User talk:Ungomma

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


The Fourth Century and the beginning of the Dark Ages[edit]

Having been an editor here from since nearly the beginning, I've come to notice that once one discovers a major gap somewhere (like who's the current Iraqi Minister of Defense, for example), someone usually tries to delete it or revert it or something. Like what you did to my recent revisions to the Valentinian I article, for example. I know it's a radical addition that looks remarkably like vandalism, but it's not. I first found out about it about ten years ago when I saw this cool TV special on the archeological exploration of Alexandria harbor. It was fascinating, and they explained that almost the entire northern part of the city, where there were temples and palaces galore, fell into the sea due to an earthquake and tsunami. In 2010, I took a tour of Libya and looked at a whole bunch of archeological sites (plus the museum in Tripoli, which then housed Qaddafi's then-holy Volkswagen bug, but that's another story). At each place I went to along the coast, the guide would tell us about how the city was destroyed by the tsunami of 365 AD, and how there was a weak recovery but all of the cities but one never recovered (Tripoli, then Oaa, is still there, Bengazi is relatively new). Then the Vandals came and the Byzantines came and finally the Arabs came.

While there's a lot of stuff that survived from the period of 100 BC to 100 AD, not much survived from after. The stuff that DID survive is almost entirely from the Capitol region of Rome itself. Politics of the top. There's very little from the provinces, almost nothing in fact. This is because most of the paper products swept away during the tsunami of 365 AD (plus book burnings by Christians and Muslims from 332 to 800). The records of the entire Ptolomaic bureaucracy are gone. There is ONE autographed order from the great Cleopatra (d.30 BC) that is known to still exist.

Also, natural disasters tend to be overlooked by ancient historians, who didn't understand them and weren't particularly interested. Look at the reign of Justinian, there was a large tsunami, a volcanic winter/famine, and the second worst plague in history. The histories of the time didn't actually dwell upon any of this. Why? I dunno. They might have, but 97% of the literary output of the ancient world is gone forever. North Africa became a backwater. The monuments and buildings which still exist were buried in the sand and when they were dug out of the ground in the last century and a half, it was astounding. Ericl (talk) 17:43, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Hello! Please, don't be frustrated by my or other's reverts. Being a long-time contributor to Wikipedia, you should not be surprised that major and important statements get reverted if they are not supported by good sources. I do not doubt that there was an earthquake, but you have provided no source whatsoever for a claim that it killed 'untold millions and nearly wiped out Greco-Roman civilization on the Mediterranean's southern coast'. To be honest, such a claim sounds very exaggerated and does not fit very well with what I know about the period, but that might have more to do with my lack of knowledge than anything else.
So, I encourage you to find reputable sources concerning the impact of the 365 earthquake. This is Wikipedia and even if we all agree that the earthquake was devastating we can't post it unless there are sources backing it up. There is an increase in writings about natural disasters in that period and further on, however, so maybe some historian published an article or two about this earthquake. If not, well, Wikipedia is not a place for original research, as you must know.
Ungomma (talk) 10:17, 5 March 2015 (UTC)