17. The Era’s Literary Decline Left Historians in the Dark About Much of the 365 AD Disaster’s Details
The 365 Crete Earthquake and tsunami were described by many writers of the period. However, the quality of literary writing and intellectual discourse had significantly declined – the days of the high-quality prose of a Thucydides, Cicero, Caesar or Livy, were centuries past by then. Writers of Late Antiquity tended to describe events without paying much attention to details. Instead, they often focused on ascribing events’ occurrence to divine displeasure and intervention from up above in response to political and religious events on earth.
Between that literary decline and religious antagonisms, we ended up with many intellectually dishonest descriptions from contemporaries, who attributed the disaster to heavenly wrath. Most of what we know actually know of the event is derived from archeological evidence, combined with a few references to the earthquake’s occurrence and its massiveness.