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A Marvellous Sign and A Fiery Globe: A Medieval English Report of Ball Lightning

Gasper, Giles E. M. and Tanner, Brian K. (2022) 'A Marvellous Sign and A Fiery Globe: A Medieval English Report of Ball Lightning.', Weather, 77 (7). pp. 232-234.


We describe an entry in a twelfth century monastic chronicle, compiled and composed by Gervase of Canterbury (c. 1145–c. 1210), which gives a credible description of ball lightning. It predates the earliest known report of the phenomenon from England by nearly 450 years. The meteorological descriptions in Gervase's 1195 report are examined in the context of the purpose of the chronicle and we compare them with modern reports of ball lightning.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo until 26 January 2023.
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
File format - PDF
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Publisher statement:This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Gasper, Giles E. M. & Tanner, Brian K. (2022). A Marvellous Sign and A Fiery Globe: A Medieval English Report of Ball Lightning. Weather 77(7): 232-234, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.
Date accepted:22 December 2021
Date deposited:08 February 2022
Date of first online publication:26 January 2022
Date first made open access:26 January 2023

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