Iraq has a rather long well-documented history of seismic activity, where 79 events of major and/or minor effect on the community are documented for the period 1260 B.C. through 1900 A.D. Fourteen of these events are listed and described for the first time from an Arabic manuscript.

The historical seismicity follows a well-defined pattern and fits with the boundaries of the major tectonic units of Iraq, as well as with the recent seismicity of the country.

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