Geographical sites:

  • Troad (click here to focus in map) (see also Pleiades #550944)
    Pleiades_icon Troas region Description: Troas (or the Troad) is an historical region that occupies the Biga peninsula in northwestern Asia Minor.
  • Hiera (click here to focus in map) (see also Pleiades #808255902)
    Pleiades_icon Santorini Archipelago archipelago Description: The islands of the Santorini archipelago, inhabited until the Late Bronze Age, were formed by modern and historic volcanism.


Text #3761

Demosthenes. Orations
[Dem. 33.20. Translated by A. T. Murray and N. W. De Witt and N. J. De Witt and C. A. Vince and J. H. Vince. Harvard University Press. 1930 p. 215]

Against Apatourius

After this there befell Parmeno1, men of the jury, a dire misfortune. He was dwelling in Ophrynium2 because of his being an exile from home, when the earthquake in the Chersonese occurred; and in the collapse of his house his wife and children perished.

  1. An exile from Byzantium. [nE]

  2. A city in Troad, now part of the Çanakkale province of Turkey. [nE]

Text #3762

Aristotle. Meteorologica
[Aristot. 2.8. Translated by E. W. Webster. Oxford, Clarendon Press. 1931]


Our theory has been verified by actual observation in many places. It has been known to happen that an earthquake has continued until the wind that caused it burst through the earth into the air and appeared visibly like a hurricane. This happened lately near Heracleia in Pontus and some time past at the island Hiera, one of the group called the Aeolian islands. Here a portion of the earth swelled up and a lump like a mound rose with a noise : finally it burst, and a great wind came out of it and threw up live cinders and ashes which buried the neighbouring town of Lipara and reached some of the towns in Italy. The spot where this eruption occurred is still to be seen.

Text #8680

Editorial comment by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

For lack of precise information, several scholars1 date earthquakes in Heraclea Pontica and Orphyneum and a volcanic eruption on the Island of Vulcano to about 360 BC. Aristotle, in support of his theory that earthquakes were caused by winds, took an eruption which occurred on the island of Hiera (modern Vulcano), in the Aeloian archipelago. The effects were still visible in his own day. He adds that this eruption took place before an earthquake in Heraclea in Pontus.

On the other hand, Demosthenes mentions an earthquake in Orphyneum. Since Demosthenes’ speech is related to a trial which took place shortly after 355 BC, a possible rough date for the earthquake would be about 360.

  1. Guidoboni, Catalogue of ancient earthquakes in the Mediterranean area up to the 10th century, p. 132-134; Ambraseys, Earthquakes in the Mediterranean and Middle East, p. 88; Capelle, W., ‘Erdbebenforschung’, Paulys, Realencyclopadie des klassischen Altertums, suppl. 4, 1924, p. 352.

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