Geographical sites:

  • Etna (click here to focus in map) (see also Pleiades #462077)
    Pleiades_icon Aetna M. mountain Geocontext: Mt. Etna
    Description: An active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily (known today as Mount Etna).
  • Lipara (click here to focus in map) (see also Pleiades #594978)
    Pleiades_icon Lipara island Geocontext: vicinity of Kydonia?
    Description: An ancient place, cited: BAtlas 60 unlocated Lipara Ins.
  • Rome (click here to focus in map) (see also Pleiades #423025)
    Pleiades_icon Roma urban, settlement, temple Geocontext: Roma/Rome
    Description: The capital of the Roman Republic and Empire.
  • Aeolian islands (click here to focus in map) (see also Pleiades #462076)
    Pleiades_icon Aeoliae Inss. archipelago Geocontext: Isole Eolie
    Description: A volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea composed of eight islands.
  • Euonymus (click here to focus in map) (see also Pleiades #452324)
    Pleiades_icon Euonymus Ins. island Description: One of the Aeolian Islands with occupation evidence beginning ca. 1200 BC.
  • Creta (click here to focus in map) (see also Pleiades #589748)
    Pleiades_icon Creta Ins. island Geocontext: island
    Description: The island of Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Epopos (click here to focus in map) (see also Pleiades #432820)
    Pleiades_icon Epomeus M. mountain Geocontext: Monte Epomeo
    Description: The highest mountain on the island of Ischia.


Text #3286

Orosius. Seven Books of History Against the Pagans. Series: Translated Texts for Historians. Vol. 54
[Oros. 5.10. Translated by A. T. Fear. Liverpool University Press. 2010]

In the consulate of Marcus Aemilius and Lucius Orestes, Etna was struck by a great tremor and poured forth balls of fire. On another day, the island of Lipara and the sea around it seethed with so much heat that rocks were burnt up and dissolved, ships’ planks were scorched as their wax caulking melted, and roasted, dead fish floated on the surface. Even men, apart from those able to flee far from the scene, were suffocated, their vitals seared by the hot air they breathed in and out.

Text #3287

Obsequens. "A Book of Prodigies After the 505th year of Rome"


29.M. Aemilio L. Aurelio coss. AUC 628/126 BC

Some temples on the Capitol were shaken by a storm at night. At Rome and around many places were destroyed by lightning. After an earth tremor Mount Etna spewed out fires from its cone wide and far. At the Liparian islands the sea boiled and burnt several ships and killed many sailors with its vapour, and a great number of dead fish were scattered about. The Liparian people too eagerly desiring them for their banquets, were ravaged by a stomach illness, to such an extent that a new plague devastated the island. According to the response of the haruspices, the prodigy portended sedition which was the case after this time.

Text #8746

Jerome. "Chronicle"


126 BC

Close by the islands of Aeolia, cast up in the fire from an eruption, appeared the island that is now called Hiera1.

  1. Eusebius already records the emergence of Hiera in 198 BC. This is a doublet.

Text #1863

Strabo. Geography. Series: Geography. Vol. 3
[Strab. 6.2.11. Translated by Horace Leonard Jones and John Robert Sitlington. William Heinemann; G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1967. (8 Vols.) p. 101]

Poseidonius says that within his own recollection, one morning at daybreak about the time of the summer solstice, the sea between Hiera and Euonymus was seen raised to an enormous height, and by a sustained blast remained puffed up for a considerable time, and then subsided; and when those who had the hardihood to sail up to it saw dead fish driven by the current, and some of the men were stricken ill because of the heat and stench, they took flight; one of the boats, however, approaching more closely, lost some of its occupants and barely escaped to Lipara with the rest, who would at times become senseless like epileptics, and then afterwards would recur to their proper reasoning faculties; and many days later mud was seen forming on the surface of the sea, and in many places flames, smoke, and murky fire broke forth, but later the scum hardened and became as hard as mill-stone; and the governor of Sicily, Titus Flaminius1, reported the event to the Senate, and the Senate sent a deputation to offer propitiatory sacrifices, both in the islet and in Liparae, to the gods both of the underworld and of the Sea.

  1. This Titus Flaminius, who must have lived “within the recollection” of Poseidonius, is otherwise unknown. If the text is correct, he was governor of Sicily about 90 B.C. Cp. Nissen, op. cit. II.251. But Du Theil, Corais and C. Müller emend to Titus “Flamininus,” who was governor in 123 B.C., trying to connect this eruption with that which is generally put at 126 B.C. (cp. Pliny 2.88 [89]) [OFN]

Text #1862

Pliny. Natural History. Series: Natural History. Vol. 1
[Plin. Nat. 2.89. Translated by H. Rackham. Harvard University Press. 1938. (10 Vols.) p. 335]

89 … Before our time also among the Aeolian Islands near Italy, as well as near Crete, there emerged from the sea one island 2500 paces long, with hot springs, and another in the 3rd year of Olympiad 163 in the Bay of Tuscany, this one burning with a violent blast of air; and it is recorded that a great quantity of fish were floating round it, and that people who ate of them immediately expired. So also the Monkey Islands are said to have risen in the bay of Campania, and later one among them, Mount Epopos, is said to have suddenly shot up a great flame and then to have been levelled with the surface of the plain. In the same plain also a town was sucked down into the depths, and another earthquake caused a swamp to emerge, and another overturned mountains and threw up the island of Procida.

90. For another way also in which nature has made islands is when she tore Sicily away from Italy, Cyprus from Syria, Euboea from Boeotia, Atalantes and Macrias from Euboea, Besbicus from Bithynia, Leucosia from the Sirens’ Cape.

91. Again she has taken islands away from the sea and joined them to the land - Antissa to Lesbos, Zephyrius to Halicarnassus, Aethusa to Myndus, Dromiscos and Pernes to Miletus, Narthecusa to Cape Parthenius. Hybanda, once an Ionian island, is now 25 miles distant from the sea, Ephesus has Syrie as part of the mainland, and its neighbour Magnesia the Derasides and Sapphonia. Epidaurus and Oricum have ceased to be islands.

92. Cases of land entirely stolen away by the sea are, first of all (if we accept Plato’s story), the vast area covered by the Atlantic, and next, in the inland seas also, the areas that we see submerged at the present day, Acarnania covered by the Ambracian Gulf, Achaea by the Gulf of Corinth, Europe and Asia by the Sea of Marmora and the Black Sea. Also the sea has made the channels of Leucas, Antirrhium, the Dardanelles and the two Bospori.

93. And to pass over bays and marshes, the earth is eaten up by herself. She has devoured the highest mountain in Caria, Cibotus, together with the town of that name, Sipylus in Magnesia, and previously the very celebrated city in the same place that used to be called Tantalis, the territories of Galene and Galame in Phoenica with the cities themselves, and the loftiest mountain range in Ethiopia, Phegium - just as if the coasts also did not treacherously encroach!

94. The Black Sea has stolen Pyrra and Antissa in the neighbourhood of Lake Maeotis, the Gulf of Corinth Helice and Bura, traces of which are visible at the bottom of the water. The sea suddenly snatched away more that 30,000 paces together with most of the human beings from the Island of Ceos, and half the city of Tyndaris in Sicily, and all the gap in the coast of Italy, and similarly Eleusis in Boeotia.

Text #9459

"", in "Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography". Vol. 1

Orosius and Obsequens report an eruption of Etna which was accompanied by an earthquake in Sicily. On the other hand, Posidonius describes the emergence of the new island formed by volcanic activity in the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea . This event is mentioned by Posidonius as occurring within his own memory; and from the mention of Flamininus as praetor it is almost certain that it is the same circumstance recorded by Pliny as occurring in 126 BC. The same phenomenon is less accurately described by Obsequens and Orosius both of whom confirm the above date.

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