Method of investigation, typologyand taxonomy of the basic data: navigating between seismic effects and historical contexts

E. Guidoboni


This contribution presents the methods of research and filing of the historical data which are at the basis of the Catalogue of Strong Italian Earthquakes (CFTI3). Seen from the point of view of historical research, this is the first research carried out in Italy with continuous methods and objectives exceeding 15 years. Here the basic, historical and scientific sources that were used are presented, considering the peculiarity of these sources in relation to the testimonies of the seismic effects. In total, there are 25 780 recorded and analysed bibliographical entries, which have disclosed and located 33 150 seismic effects from the ancient world till 1997. The basic work has not only consisted of a meticulous indexing of the sources and texts, but also of a new outlining of the particular historical and cultural contexts, in which 605 analysed strong earthquakes occurred. Moreover, a small historical guide is presented to help orientate the user of the CFTI3. The complex history of the present-day Italian territory (which has passed for centuries under very different dominations and institutional structures) has demanded a non-superficial analysis of these contexts in order to better trace and interpret the testimonies of the seismic effects on buildings as well as on the natural environment. The work, carried out with groups of specialised researchers, has also led to the compiling of a database capable of dynamically managing the interpreted information. The open structure of this work allows for the continuous data updating and expansion.


Historical earthquakes;method of research;seismic database

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X