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Inundations of the sea take place at the same time with earthquakes1; the water being impregnated with the same spirit2, and received into the bosom of the earth which subsides. The greatest earthquake which has occurred in our memory was in the reign of Tiberius3, by which twelve cities of Asia were laid prostrate in one night. They occurred the most frequently during the Punic war, when we had accounts brought to Rome of fifty-seven earthquakes in the space of a single year. It was during this year4 that the Carthaginians and the Romans, who were fighting at the lake Thrasimenus, were neither of them sensible of a very great shock during the battle5. Nor is it an evil merely consisting in the danger which is produced by the motion; it is all equal or a greater evil when it is considered as a prodigy6. The city of Rome never experienced a shock, which was not the forerunner of some great calamity.

1 See Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 8.

2 "Eodem videlicet spiritu infusi (maris) ac terræ residentis sinu recept i."

3 U.C. 770; A.D. 17. We have an account of this event in Strabo, xii. 57; in Tacitus, Ann. ii. 47; and in the Universal History, xiv. 129, 130. We are informed by Hardouin, that coins are still in existence which were struck to commemorate the liberality of the emperor on the occasion, inscribed "civitatibus Asiæ restitutis." Lemaire, i. 410.

4 U.C. 537; A.C. 217.

5 This circumstance is mentioned by Livy, xxii. 5, and by Florus, ii. 6.

6 "Præsagiis, inquit, quam ipsa clade, sæviores sunt terræ motus." Alexander in Lemaire, i. 410.

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