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A catastrophe remembered: a meteorite impact of the fifth century AD in the Abruzzo, central Italy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Roberto Santilli
Via Dell'Aia 31, 67029 Secinaro, Italy, (Email:
Jens Ormö
Centro de Astrobiología, Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacíal, Ctra de Torrejón a Ajalvir, km 4, 28850 Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain,(Email:
Angelo P. Rossi
International Research School of Planetary Sciences, Università d'Annunzio, Viale Pindaro 42, 65127 Pescara, Italy
Goro Komatsu
International Research School of Planetary Sciences, Università d'Annunzio, Viale Pindaro 42, 65127 Pescara, Italy


A meteorite impact crater in the Sirente mountains, central Abruzzo has recently been dated to the four/fifth century AD. The author shows that this catastrophic event can be equated with a locally preserved legend which describes how local people saw a new star fall to earth during a pagan festival. Their conversion to Christianity was expeditiously effected … .

Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd. 2003

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