The Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755: The Wrath of God with Ian Sumpter - Context Travel

The Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755: The Wrath of God with Ian Sumpter


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Very few cities in the Old World are planned in their entirety from day one. But the devastating earthquake of 1755 left Lisbon in tatters. The city was destroyed by the 8.5-9 quake or by one of the three resulting tsunamis. The city needed a leader, but King Jose I was so terrified of the events of this day that he would never again step inside a building. So what happened? Up steps, the Marquis do Pombal, a middle-class upstart who had risen to head the King's Court. His rule was nothing short of Machiavellian; brilliant and ruthless: he ruled with an iron fist. He removed the influence of the Inquisition and the Jesuits, he arrested and murdered whole aristocratic families. Yet at the same time of this brutality, he managed to modernize the city through modern urban planning, revolutionizing agriculture (most importantly Port) and taking Lisbon from a mound of burning ashes and transforming her to the glistening city we see today.

Led by an expert archaeologist Ian Sumpter, this interactive seminar will explore the impact that the earthquake of 1755 had on politics, religion, daily life and urban planning, not just in Lisbon but also in a more global context. We will explore the birth of seismology, the fall of inquisition, the rise of humanism, and much more.

Born in Liverpool in the North of England, Ian was raised around the historic docks of the city where a love of Maritime history was born. He went on to study Archaeological sciences with the aim of specializing in Marine archaeology. His four years of the study saw him divert from his original aim and concentrate Urbanisation in the Ancient world. Working as an archaeologist for a number of years across Italy, the UK and South Asia, Ian has spent 13 years working in total working as a tour guide in Rome before the lure of the sea and sunshine brought him to Lisbon where he continues to research the urban landscape and the city's vital relationship with the sea.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 10 reviews
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L
L.C.
Lisbon Earthquake - where seismology began!

This was an absolute blast, I had no idea of the impact the earthquake had on modern-day seismology, just fascinating. Ian's deep knowledge and enthusiasm for all things Lisbon make him an engaging, thoughtful and thorough guide. The night after I took this seminar, I ran into a nationally-recognized seismologist friend who was amazed at the knowledge I'd absorbed in just an hour with Ian, he was very impressed, which is uncharacteristic. As well, the history I learned leading up to 1755 was fascinating, the vast amount of gold reserves, the incredibly ornate chapel built in Rome, disassembled, moved to Lisbon, the Opera House, aqueducts, religions,
Mafra, Inquisition, how working jr architects become essential to the rebuilding post-earthquake. Ian's style of breaking for questions rather than waiting until the end made the seminar more informal; also, there were questions whose answers helped us to understand later concepts, it was very helpful. I don't recall other experts doing so. Visually, the mix of photos, images, live graphics and video made for a really immersive class, I felt like I really understood what it would be like to be in Lisbon. Ian is easily one of CC's best experts: learned, enthusiastic, approachable and a great storyteller.

J
J.S.
Wonderful instructor!!!

Ian did an AWESOME job! He’s very knowledgeable and his presentations are the right combo of information, humor and Q and A sessions. He really is able to communicate and share his love of archeology and make it (no pun intended!) “come alive”! I am really looking forward to my next conversation with him!!!

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

J
J.P.
Never Forget

Excellent, accessible talk, scoping out the scale of this Epic (at least in Europe) Disaster. Added dimensions to historic sketches, a sense of the grisly detail, and an indication of what else was going on in Western Culture at the time. What could one do with 3,000 to 4,000 bodies at a time? What was left? This was more of a historic and geologic talk, but it included a reconstruction of the tsunami across the Atlantic Basin, and touched on the vulnerability of sediments vs bedrock. The event brought a hard stop to Portuguese eminence, very significant.

Customer Reviews

Based on 10 reviews
100%
(10)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
L
L.C.
Lisbon Earthquake - where seismology began!

This was an absolute blast, I had no idea of the impact the earthquake had on modern-day seismology, just fascinating. Ian's deep knowledge and enthusiasm for all things Lisbon make him an engaging, thoughtful and thorough guide. The night after I took this seminar, I ran into a nationally-recognized seismologist friend who was amazed at the knowledge I'd absorbed in just an hour with Ian, he was very impressed, which is uncharacteristic. As well, the history I learned leading up to 1755 was fascinating, the vast amount of gold reserves, the incredibly ornate chapel built in Rome, disassembled, moved to Lisbon, the Opera House, aqueducts, religions,
Mafra, Inquisition, how working jr architects become essential to the rebuilding post-earthquake. Ian's style of breaking for questions rather than waiting until the end made the seminar more informal; also, there were questions whose answers helped us to understand later concepts, it was very helpful. I don't recall other experts doing so. Visually, the mix of photos, images, live graphics and video made for a really immersive class, I felt like I really understood what it would be like to be in Lisbon. Ian is easily one of CC's best experts: learned, enthusiastic, approachable and a great storyteller.

J
J.S.
Wonderful instructor!!!

Ian did an AWESOME job! He’s very knowledgeable and his presentations are the right combo of information, humor and Q and A sessions. He really is able to communicate and share his love of archeology and make it (no pun intended!) “come alive”! I am really looking forward to my next conversation with him!!!

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

J
J.P.
Never Forget

Excellent, accessible talk, scoping out the scale of this Epic (at least in Europe) Disaster. Added dimensions to historic sketches, a sense of the grisly detail, and an indication of what else was going on in Western Culture at the time. What could one do with 3,000 to 4,000 bodies at a time? What was left? This was more of a historic and geologic talk, but it included a reconstruction of the tsunami across the Atlantic Basin, and touched on the vulnerability of sediments vs bedrock. The event brought a hard stop to Portuguese eminence, very significant.