folded back his ears and wagged his tail, because he knew that he was all right again, for a draught of water cures a mad dog, if he has only the courage to take it.

Such were the exploits of our sage in behalf of both temples and cities; such were the discourses he delivered to the public or in behalf of different communities, and in behalf of those who were dead or who were sick; and such were the harangues he delivered to wise and unwise alike, and to the sovereigns who consulted him about moral virtue.

4 Book 6 Section 42 discusses a law prohibiting the making of eunuchs passed by Emperor Domitian whose rule began in 81 CE and ended in 96 CE. Domitian’s cultural decrees regarding Prostitutes and Eunuchs may have come at the beginning of his rule. A note in the online embedded texts in Book 6 Section 43 date Domition's order regarding the making of Eunuchs to 82 or 83 CE. Perhaps this is covered in Roman accounts of Domitian’s rule by Suetonius, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Juvenal, or court poets Martial and Statius.
English - Book 6 Section 42

[6.42] The emperor Domitian about the same time passed a law against making men eunuchs, and against planting fresh vineyards, and also in favor of cutting down vineyards already planted, whereon Apollonius, who was visiting the Ionians, remarked: "These rescripts do not concern me, for I, alone perhaps of mankind, require neither to beget my kind nor to drink wine; but our egregious sovereign seems not aware that he is sparing mankind, while he eunuchises the earth."[The castration edict was promulgated in 82 or 83; the edict on the vitculture dates to the early 90's.]

This witticism emboldened the Ionians to send a deputation to the emperor in behalf of their vines, and ask for a repeal of the law which ordered the earth to be laid waste and not planted.

5 Book 6 Section 35
English - Book 6 Section 35

[6.35] So many were the races which they say Apollonius had visited until then, eager and zealous for others as they for him. But his subsequent journeys abroad, though they were numerous, were yet not so many as before, nor did he go to fresh districts which he was not already acquainted with; for when he came down from Ethiopia he made a long stay on the sea-board of Egypt, and then he returned to Phoenicia and Cilicia, and to Ionia and Achaea, and Italy, never failing anywhere to show himself the same as ever.

For, hard as it is to know oneself, I myself consider it still harder for the sage to remain always himself; for he cannot ever reform evil natures and improve them, unless he has first trained himself never to alter in his own person. Now about these matters I have discoursed at length in other treatises, and shown those of my readers who were careful and hard students, that a man who is really a man will never alter his nature nor become a slave.

But lest I should unduly prolong this work by giving a minute account of the several teachings which he addressed to individuals, and lest on the other hand I should skip over any important chapter of a life, which I am taking so much pains to transmit to those who never knew Apollonius, I think it time to record more important incidents and matters which will repay the remembering; for we must consider that such episodes are comparable to the visits to mankind paid by the sons of Asclepius.

6 Phoenicia is deemed less likely because between Sections 30 and 42 Apollonius is physically located in Tarsus during several of his discourses but there are no accounts of his discourses where he is located in Phoenicia.

Seismic Effects Locations Book 6 Section 34 and Book 6 Section 42 may place Apollonius in Tarsus when the earthquake struck.
English - Book 6 Section 34

[6.34] Now the inhabitants of Tarsus had previously detested Apollonius, because of the violent reproaches which he addressed to them, owing to the fact that through their languid indifference and sensual indolence they could not put up with the vigor of his remarks. But on this occasion they became such devoted admirers of our hero as to regard him as their second founder and the mainstay of their city.

For on one occasion the Emperor was offering a sacrifice in public, when the whole body of citizens met and presented a petition to him asking for certain great favors; and he replied that he would mention the matter to his father, and be himself their ambassador to procure them what they wanted; whereupon Apollonius stepped forward and said: "Supposing I convicted some who are standing here of being your own and your father's enemies, and of having sent legates to Jerusalem to excite a rebellion, and of being the secret allies of your most open enemies, what would happen to them?"

"Why, what else," said the Emperor, "than instant death?"

"Then is it not disgraceful," replied Apollonius, "that you should be instant in demanding their punishment, and yet dilatory in conferring a boon; and be ready yourself to undertake the punishment, but reserve the benefaction until you can see and consult your father?"

But the king, over-delighted with this remark, said: "I grant the favors they ask for, for my father will not be annoyed at my yielding to truth and to yourself."

English - Book 6 Section 43

[6.42] The emperor Domitian about the same time passed a law against making men eunuchs, and against planting fresh vineyards, and also in favor of cutting down vineyards already planted, whereon Apollonius, who was visiting the Ionians, remarked: "These rescripts do not concern me, for I, alone perhaps of mankind, require neither to beget my kind nor to drink wine; but our egregious sovereign seems not aware that he is sparing mankind, while he eunuchises the earth." note

This witticism emboldened the Ionians to send a deputation to the emperor in behalf of their vines, and ask for a repeal of the law which ordered the earth to be laid waste and not planted.

Online Versions and Further Reading

Chronography by Elias of Nisibis

Background and Biography

Background and Biography

Elias of Nisibis was a cleric of the Church of the East, who served as bishop of Beth Nuhadra (1002–1008) and archbishop of Nisibis (1008–1046) (wikipedia). He wrote a number of texts but is best known for Chronography which he composed in the early 11th century CE. Enclclopedia Iranica describes Chronography as follows:

His renowned Chronography on history is preserved in a single manuscript with only a few major lacunae. It is divided into two parts, in Syriac with Arabic translation following each paragraph for most of the first part. The first part, modeled on the Chronicle of Eusebius, treats universal and ecclesiastical history up to 1018 C.E. in the form of tables, usually with accurate references given to the sources. The second part is a manual of the different calendars used in the Orient.

Excerpts
English from Delaporte (1910)

213th Olympiad - Year 385 - 386 - 387

There was an earthquake in Cyprus. For three days there were collapses (Chronicon by Eusebius)

-Year 388. There was a plague in Rome such that more than 10,000 died in a day (Chronicon by Eusebius and Chronologue of Andronicus)

French from Delaporte (1910)

CCXIIIe Olympiade. — An 385. — [18, r.] — An 386. — - An 387. En lequel il y eut un tremblement de terre dans l'ile de Chypre ; pendant trois jours il se produisit des effondrements3 (Canon chronologique d'Eusebe)

— An 388. En lequel il y eut la peste dans la ville de Rome, en sorte qu'on trouva par jour plus de 10,000 morts4 ([Canon chronologique d'Eusebe. Canon chronologique] d'Andronicus).

Footnotes

3 Ma'nu V; 7 ans, de 50 a 57 ap. J.C. [Rubens Duval, op. cit., p. 204.]

4 Ma'nu VI; 14 ans, de 57 a 71 ap. J.C. [Rubens Duval, op. cit., p. 204.]

French from Delaporte (1910) - embedded



Chronology
Earthquake in Cyprus
Date Reference Corrections Notes
1 July 73 - 30 June 77 CE 213th Olympiad none Calculated using CHRONOS. Jerome's translation of Chronicon by Eusebius places the Sybil Quake during the 214th Olympiad.
1 Oct. 73 to 30 Sept. 74 CE A.G. 385 none Calculated using CHRONOS.
1 Oct. 74 to 30 Sept. 75 CE A.G. 386 none Calculated using CHRONOS.
1 Oct. 75 to 30 Sept. 76 CE A.G. 387 none Calculated using CHRONOS.
Plague in Rome
Date Reference Corrections Notes
1 July 73 - 30 June 77 CE 213th Olympiad none Calculated using CHRONOS.
1 Oct. 76 to 30 Sept. 77 CE A.G. 388 none Calculated using CHRONOS.
Full Range of Dates for Earthquake in Cyprus and Plague in Rome
Date Range Event
1 July 73 - 30 June 77 CE Earthquake in Cyprus
1 July 73 to 30 Sept. 77 CE Plague in Rome
Seismic Effects Locations Online Versions and Further Reading
References

Chronography in Syriac

Bibliography from Encyclopedia Iranica

The Syriac and Arabic text of the Chronography is found in Opus chronologicum, ed. and tr. E. W. Brooks, Scriptores Syriacae, 3rd ser., VII-VIII, Paris, 1909-10 (Figure 1).

A. Baumstark, Geschichte der syrischen Literatur, Bonn, 1922, pp. 287 f.

Idem and A. Rücker, “Die aramäische und syrische Literatur,” HO I/3, Leiden, 1964, p. 196.

R. Duval, La littérature syriaque, Paris, 1899, pp. 211 f., 304, 394 f.

G. Graf, Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Literatur II, Rome, 1947, pp. 177-89.

Nöldeke, Geschichte der Perser, pp. 400 ff.

The Chronicle of Georgius Syncellos

Background and Biography

Background and Biography

In 808 CE, George Syncellus began work on a Chronicle intending to cover "Creation" until his own times. By 810 CE, Syncellus had written up to 285 CE when Diocletian became Emperor. Syncellus's incapacitation or demise in 810 CE meant that this is where his Chronicle ends. Before he died, however, he convinced his friend Theophanes to finish the Chronicle - which he did. Theophanes took Syncellus's apparently large collection of source material and extended it to 813 CE. How much Theophanes's extended Chronicle was based on Syncellus' source material is a matter of debate (Neville, 2018:56). How much editing or redaction Theophanes performed on Syncellus' work up to 285 CE may also be unknown.

George Syncellus seemed to have had an obsession with time. He believed that Christ's Incarnation at the beginning of A.M.a 5501 and his Resurrection in A.M.a 5534 both occurred on 25 March, the same day as the day of creation (Tuffin and Adler, 2002:xxix). Syncellus and his descendant Theophanes used an older method the count years - the Alexandrian Anno Mundi system - A.M.a - which had at its basis a search for the date of Creation and the date of Easter. The end result of this quest, however, may be significant chronological uncertainty in the work of Theophanes/Syncellus. Both present multiple time markers in the combined text which are frequently inconsistent or inaccurate.

Not much is known about Syncellus' life. His date and place of birth seem to be unknown. Because Syncellus mentions having personally visited various sites in Palestine, there is some speculation that he may have lived for some time in a monastery near Bethlehem before moving to Constantinople but this is not known for sure (Neville, 2018:57 and Tuffin and Adler, 2002:xxx). At some point in time he was appointed to the high ranking ecclesiastical position of syncellus (literally "cell-mate") to Tarasios the Patriarch of Constantinople. He started writing his Chronicle after he retired from this position although presumably he would have been gathering source material before he began writing.

Some of George Syncellus' sources include Julius Africanus (c.160-240 CE), Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 260/265-339 CE), and the monks Panodoros and Annianos, both early 5th century monks from Alexandria who developed the Alexandrian version of Anno Mundi reckoning. Syncellus, like Theophanes, was strongly opposed to the iconoclasm of his time and may have suffered due to his outspoken views on the subject.

Excerpts
English from Adler and Tuffin (2002)

AM 5564

Year 64 of the divine Incarnation

When Nero had ended his life in disgrace, Vespasian was proclaimed Roman emperor by the armies throughout Judaea. But Galba, who was in command in Iberia, arrived in Rome and held power for seven months. Otho, a highly placed Roman official, slew him and held power over Rome for three months. After Vitellius killed him, he held power for eight months. When Vespasian's brother Sabinus, who was spending time in Rome, fled to the Capitol out of fear of his brother's proclamation as emperor, Vitellius killed him in the precinct of the temple of Zeus, after surrounding the man and burning the temple.2

The above-mentioned Vitellius was straight away killed by Vespasian's younger son Domitian, whom his father had dispatched for this purpose. After leaving behind his elder son Titus, who had concluded3 the war against the Jews, Vespasian arrived in Greece, taking pleasure (so the Greek story goes) at what he had heard from Apollonios of Tyana concerning the length of time of his reign and other words of praise; he met him in Egypt upon Apollonios' return from the Indians and the Brahman Gymnosophists who lived there.4 So then he arrived in Greece and quelled the cities in rebellion; and from there he arrived in Rome, exercising rule in a way that was both decent and entirely opposed to Nero's. For he brought life back to normal and restored the city's legal system, and through his sons Domitian and Cyrenalius,5 he brought to terms the barbarians who were in rebellion: Broxyloi, Britons, Dacians, Sarmatai.

From Eusebios6

Titus besieged the Jews, devastated Jerusalem and killed 60,000 men. Josephos also says that 1,100,000 perished by famine and the sword, and another 30,000 of the captives were sold off. He states that the feast of Passover was responsible for the great number of people that happened to be in the city. During the festival, the whole nation had come together and were hemmed into the city as if they were in a prison.7 For it was necessary that those who had plotted against our Saviour during the days of Passover should suffer punishment for what they dared at no time other but then.

Vespasian restored the Capitol, which had been set on fire.

There was rebellion in Alexandria.8

The Colossus of Rhodes was erected from bronze, 127 feet in height.9

There was a great plague throughout Rome, so that over the course of many days over 10,000 people died daily.

In Cyprus, three cities collapsed in an earthquake.10

After sending out colonies, Vespasian died of a disease.11

The bishop of Antioch was Ignatios Theophoros 30 years.12
Footnotes

2 Cf. Eutrop. 7.16-18.

3 Text: EKTEAEcapTa. Possibly emend to EKTEAEOOVTa ('in order to conclude').

4 Cf. Philost. Apollonios 5.27, 41; Suet. Vesp. 7.1.

5 That is, Cerealis.

6 Eus. 2.187a. Cf. HE 3.5.4-5; Jos. jW 6.428.

7 Jos. JW 6.421-8.

8 Cf. Eus. 2.186i, 188ab

9 Above, p. 402 (= Moss. 333.15), Synk. states that the Colossus of Rhodes collapsed much earlier in an earthquake; he apparently confused the Colossus of Rhodes with the colossus in Rome set up along the 'Sacred Way' and completed by the emperor Vespasian. Originally dedicated to Nero, it was rededicated to the sun. For the confusion of this colossus with the Colossus of Rhodes, see also Chron. pasch. 464.13-14; Kedr. i. 377.15-16. For a description of Vespasian's colossus, see Suet. Vesp. 18; Pliny, NH 34.18.45; Cass. Dio 66.15.1. Cf. also the parallel notice in Eus. 2.188d: 'Colossus erectus habens altitudinis pedes CVII' (but '128 Ellen' in Eus.Arm 2.217.

10 Cf. Eus. 2.I88hg.

11 Cf. Eus. 2.I88i; Cass. Dio 66.17.1-3; Suet. Vesp. 24.

12 Cf. Eus. 2.I86f, 194h (40 years); [Greek Text] 74.26 (32 years).

Chronology

The reign of the bishop of Antioch is not included in the table below because Syncellos specifies the length of his reign rather than in which year of his reign the earthquake struck.
Date Reference Corrections Notes
25 Mar. 71 to 24 Mar. 72 CE A.M.a 5564 none Calculated using CHRONOS.
25 March 72 to 24 March 73 CE Divine incarnation year 64 none. Calculated using CHRONOS.
23/24 June 79 CE Same A.M.a as the death of Vespasian none.
~80 CE Same A.M.a as when "Vespasian restored the Capitol, which had been set on fire" none. Apparently Titus, Vespasian's son and successor, restored the Capitol (Rome) in 80 CE.
Seismic Effects Locations Online Versions and Further Reading

Vita Hilarion by Jerome

Background and Biography

Background and Biography

Jerome (Hieronymus in Latin) was a Christian Priest who authored and translated many works including an influential translation of the Old and New Testaments from Hebrew and Greek into Latin creating most of what is known as the Vulgate - a text which was used by the Catholic Church for over 1500 years. He was born in Stridon in the Roman province of Dalmatia between 342 and 347 CE. He lived in a monastery in Bethlehem starting in 382 CE and died there in 420 CE.

Jerome wrote the Life of Hilarion (Vita Hilarion) in Bethlehem in 390 CE. Hilarion lived from 291 – 371 CE.

Excerpts

Antonopoulos (1980:148 n.1) reported that Hieronymos (Vita Hilarion, § 7) contained a reference to this earthquake and the Great Plague in Rome where Hieronymos is Jerome's name in Latin. A search through this source for the words plague and pestilence revealed nothing. A search for Rome led to a short passage about the Apostle Peter who is reputed to have died a decade or more before the Sybil Quake. There is no mention of a plague in that passage. Section 42 which documents Hilarion's arrival in Cyprus may contain the section Antonopoulos (1980:148 n.1) was referring to
English from Fremantle (1893) - Section 42

Having then entered Paphos, the city of Cyprus renowned in the songs of the poets, the ruins of whose temples after frequent earthquakes are the only evidences at the present day of its former grandeur, he began to live in obscurity about two miles from the city, and rejoiced in having a few days rest.

While this does refer to past earthquakes it is unspecific about the dates. Section 40 mentions an earthquake after Roman Emperor Julian the apostate died in June 363 CE. This appears to reference the 365 CE Crete earthquake of the eastern Mediterranean which is reputed to have been felt widely and generated widespread tsunamis.
English from Fremantle (1893) - Section 40

At that time there was an earthquake over the whole world, following on the death of Julian, which caused the sea to burst its bounds, and left ships hanging on the edge of mountain steeps. It seemed as though God were threatening a second deluge, or all things were returning to original chaos. When the people of Epidaurus saw this, I mean the roaring waves and heaving waters and the swirling billows mountain-high dashing on the shore, fearing that what they saw had happened elsewhere might befall them and their town be utterly destroyed, they made their way to the old man, and as if preparing for a battle placed him on the shore.

There is no further mention of Earthquakes in the Life of Hilarion.

Online Versions and Further Reading

Chronicon Paschale

Background and Biography

Background and Biography

Neville (2018:52) describes the anonymous 7th century CE Chronicon Paschale (aka Chronicum Alexandrinum, Constantinopolitanum, or Fasti Siculi) as follows:

This text is found in the tenth-century Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1941. The early leaves of the manuscript, where one would normally find the author’s name and title, have been lost. The modern title, “Paschal Chronicle” (from the Latin, “Chronicon Paschale”), derives from the author’s interest in the correct dating of Easter. We know nothing about the author. Some scholars have speculated that the author was a member of the clergy,1 while others suggest that he was a layman working in imperial administration.2

The Paschal Chronicle is both a universal history from the Creation until 628, as well as an extended argument about the proper calculation of the dates of liturgical feasts. The author is concerned with demonstrating that the liturgical cycle used in Constantinople employs the correct dates for both the moveable feasts, such as Easter, and the fixed feasts, such as Annunciation on March 15 or the Presentation in the Temple on February 2. The determination of the passage of time, as reckoned by both history and the movements of the stars, served to establish definitively the proper dates of liturgical celebrations. The enumeration of years plays a role in the author’s efforts to establish a definitive chronology of human history. Each year is listed separately. Some key events of secular history are briefly described under the headings of the years so that the text also serves as a universal chronicle.
Footnotes

1 Michael Whitby and Mary Whitby , Chronicon Paschale 284– 628 AD ( Liverpool : Liverpool University Press , 1989 ), xxvii ; Heinrich Gelzer , Sextus Julius Africanus und die byzantinische Chronographie ( Leipzig : Teubner , 1885 ), 138 .

2 Warren T. Treadgold , The Early Byzantine Historians ( New York : Palgrave Macmillan , 2007 ), 341– 42

Neville (2018:53) adds that the author of the Pascal Chronicle argued that the Incarnation took place in anno mundi 5509, based on his calculation of the Easter cycle [Whitby and Whitby, Chronicon Paschale , xv.]. Some have speculated that the author was a cleric attached to the suite of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Sergius I.

Excerpts

Antonopoulos (1980:148 n.1) reported that Chronicon Paschale (p. 248D) contained a reference to this earthquake and the Great Plague in Rome. However, I cannot find anything in Volume 2 of a Latin translation by Dindorf (1832) which refers to the earthquake or the plague.
Chronicon Paschale in Latin - embedded
Sources
Sources according to Neville (2018)

Neville (2018:53) states that The Paschal Chronicle used the chronicle of John Malalas as a main source in addition to the Bible and the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius [Whitby and Whitby, Chronicon Paschale , xv.].

Online Versions and Further Reading

Opus Chronologicum by Calvisius

Background and Biography

Background and Biography

Sethus Calvisius (1556–1615 CE), who was also known as Setho Calvisio or Seth Kalwitz, was a German music theorist, composer, chronologer, astronomer, and teacher of the late Renaissance. He published Opus Chronologicum in Latin in 1605 CE.

Excerpts

Calvisius (1605:457) has a brief account of the earthquake. Eusebius is cited as the source.
English from Calvisius (1605)

Anno Mundi 4026
Poft C.77.

... An earthquake affected 3 cities in Cyprus. Among them was Salamis. Eusebius

Latin from Calvisius (1605)

Tres urbes in Cypro terraemotu pereunt inter quas fuit etiam Salamis. Euseb.

Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
? A.M. 4026 none Anno Mundi 4026 results in a year in the middle of the 2nd millennium BCE using Alexandrian or Byzantine reckoning. Thus, Calvisius must have been employing a different system of reckoning.
77 CE ? Poft C.77 none Poft C.77 may refer to 77 CE.
Seismic Effects Locations Online Versions and Further Reading
References

Calvisius (1605) "Opus chronologicum ex autoritate s. scripturae ad motum luminarium coelestium contextum" Leipzig

Opus chronologicum ex autoritate s. scripturae ad motum luminarium coelestium contextum. Leipzig 1605 (first edition), Frankfurt 1685 (6th edition)

Transfer of the Roman Mint

Amandry (1993) notes that the Mint which was moved to Cyprus in 76 CE was moved back to Antioch in 80 CE. He suggests an earthquake in 78 CE was the reason for the move back to Antioch noting that the scarcity of coins produced in the 10th year of Vespasian’s reign (78/79 CE), the absence of coins from the first year of Titus’ reign (79/80 CE), and the reappearance of coins in the first year of Titus’ reign (80/81 CE) was likely due to interrupted production after the earthquake. Vespasian's reign ended when he died on 24 June 79 CE. Based on Amandry (1993), this would place the earthquake sometime in the year prior to 24 June 79 CE (i.e., June 78 - June 79 CE).

Antonopoulos (1980) and later Ambraseys (2009) present a less credible argument that the Romans transferred their mint to Cyprus in 76 CE1 as part of a probable relief effort to support earthquake and tsunami survivors. They opine that this supports a 76 CE rather than a 77 CE date for the earthquake since if the earthquake occurred in 77 CE, there was no apparent reason to transfer the mint in 76 CE.

Footnotes

1 the first coins minted were dated to July 76 CE, August 77 CE and September 78 CE according to Antonopoulos (1980). Antonopoulos (1980) cites Hill (1940:234) for this but does not list Hill in his references. In all likelihood the reference is Hill, G. F. (1905). "A Catalogue of the Greek Coins in the British Museum: Cyprus." Journal of Hellenic Studies 25: 188. Sometimes this reference is listed as Hill (1904) suggesting that Antonopoulos made a typographic error transposing the 4 and 0 to arrive at Hill (1940) instead of Hill (1904).

Dates from various authors for The Great Plague in Rome and the Earthquake in Cyprus

A summary of dates from the sources which provided dates for the Plague in Rome and the Earthquake in Cyprus is provided below. Seutonius probably provides the most reliable date for the Great Plague in Rome and the Syballine Oracles may provide the most reliable date for the Earthquakes in Cyprus. Seutonius dates the Great Plague to the reign of Titus (24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE) and the Syballine Oracles appears to date the Earthquake in Cyprus to the reign of Titus (24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE). The tables are arranged in order of composition.

Plague in Rome
Date Range Source Date of Composition Comments
24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE (during the reign of Titus) The Life of the Caesars by Suetonius 121 CE Probably the most reliable source for the date of the plague due to his studious nature, the date of composition, and his connections to Roman aristocracy.
1 July 77 - 30 June 78 CE Chronicon by Eusebius Early 4th century CE Original Greek text is lost. All we have are translations from the original text (e.g., Jerome's Latin translation)
24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE (during the reign of Titus) Epitome de Caesaribus attributed to Aurelius Victor end of the 4th century CE may have been written by an anonymous Pagan author.
1 July 77 and 30 June 78 CE History Against the Pagans by Orosius ~416-417 CE
25 Mar. 71 to 24 Mar. 72 CE - The Chronicle of Georgius Syncellos 808-810 CE Chronologically inconsistent. Dates are unreliable
1 Oct. 76 to 30 June 77 CE Chronography by Elias of Nisibis Early 11th c. Listed his sources as Chronicon by Eusebius and Chronologue of Andronicus although he provided a different date range for the plague than the Latin translation of Chronicon by Eusebius provided by Jerome.
Earthquake in Cyprus
Date Range Source Date of Composition Comments
24 June 79 – 13 September 81 CE (during the reign of Titus) Sibylline Oracles ?
1 July 77 - 30 June 78 CE Chronicon by Eusebius Early 4th century CE Original Greek text is lost. All we have are translations from the original text (e.g., Jerome's Latin translation)
1 July 77 and 30 June 78 CE History Against the Pagans by Orosius ~416-417 CE
25 Mar. 71 to 24 Mar. 72 CE The Chronicle of Georgius Syncellos 808-810 CE Chronologically inconsistent. Dates are unreliable
1 Oct. 73 - 30 Sept. 76 CE Chronography by Elias of Nisibis Early 11th c. Listed his source as Chronicon by Eusebius although he provided a different date range for the earthquake than the Latin translation of Chronicon by Eusebius provided by Jerome.

Antonopoulos (1980)

Although he did not cite him, Ambraseys (2009) catalog entry appears to be largely derived and sometimes directly quoted from Antonopoulos (1980:148-150). Ambraseys (2009) included Antonopoulos' (1980:148-150) flawed analysis for dating the earthquake based on moving of the Roman Mint. Antonopoulos (1980:148-150) entry which includes a wealth of valuable references is quoted in its entirety below.

3. 76* AD. Cyprus. Cition, Paphos and Salamis. 39 (p. 139), 44 (p. 775), 15 (vii), 18 (P. 342), 20 (P. 277), 14 (P. 54), 22 (vii, 9.11), 30 (p. 459), 9 (P. 248).

A disastrous earthquake occurred in Cyprus in 76 or 77 AD. This earthquake is generally dated together with a pestilence in Rome, in 77 AD, but early chroniclers differ in it slightly1. We are inclined to think rather of 76 AD as the year for this earthquake because this was the year at which the Romans transferred their mint to Cyprus and the first coins minted there are dated July 76, August 77 and September 78 (Hill 1940, p. 234). It is not improbable that this transfer of the mint was connected with the measures taken to relieve the island after the earthquake which is generally dated 767 AD but may have taken place a year earlier. Some few early chroniclers may have put the earthquake in 77 AD in order to synchronise it with the pestilence in Rome.

The facts about the particular places in Cyprus which were destroyed by this earthquake and the seismic sea-wave which is supposed to have accompanied this earthquake, are very obscure. If we trust the allusion in the Sibyllina Oracula (lib. iv, lines 125, 126, 140, 141), the places in Cyprus which suffered most should have been Salamis, Paphos and Cition, but it is questionable whether these places suffered from the 76 AD earthquake or from a later shock. It seams probable, from the slight indications, mostly inferences from statements at a later date, that, with the possible exception of Cition, Salamis and Paphos should have been damaged to some extent by the 76 AD earthquake. The chroniclers were evidently not quite certain of the particular places in Cyprus which were damaged by this earthquake.

The Sibyllina Oracula prophesies also a destructive seismic sea-wave (lib. iv, lines 126, 140; lib. v, lines 450-453; lib. vii, line 5). This prophesy constitutes the sole authority upon which Oberhummer (1903, p. 139)2 and after him many authors have based their arguments for the 76 AD seismic sea-wave in Cyprus. But we find no mention of such an event in the narrations of early chroniclers3, and we feel that should an event such as a catastrophic seismic sea-wave had in fact accompanied this earthquake, it should have been most certainly included by these chroniclers in their description of the seismic events of 76 AD.

Whether, in this instance, the Sibyllina Oracula can be trusted as a source of authentic historical information, and if so, whether the seismic sea-wave in Cyprus which is mentioned in the text refers to the earthquake of 76 AD, all yet remains to be investigated. No other data worthy of any confidence has come to our attention.
Footnotes

1 Hieronymos (Vita Hilarion, § 7), Svngelos (p. 342), St. Jerome, Chron. Paschale (p. 248D), Orosius (lib. vii, § 9.11), Calvisius (p. 459) place the pestilence in Rome and the earthquake in Cyprus in 77 AD, Eusebios (Armenian Text, Chron. p. 277) and Elias Nisibinus (Chron. transl. by De-laporte, p. 54) place the pestilence in this year but the earthquake between July 75 and July 76 AD. Suetonius (Titus ch. 8) and Victor (Epit. p. 367) refer this to the reign of Titus.

2 The Greek text of the Oracle (lib. iv, lines 140, 141) which appears in Obernummer's work (p. 139, lines 10 and 11) should read:

[Greek Text] line 140
[Greek Text] line 141

(= Alas suffering Cyprus, you shall be laid waste by the broad whirling waves of the sea which are tossed up in the winter) and not [Greek Text]

(= Alas suffering Cyprus, the broad waves of the sea which are tossed up whirling in the winter will cover over you).

3 The difference is very important wince now this oracle does not seem to refer to a seismic sea-wave, but rather to one of the hurricanes which are known to have burst over the island during its early history Casola (1498), Anonymous (1546 a,b) Lusignan (1580) and others.

Also Oberhummer's standard pagination of the oracles is throughout by three lines too high.

Archeoseismic Evidence

Tsunamogenic Evidence

Paleoseismic Evidence

Location (with hotlink) Status Intensity Notes
Dead Sea - Seismite Types n/a n/a The table below shows projected PGA and Intensity at 3 Dead Sea Sites and 2 Araba sites for an earthquake in Cyprus with a Magnitude varying from 6.5-7.5. The estimated Intensity (IEst.) from seismic evidence at the sites whose ages were close to the Sybil Quake are also shown. Considering that Lu et al (2020a) estimated a minimum PGA of 0.13 g and Williams (2004) estimated a minimum PGA of 0.23 g to generate a seismite in the Dead Sea, it seems that the Sibyl Quake would have had to have been very powerful (M ≥ 7.5) to entertain the possibility of leaving a mark in the Dead Sea and would not have left a mark in the Araba under any conditions. A calculator is provided for experimentation.
Location Assumed Distance (km.) Range of Projected PGA's (g) Range of Projected Intensities IEst. from site
Dead Sea - En Feshka 380 0.05 - 0.13 4.4 - 6.1 7.9 - 8.8
Dead Sea - En Gedi 415 0.04 - 0.12 4.2 - 5.9 7.9 - 8.8
Dead Sea - Nahal Ze'elim 425 0.04 - 0.11 4.1 - 5.8 8.0 - 8.9
Araba - Taybeh Trench 520 0.03 - 0.08 4.5 - 5.2 ≥ 7
Araba - Qatar Trench 575 0.02 - 0.06 3.2 - 4.9 ≥ 7
Calculator
Seismic Attenuation

Variable Input Units Notes
Magnitude
km. Distance to earthquake producing fault
Variable Output - Site Effect not considered Units Notes
unitless
unitless Conversion from PGA to Intensity using Wald et al (1999)
  

Approximate distances to Cyprus

Sybil Quake
Location Approx. Distance
to Cyprus (km.)
En Feshka 380
En Gedi 415
Nahal Ze 'elim 425
Taybeh Trench 520
Qatar Trench 575

Dead Sea - En Feshka possible 7.9 - 8.8 Kagan et. al. (2011) identified a 1 cm. thick Type 4 seismite at a depth of 338 cm. with modeled ages of 63 CE ± 38 (1σ) and 61 CE ± 81 (2σ) which they assigned to the Jerusalem Quake - a more likely candidate.
Dead Sea - En Gedi possible 7.9 - 8.8 Migowski et. al. (2004) assigned a 0.4 cm. thick Type 4 seismite at a depth of 268.2 cm. (2.682 m) to a date of 76 CE.
Dead Sea - Nahal Ze 'elim unlikely to possible 8.0 - 8.9 At site ZA-2, Kagan et al (2011) assigned a 4 cm. thick Type 4 seismite at a depth of 470 cm. (Modeled Ages 1σ - 52 CE ± 40 and 2σ - 56 CE ± 76) to a date of 33 CE which in this case is shorthand for the Jerusalem Quake - a more likely candidate.
Araba - Introduction n/a n/a n/a
Araba - Taybeh Trench unlikely ≥ 7 LeFevre et al. (2018) identified a seismic event (E4) in the Taybeh trench with a modeled age of 111 CE ± 31 which was associated with the early 2nd century CE Incense Road Earthquake.
Araba - Qatar Trench unlikely ≥ 7 Klinger et. al. (2015) identified a seismic event (E6) in a trench near Qatar, Jordan in the Araba which they modeled between 9 BCE and 492 CE. The large spread in age caused them to consider two possible earthquakes as the cause; the early 2nd century CE Incense Road Quake and the southern Cyril Quake of 363 CE. They preferred the Cyril Quake of 363 CE based on weighing other evidence not related to their paleoseismic study and noted that further investigation was required.
Location (with hotlink) Status Intensity Notes
Dead Sea - Seismite Types



Dead Sea - En Feshka

Kagan et. al. (2011) identified a 1 cm. thick Type 4 seismite at a depth of 338 cm. with modeled ages of 63 CE ± 38 (1σ) and 61 CE ± 81 (2σ) which they assigned to the Jerusalem Quake - a more likely candidate.



Dead Sea - En Gedi

Migowski et. al. (2004) assigned a 0.4 cm. thick Type 4 seismite at a depth of 268.2 cm. (2.682 m) to a date of 76 CE.



Dead Sea - Nahal Ze 'elim

At site ZA-2, Kagan et al (2011) assigned a 4 cm. thick Type 4 seismite at a depth of 470 cm. (Modeled Ages 1σ - 52 CE ± 40 and 2σ - 56 CE ± 76) to a date of 33 CE which in this case is shorthand for the Jerusalem Quake - a more likely candidate.



Araba - Introduction



Araba - Taybeh Trench

LeFevre et al. (2018) identified a seismic event (E4) in the Taybeh trench with a modeled age of 111 CE ± 31 which was associated with the early 2nd century CE Incense Road Earthquake.



Araba - Qatar Trench

Klinger et. al. (2015) identified a seismic event (E6) in a trench near Qatar, Jordan in the Araba which they modeled between 9 BCE and 492 CE. The large spread in age caused them to consider two possible earthquakes as the cause; the early 2nd century CE Incense Road Quake and the southern Cyril Quake of 363 CE. They preferred the Cyril Quake of 363 CE based on weighing other evidence not related to their paleoseismic study and noted that further investigation was required.



Notes

Paleoclimate - Droughts

References