Open Access Review Article

Ten Years of Geo-Archeo-Mythological Studies in the Abruzzo Region –Central Italy: An Updated Review

Francesco Stoppa*

Department of Psychological, Health and Territory Sciences, University G.d’Annunzio Chieti-Pescara, Italy

Corresponding Author

Received Date: October 08, 2020;  Published Date: October 28, 2020


Abruzzo region, in eastern-Central Italy, is an area undergoing active tectonics. It is prone to earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, flooding, rapid coastal modification, mud volcanoes, and sinkholes. These natural phenomena, recorded since the Roman age, have impressed the local population, conditioning society, economy, and territory use and giving birth to myths (mythopoiesis). Mythopoiesis is an interpretation of natural phenomena, which produce abrupt changes of the territory and human settlements, linked to the appearance of a god (theophany, miracle). Myths, with time, syncretize in elaborate rituals perpetuated in specific traditional feasts and places of worship. This culture forms a precious heritage of oral tradition. What is the utility of such a research? A possible answer would be that myths are an account of dangerous endogenous phenomena that can repeat in a near future. This study reports three representative case histories.

I. Destructive earthquakes in the Majella mountain area generating widespread chthonic worship,

II. A massive tsunami and earthquake occurred in 1627 along the Chieti province seacoast, which produced changes in the use of the coastal region due to fear of the Sea and

III. Relationship between mud volcanoes/sinkholes with eschatological belief. Notably, naïve interpretation of natural phenomena continued up to recent times and now channelizes into social media perpetuating this psychological/social process.

Keywords: Abruzzi Central Italy, Geomithology, Earthquake-Tsunamis, Mud volcanoes-sinkholes, landslides, Chthonic worship

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