And “no sense in going further”—till I crossed the range to see.

(Rudyard Kipling, “The Explorer”, 1898)

In this article, as is its author's working practice, “historical earthquakes” are those that can be solely or mainly studied through historical (i.e., descriptive, as opposite to instrumental) records and “historical seismology” is the discipline that studies such earthquakes—for seismological purposes—using all the methods commonly used in historical research to interpret sources of information.

Determining epicentral locations and magnitudes of historical earthquakes has always been a foremost goal of historical seismology. From the 1980's onward such studies have produced abundant and...

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