Sunday, May 29, 2011

Earthquakes in Antioch

Today is the anniversary of the great earthquake of Antioch in 526 A.D. It ranks as the 6th greatest natural disaster (in terms of death toll), and 250,000 people are said to have died. This was hardly the first earthquake to hit the great city, one in 37 A.D. had caused Emperor Caligula to send a special delegation of two senators to report on Antioch's condition.

It would also not be the last; during the Siege of Antioch in the First Crusade an earthquake hit on December 30th of 1097, supposedly weakening the city's defenses and causing, along with subsequent bad weather, an army of their allies to depart. The city fell the following May, leading to a terrible massacre of the inhabitants that lives in historical infamy.

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