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FIGURE 2.1 The fallen columns in Susita (Hypos) east of the Sea of Galilee from a magnitude ~7.5 earthquake on the Dead Sea transform fault in A.D. 749. SOURCE: A. Nur, And the walls came tumbling down, New Scientist, 6, 45-48, 1991. Copyright A. Nur.
Some sought secular explanations for earthquakes and their apocalyptic consequences (Box 2.1, Figure 2.2). For example, in 31 B.C. a strong earthquake devastated Judea, and the historian Josephus recorded a speech by King Herod given to raise the morale of his army in its aftermath (2): “Do not disturb yourselves at the quaking of inanimate creatures, nor do you imagine that this earthquake is a sign of another calam-