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Fachbereich Alte Geschichte, Sabine Huebner
The Influence of Climate Change on Roman Pandemics
Is it a coincidence that major shifts in climate coincided with the most devastating pandemics in Roman history? The science and the historical evidence indicate that the concurrence of events may be more than correlation; that volcanic eruptions followed by periods of climatic cooling and environmental change may have helped the diseases responsible for the Antonine (AD 165-190) and Justinianic (First Wave: AD 541-544) pandemics reach the Empire, where, thereupon, they caused sizable demographic and economic losses. In contrast, the evidence suggests that the Plague of Cyprian (AD 251-270) was probably not influenced by climate change. Using the most recent climate science, epidemiology, archaeology, and documentary and literary sources, this paper discusses potential explanations for apparent connections between climate change and two consequential pandemics of the Roman world.
Meeting-ID: 945 1318 6338
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