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Russian Reactions to the Great Lisbon Earthquake

An online lecture by Dr. Mark Molesky 

The Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 was arguably the most consequential natural disaster in world history. On All Saints Day (November 1) 1755, a powerful earthquake, followed by an enormous tsunami and a devastating firestorm, largely destroyed the capital of the Portuguese Empire and ignited a European-wide debate on God and nature that engaged many of the century’s most celebrated minds.

Dr. Molesky’s lecture will focus on how Russia—both its government and its people—reacted to the disaster. Special attention will be given to how the earthquake was depicted in Russian newspapers at the time, how Russian science sought to explain the physical causes of the disaster, as well as how the Empress Elizaveta Petrovna strove to aid the survivors and, in doing so, further Russian interests.

Click the button below and register now. If you can’t attend live, there is an option to request the recording!

About the Speaker

Mark Molesky is Professor of History at Seton Hall University. He specializes in modern European intellectual and cultural history, the history of classical studies, and environmental history. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard, where he served as Lecturer on History and Literature.

His latest book, This Gulf of Fire: The Great Lisbon Earthquake, or Apocalypse in the Age of Science and Reason (Knopf, 2015) was a Finalist for the Los Angeles Time Book Prize in history and a winner of the Phi Alpha Theta Best Subsequent Book Award. He has received grants and fellowships from the Luso-American Development Foundation, the National Library of Portugal, the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Connecting With Zoom

This virtual lecture is presented live via Zoom. Registered users will be emailed a link to join this Zoom program. To get started, please download Zoom on your chosen device and explore the Frequently Asked Questions.

This program will be recorded and posted to the museum’s YouTube channel.


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