1755 Lisbon earthquake

earthquake in 1755
1 November 1755 (1755-11)

The 1755 Lisbon earthquake is a great earthquake that impacted Portugal, the Iberian Peninsula, and so on at 1st November 1755.[1] The earthquake causing serious damage to the Lisbon, and killing an estimated 60,000 people in Lisbon alone.[2] Also, Violent shaking demolished about 12,000 dwellings. Since November 1st, when the quake struck, was All Saints' Day, many people were attending the Mass at the time of the quake. The church collapsed in the shaking and many people died. In addition, The earthquake generated a tsunami that produced waves about 20 feet (6 metres) high at Lisbon. Shocks from the earthquake were felt throughout Europe, and the disaster became a seminal event in European history.[2][3][4]

1755 Lisbon earthquake
1755 Lisbon earthquake.jpg
1755 copper engraving showing Lisbon in flames and a tsunami overwhelming the ships in the harbor
1755 Lisbon Earthquake Location.png
Local time09:40
Magnitude8.5–9.0 Mw (est.)
Epicenter36°N 11°W / 36°N 11°W / 36; -11Coordinates: 36°N 11°W / 36°N 11°W / 36; -11
About 200 km (120 mi) west-southwest of Cape St. Vincent and about 290 km (180 mi) southwest of Lisbon
FaultAzores-Gibraltar Transform Fault
Max. intensityXI (Extreme)
Casualties30,000–50,000 deaths


  1. "The Lisbon Earthquake". VolcanoCafe. 2016-05-06. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Lisbon earthquake of 1755 | Portugal". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-06-13.
  3. Histoire de ma vie, Book 2, Ch. XXVI; Casanova himself noted feeling the shocks when he was imprisoned in "The Leads" in Venice and specifically states they were the same ones that destroyed Lisbon
  4. Robertson, John; Webb, Philip Carteret; Adee, Swithin; Hodgson, John; Cranbrook; Pringle, John; Mills, Henry; Birch, Thomas; Thomlinson, Mr; Philips, Richard; Crusius, Lewis; Blair, John; Parker, Viscount; Huxham, John; Borlase, William; Swanzey; Arderon, William; Barber, Thomas; Harrison, John; Cowper, Spencer; Gardener, Robert; Colquhoun, James; Nicola, L.; Brocklesby, Richard; HEN TOM; Steplin, Joseph; Hondt, De; Allamond, Mons (1755), "An Extraordinary and Surprising Agitation of the Waters, though without Any Perceptible Motion of the Earth, Having Been Observed in Various Parts of This Island, Both Maritime and Inland, on the Same Day, and Chiefly about the Time, That the More Violent Commotions of Both Earth and Waters so Extensively Affected Many Very Distant Parts of the Globe; the Following Accounts, Relating to the Former, Have Been Transmitted to the Society; in Which are Specified the Times and Places when and Where They Happened", Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series I, 49: 351–398, Bibcode:1755RSPT...49..351R, doi:10.1098/rstl.1755.0059, JSTOR 104951


  • Benjamin, Walter. "The Lisbon Earthquake." In Selected Writings vol. 2. Belknap, 1999. ISBN 0-674-94586-7. The often abstruse critic Benjamin gave a series of radio broadcasts for children in the early 1930s; this one, from 1931, discusses the Lisbon earthquake and summarizes some of its impact on European thought.
  • Braun, Theodore E. D., and John B. Radner, eds. The Lisbon Earthquake of 1755: Representations and Reactions (SVEC 2005:02). Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2005. ISBN 0-7294-0857-4. Recent scholarly essays on the earthquake and its representations in art, with a focus on Voltaire. (In English and French.)
  • Brooks, Charles B. Disaster at Lisbon: The Great Earthquake of 1755. Long Beach: Shangton Longley Press, 1994. (No apparent ISBN.) A narrative history.
  • Chase, J. "The Great Earthquake at Lisbon (1755)". Colliers Magazine, 1920.
  • Dynes, Russell Rowe. "The dialogue between Voltaire and Rousseau on the Lisbon earthquake: The emergence of a social science view." University of Delaware, Disaster Research Center, 1999.
  • Fonseca, J. D. 1755, O Terramoto de Lisboa, The Lisbon Earthquake. Argumentum, Lisbon, 2004.
  • Gunn, A.M. "Encyclopedia of Disasters". Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2008. ISBN 0-313-34002-1.
  • Hamacher, Werner. "The Quaking of Presentation." In Premises: Essays on Philosophy and Literature from Kant to Celan, pp. 261–293. Stanford University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-8047-3620-0.
  • Kendrick, T.D. The Lisbon Earthquake. Philadelphia and New York: J. B. Lippincott, 1957.
  • Molesky, Mark. This Gulf of Fire: The Destruction of Lisbon, or Apocalypse in the Age of Science and Reason. New York: Knopf, 2015.
  • Neiman, Susan. Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Modern Philosophy. Princeton University Press, 2002. This book centers on philosophical reaction to the earthquake, arguing that the earthquake was responsible for modern conceptions of evil.
  • Paice, Edward. Wrath of God: The Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755. London: Quercus, 2008. ISBN 978-1-84724-623-3
  • Pereira, A.S. "The Opportunity of a Disaster: The Economic Impact of the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake". Discussion Paper 06/03, Centre for Historical Economics and Related Research at York, York University, 2006.
  • Quenet, Grégory. Les tremblements de terre en France aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles. La naissance d'un risque. Seyssel: Champ Vallon, 2005.
  • Ray, Gene. "Reading the Lisbon Earthquake: Adorno, Lyotard, and the Contemporary Sublime." Yale Journal of Criticism 17.1 (2004): pp. 1–18.
  • Seco e Pinto, P.S. (Editor). Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering: Proceedings of the Second International Conference, Lisbon, Portugal, 21–25 June 1999. ISBN 90-5809-116-3
  • Shrady, Nicholas. The Last Day: Wrath, Ruin & Reason in The Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755, Penguin, 2008, ISBN 978-0-14-311460-4
  • Weinrich, Harald. "Literaturgeschichte eines Weltereignisses: Das Erdbeben von Lissabon." In Literatur für Leser, pp. 64–76. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer Verlag, 1971. ISBN 3-17-087225-7. In German. Cited by Hamacher as a broad survey of philosophical and literary reactions to the Lisbon earthquake.