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Lecture 3

week 3 - Plagues of Antiquity

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Health Studies
Caroline Barakat

HLTA01 – week 3 September, 22 2011 Plagues of Antiquity Lecture Outline – Plagues of Antiquity • The Pharaoh’s Plague • The Plague of Athens • The Roman Fever • The Antonine Plague • The Cyprian Plague • Justinian Plague – Bubonic Plague Introduction – Predominant diseases during hunter-gatherer society – Move to agriculture and the emergence of epidemic diseases – Emergence of cities - urban life Plagues of Antiquity – 5000 BC to 700 AD – Characterised by parasites with long lived transmission stages – Person to person contact. The Pharaoh’s Plague – 1900 BC – Nile Valley of Egypt – Agriculture and irrigation – Snail fever or blood fluke disease / endemic hematuria / schistosomiasis – Transmission stages – 1799 – 1801 Europeans invade Egypt – Currently, 1 million deaths annually The Plague of Athens – 430 BC – Route: Ethiopia, into Egypt, then Athens – Athenians defeated – High death rates including ``Pericles`` – Identity of this plague - unknown to this day The Roman Fever – Roman Empire established in 27 BC – Malaria became prevalent – Thought to result from ‘bad air’ – Epidemics every 5 to 8 years – Reduced life expectancy The Antonine Plague – AD 166 – Route: Mesopotamia, into Roman Empire – Europe – Symptoms – Identity of the plague not known – likely to be the first record of smallpox The Cyprian Plague – 250 AD – Originated in Ethiopia, moved to Egypt, then to the Roman colonies of North Africa. Justinian Plague – First pandemic of the Bubonic plague – Arrived in 541 in Constantine – Raged Europe, North Africa and the Middle East until 757 – 1 million people died in 5 years period – By 600 AD, mortality at 100 M in western Europe – Red - Justi
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