Text #3761Orations .
[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]
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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.
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.
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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