Pandemics in Ancient History & Their Lasting Legacies ....

owedtojoy

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Introduction:

Pandemics have occurred frequently throughout human history, particularly since the onset of large states and empires. For a pandemic to happen, the subjects must be connected and live closely together in sufficient numbers for the infection (viral or bacterial) to flourish. That means urbanization, trade and communications as pre-conditions.

The pre-history of epidemics is agriculture and the domestication of animals. Once humans started living in proximity to animals, we became vulnerable to their illnesses. Small pox was probably a mutation of cow pox, and flu came from pigs. With his tongue no doubt in cheek, ethnologist Jared Diamond described the establishment of agricultural communities as "Humanities Greatest Mistake". If we had continued to live in small, semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer communities, the human race would be much healthier on the average. The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race.

Diamond also described the dire consequences of novel plagues for indigenous people lacking immunity to new diseases in his book Guns, Germs and Steel.

Athens, 430 BCE (Before Current Era)

A plague spread among Mediterranean port cities, but had its worst effects in the city of Athens, then engaged in a long war with its Greek rival, Sparta. The plague spread quickly and was highly virulent because the city was crowded with refugees displaced by the war. Estimates of the dead are upward of 70,000 people, among them the great Athenian leader, Pericles. Though the war lasted over another 20 years, Athens was fatally weakened by the loss of life. The historian Thucydides attributed the Athenian defeat to its departure from Pericles' strategy. The disease may have been an Ebola-type virus.

The Roman Empire, 2nd, 3rd and 6th Centuries CE

The Roman Empire was at the peak of its power in the 2nd century CE (Current Era). However, it was an early textbook case for a pandemic. The Romans did have public bathhouses in their cities, and public toilets, but today we would find their hygiene superficial. However, the early Roman Empire did see economic growth and a (relative) rise in living standards. But then ...
  • The Antonine Plague (165 - 180 CE): In the reign of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121 - 180 CE), a Roman Army returned from the East, where it had been fighting a war against the Persians, bringing a new disease with it. Historians now believe this was the first outbreak of small pox, based on the description of the Emperor's doctor, Galen. It was also Europe's first pandemic. Millions died, including the Emperor himself, whole areas were depopulated, and the death toll may have run to 5 millions, some 25% of the population, though some estimate 40% or more. There is evidence that the disease also ravaged China at roughly the same time.
  • The Plague of St Cyprian (249 - 262 CE): So named after a Bishop of Carthage, who left a description. The disease could have been small pox, measles (a first outbreak), influenza, or a virus like Ebola. The death toll may have been of the order of the Antonine Plague.
    • Political & Military Effects of the Two Plagues:
      • Marcus Aurelius had been engaging in wars with the Persians and with Confederations of Germanic tribes, so the plagues on both occasions caused a major manpower crisis in the Roman Army. Desperate efforts at conscription could not repair the gaps, so it became expedient to employ German soldiers formerly considered barbarians, and even re-settle them in the Empire. This was to have some fatal consequences.
      • At the time of the Plague of Cyprian, the Empire suffered the "Crisis of the Third Century", when emboldened Germanic peoples breached the frontiers and raided deep within the provinces. The Empire was only saved by a resilient army, but at a terrible cost. Disaster was only narrowly avoided. In the words of historian Kyle Harper: "The structural integrity of the imperial machine burst apart. The frontier system crumbled. The collapse of legitimacy invited one usurper after another to try for the throne. The empire fragmented and only the dramatic success of later emperors in putting the pieces back together prevented this moment from being the final act of Roman imperial history ."
    • Social and Cultural Consequences:
      • Harper notes a profound change in Roman religion around this time, reflecting a collapse in morale, and confidence in the old Gods. First a cult of Apollo arose, then in the 3rd century he notes a reduction in the building of temples. Some eastern cults, like that of Mithras, gained ground but so did another one - Christianity. The early Christians viewed the ongoing plagues and military disasters as signs of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. They provided an explanation and hope that other religions did not. The new military Emperors looked to religion as a unifying force, and in 313 CE, the Emperor Constantine made Christianity the State Religion.
  • The Plague of Justinian, (541 - 542 CE, with recurrences): This was a devastating plague that killed millions in the Mediterranean Basin, in the Middle East and Central Asia, possibly also in China. Justinian was the Emperor of the Eastern (or Byzantine) Empire at the time. He caught the disease, but survived. Modern biological research shows that the disease was Bubonic Plague, as was the Medieval Black Death, and originated in Central Asia.
    • Political and Military Effects of the Justinian Plague: Justinian was the last Eastern Emperor with the ambition to revive Roman hegemony in the Western Mediterranean, sending military expeditions to Italy, North Africa and Spain. However, the weakening of the Empire by the plague put the effort beyond the resources of the Byzantines. The "Roman Empire" fell apart, and the Byzantine Empire became one of a number of smaller successor states.
    • Social and Cultural Effects of the Justinian Plague: The Dark Ages began, and the cultures of the classical world collapsed. Wealth and trade reduced, populations shrank, average health dis-improved, literacy declined and material standards dropped all over Europe and the Middle East.
e60df41cc646551e06d25c28648e9656.jpg
There is a good interview with Professor Kyle Harper on this podcast:

Interview: Historian Kyle Harper on Disease, Climate and the Fall of the Roman Empire.

(He has interesting things to say about pandemics and climate, too, but that can be kept be kept for another day)

 


Catahualpa

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Great pandemics have also struck Ireland as well - the Plague of Justinian was here known as An blefed [circa 535 AD] and killed multiples of Irish People most likely

We were again struck by a pandemic in circa 660 AD An Buidhe Connail which was also of devastating impact

When the Black Death came to Ireland in 1348 it was probably the most devastating one we have ever experienced that gutted the Anglo Irish Colony the most - but Gaelic Ireland did not escape unscathed either.

While there were recurrent outbreaks into the 15th century none were quite as bad as the initial one that we experienced.

The next great out break of Plague was in the 1640s when Disease, Famine and War absolutely devastated Ireland but we don't know whether it was just one disease or a range of ailments that combined with a dearth of foodstuffs so weakened the populace that they succumbed to anything that was going - but the Plague [ie The 'Black Death'] was still a virulent force in 17th Century Europe.

While there were famines and outbreaks the next stand alone disease that struck on its own was the Cholera Epidemic of 1832 [iirc] which killed 10s of thousands here and again was a common in larger cities and towns in Europe at that time and this one swept across the continent too.

The last great epidemic we experienced was the 'Spanish Flu' of 1918 -1918 which was probably brought from China by Coolies working as labourers in France during the War.

It spread rapidly amongst populations already weakened by war rationing and in overcrowded army camps. When the war ended the soldiers took it home with them...

In Ireland it took the lives of at least 20,000 men, women and children, possibly double that number - say 40,00 or so as many deaths went undiagnosed.

Today we face another one but we are infinitely better able to cope than any previous generation could have done so.

On the other hand at no stage in human history have so many people lived in such large urban conglomerates

- nor have so many people been on the move with such speed across the Globe...
 
Last edited:

rainmaker

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Introduction:

Pandemics have occurred frequently throughout human history, particularly since the onset of large states and empires. For a pandemic to happen, the subjects must be connected and live closely together in sufficient numbers for the infection (viral or bacterial) to flourish. That means urbanization, trade and communications as pre-conditions.

The pre-history of epidemics is agriculture and the domestication of animals. Once humans started living in proximity to animals, we became vulnerable to their illnesses. Small pox was probably a mutation of cow pox, and flu came from pigs. With his tongue no doubt in cheek, ethnologist Jared Diamond described the establishment of agricultural communities as "Humanities Greatest Mistake". If we had continued to live in small, semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer communities, the human race would be much healthier on the average. The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race.

Diamond also described the dire consequences of novel plagues for indigenous people lacking immunity to new diseases in his book Guns, Germs and Steel.

Athens, 430 BCE (Before Current Era)

A plague spread among Mediterranean port cities, but had its worst effects in the city of Athens, then engaged in a long war with its Greek rival, Sparta. The plague spread quickly and was highly virulent because the city was crowded with refugees displaced by the war. Estimates of the dead are upward of 70,000 people, among them the great Athenian leader, Pericles. Though the war lasted over another 20 years, Athens was fatally weakened by the loss of life. The historian Thucydides attributed the Athenian defeat to its departure from Pericles' strategy. The disease may have been an Ebola-type virus.

The Roman Empire, 2nd, 3rd and 6th Centuries CE

The Roman Empire was at the peak of its power in the 2nd century CE (Current Era). However, it was an early textbook case for a pandemic. The Romans did have public bathhouses in their cities, and public toilets, but today we would find their hygiene superficial. However, the early Roman Empire did see economic growth and a (relative) rise in living standards. But then ...
  • The Antonine Plague (165 - 180 CE): In the reign of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121 - 180 CE), a Roman Army returned from the East, where it had been fighting a war against the Persians, bringing a new disease with it. Historians now believe this was the first outbreak of small pox, based on the description of the Emperor's doctor, Galen. It was also Europe's first pandemic. Millions died, including the Emperor himself, whole areas were depopulated, and the death toll may have run to 5 millions, some 25% of the population, though some estimate 40% or more. There is evidence that the disease also ravaged China at roughly the same time.
  • The Plague of St Cyprian (249 - 262 CE): So named after a Bishop of Carthage, who left a description. The disease could have been small pox, measles (a first outbreak), influenza, or a virus like Ebola. The death toll may have been of the order of the Antonine Plague.
    • Political & Military Effects of the Two Plagues:
      • Marcus Aurelius had been engaging in wars with the Persians and with Confederations of Germanic tribes, so the plagues on both occasions caused a major manpower crisis in the Roman Army. Desperate efforts at conscription could not repair the gaps, so it became expedient to employ German soldiers formerly considered barbarians, and even re-settle them in the Empire. This was to have some fatal consequences.
      • At the time of the Plague of Cyprian, the Empire suffered the "Crisis of the Third Century", when emboldened Germanic peoples breached the frontiers and raided deep within the provinces. The Empire was only saved by a resilient army, but at a terrible cost. Disaster was only narrowly avoided. In the words of historian Kyle Harper: "The structural integrity of the imperial machine burst apart. The frontier system crumbled. The collapse of legitimacy invited one usurper after another to try for the throne. The empire fragmented and only the dramatic success of later emperors in putting the pieces back together prevented this moment from being the final act of Roman imperial history ."
    • Social and Cultural Consequences:
      • Harper notes a profound change in Roman religion around this time, reflecting a collapse in morale, and confidence in the old Gods. First a cult of Apollo arose, then in the 3rd century he notes a reduction in the building of temples. Some eastern cults, like that of Mithras, gained ground but so did another one - Christianity. The early Christians viewed the ongoing plagues and military disasters as signs of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. They provided an explanation and hope that other religions did not. The new military Emperors looked to religion as a unifying force, and in 313 CE, the Emperor Constantine made Christianity the State Religion.
  • The Plague of Justinian, (541 - 542 CE, with recurrences): This was a devastating plague that killed millions in the Mediterranean Basin, in the Middle East and Central Asia, possibly also in China. Justinian was the Emperor of the Eastern (or Byzantine) Empire at the time. He caught the disease, but survived. Modern biological research shows that the disease was Bubonic Plague, as was the Medieval Black Death, and originated in Central Asia.
    • Political and Military Effects of the Justinian Plague: Justinian was the last Eastern Emperor with the ambition to revive Roman hegemony in the Western Mediterranean, sending military expeditions to Italy, North Africa and Spain. However, the weakening of the Empire by the plague put the effort beyond the resources of the Byzantines. The "Roman Empire" fell apart, and the Byzantine Empire became one of a number of smaller successor states.
    • Social and Cultural Effects of the Justinian Plague: The Dark Ages began, and the cultures of the classical world collapsed. Wealth and trade reduced, populations shrank, average health dis-improved, literacy declined and material standards dropped all over Europe and the Middle East.
e60df41cc646551e06d25c28648e9656.jpg
There is a good interview with Professor Kyle Harper on this podcast:

Interview: Historian Kyle Harper on Disease, Climate and the Fall of the Roman Empire.

(He has interesting things to say about pandemics and climate, too, but that can be kept be kept for another day)

Excellent OP.

Viruses seem to exploit the human drive to social groupings, cooperation and interaction. I think we see a similar Achilles heel in other social species, such as bees.

Just a thought - I am far from knowledgeable about this stuff.
 

owedtojoy

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Excellent OP.

Viruses seem exploit the human drive to social groupings, cooperation and interaction. I think we see a similar Achilles heel in other social species, such as bees.

Just a thought - I am far from knowledgeable about this stuff.
It is an startling thought that we are just vehicles for unintelligent life forms that feed off us, like we do off other life forms.

For viral disease to flourish, you need a physically connected civilization. For novel diseases you need human-animal contact.

Could we return to living in virtual small groups using communications technology, subsisting on artificially created food products?

Put it another way, if this pandemic damages social fabric, can we find other healthier ways of living together?
 

Barroso

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It is an startling thought that we are just vehicles for unintelligent life forms that feed off us, like we do off other life forms.

For viral disease to flourish, you need a physically connected civilization. For novel diseases you need human-animal contact.

Could we return to living in virtual small groups using communications technology, subsisting on artificially created food products?

Put it another way, if this pandemic damages social fabric, can we find other healthier ways of living together?
One of the things I have noticed about globalisation is that it has moved people around the globe in fairly strange ways.
Irish people emigrate to the Anglosphere as an educated second tier - for instance, while we export lots of Irish technicians to London (scientists, accountants, medical personal etc) NY, Sydney and other Anglosphere cities, we are importing Spaniards and E Europeans to fill third tier positions here. All of them hoping to be better paid as immigrants than they would be at home. In Spain, there is a lot of immigration from S America and N Africa, in E Europe, lots of Ukrainians, for instance. It's a sort of a chain.

This creates a type of underclass, either an actual underclass such as building workers, "hospitality" workers, cleaners etc; or a relative underclass like the Irish in England, who do not take any great interest in the country of adoption. They lower wages for the indigenous worker, and do not and in most cases cannot take part in the political life of the new country which skews political representation away from the workers' interests and pushes politics into a more conservative, any change agenda - because if you want change, then the system isn't working very well for you.

What I'd like to see come out of this is a more locally-based economy, where those who arrive here can join our society as full members, and not as a group who are excluded from our society and who end up as an underclass as has happpened in most parts of Europe.
 

middleground

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Pandemics in death toll order:

  • Black Death (Bubonic Plague) – 200 million dead
  • New World Smallpox Outbreak – 56 million dead
  • Spanish Flu – 40-50 million dead
  • Plague of Justinian – 30-50 million dead
  • HIV/AIDS – 25-35 million dead
  • Third Plague – 12 million dead
  • Antonine Plague – 5 million dead
  • 17th Century Great Plagues – 3 million dead
  • Asian Flu – 1.1 million dead
  • Russian Flu – 1 million dead
  • Cholera Pandemics 1-6 – 1 million dead
  • Japanese Smallpox epidemic – 1 million dead
  • Hong Kong Flu – 1 million dead
  • 18th Century Great Plagues – 600 thousand dead
  • Swine Flu – 200 thousand dead
  • Yellow Fever – 100-150 thousand dead
  • Ebola – 11.3 thousand dead
  • COVID-19 – 9,000 (as of March 19)
  • MERS – 850 dead
  • SARS – 770 dead
 
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parentheses

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The Plague of Justinian is reckoned by some to have hastened the takeover of southern and eastern Britain by the Anglo-Saxons.
 

rainmaker

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Could we return to living in virtual small groups using communications technology, subsisting on artificially created food products?
Interesting idea. It's kind of what's happening now with these lock downs.

Though I would wonder given the size of the human population, if there is enough space for the number of small groupings that would that be required for such a transition now.
 

owedtojoy

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Pandemics in death toll order:

  • Black Death (Bubonic Plague) – 200 million dead
  • New World Smallpox Outbreak – 56 million dead
  • Spanish Flu – 40-50 million dead
  • Plague of Justinian – 30-50 million dead
  • HIV/AIDS – 25-35 million dead
  • Third Plague – 12 million dead
  • Antonine Plague – 5 million dead
  • 17th Century Great Plagues – 3 million dead
  • Asian Flu – 1.1 million dead
  • Russian Flu – 1 million dead
  • Cholera Pandemics 1-6 – 1 million dead
  • Japanese Smallpox epidemic – 1 million dead
  • Hong Kong Flu – 1 million dead
  • 18th Century Great Plagues – 600 thousand dead
  • Swine Flu – 200 thousand dead
  • Yellow Fever – 100-150 thousand dead
  • Ebola – 11.3 thousand dead
  • COVID-19 – 9,000 (as of March 19)
  • MERS – 850 dead
  • SARS – 770 dead
I had not realised the HIV-AIDS epidemic was so deadly.

One things that stands out is that as we move into modern times, pandemics become less deadly in terms of total mortality, but on they other hand, pandemics are becoming more frequent.

The first is a tribute to improved medical science and public health programs, while the second is a product (among other things) of increasing connectedness and globalization.
 

owedtojoy

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The Plague of Justinian is reckoned by some to have hastened the takeover of southern and eastern Britain by the Anglo-Saxons.
Yes, I loaned out Harper's book so I cannot check up on what he says, but I think it gets a mention.

Definitely, depopulation of the Empire presented scope and opportunity for "barbarian" interlopers. These were not necessarily the big tribes of legend, but group of warriors who created a new power structure, then catalyzed cultural and linguistic change. Neither genetic records nor archaeological excavations show a massive shift of Saxons into south-west England in the 6th century. Yet within 200 years the political and cultural landscape completely changed.
 

Ardillaun

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Excellent OP, a broad and topical canvas to paint on. Where is syphilis in the list of plagues, one (generally accepted) riposte from the New World? Sorry, am I missing it there somewhere? Just losing Franz Schubert prematurely was a significant blow to world culture. The toll taken on the peoples of the Americas by European diseases is difficult to quantify but went on for centuries. Here is one relatively minor example among the Inuit (Eskimo) that still resonates locally in my Canadian province:


Notwithstanding that and even as I stand on their land, my immediate, twitter-sized response would be, are epidemics and pandemics not just the price of hom sap ‘success’ and civilization too? We’re not ’designed’ to live so close together but if we were to revert back to our original small groups, one unpleasant problem of quite a few we’d face is that we might eventually separate into competing humanoid species - and we’re bad enough as one.

Straying covidly more than a little, I would concede that technology can help us considerably in fighting novel cross-species infections but one clear strategy is to go deep into our past and embrace the dietary preferences of Australopithecus or, even better, Purgatorius who must have been named by a carnivore:

Purgatorius was an accomplished tree climber—and a vegan. It gave up the insect-based diet of its ancestors in favor of newly abundant fruits and flowers, carving for itself a comfortable niche high in the branches. For tens of millions of years, the descendants of Purgatorius were committed to their plant-based diets. From small monkeys to gorilla-size apes, they survived mostly on tropical fruits, spicing their meals with occasional worms (often by accident). Around 15 million years ago, they diversified a bit, adding hard seeds and nuts to their diets, but stayed true to their vegan roots.

Here he is how he might have looked, although this lad is clearly posing:

D4F90E37-AA48-45AD-B2D1-318BF84FF33B.jpeg
Being something like that up there in the foliage is a line of work I wouldn’t have minded at all - you basically have the story of my fantasy life right there. Let’s add a bit of cooking to his (or her) diet and then we‘ll really have the microbes on the run.
 
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Lumpy Talbot

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Great OP as usual from OtJ. There have been huge social changes following pandemics and its effect on society. Famously living conditions, wages and the general lot in life of farm labourers changed dramatically after the winnowing brought by the Black Death. Labourers were little better than the Kulaks of the Steppes in that regard, until they became rare and highly sought after.

The most curious thing I've seen in between two separate news items detailing the spread of coronavirus around the world, and that was an advertising break in which the voice-over began with 'by 2050 there will be ten billion people on this planet' and I remember thinking 'are you sure about that?'

We may have gone across a tipping point in terms of overpopulation and could view the emergence of pandemics from high population density areas in Asia as warnings that we have crossed that line.

We are part of only two categories of species on the planet- flora and fauna. We already know from observation of ebb and flow of animal population that overly successful breeders run into environmental barriers. They either outstrip their natural environment or their environment reduces them back to sustainable levels.

This has happened most notably with Tasmanian Devils in the southern hemisphere. Soon as they were protected and allowed to grow way beyond their environment's ability to sustain them they developed an auto-immune style disease outbreak which is still being studied as we speak.

We may need to abandon such casual milestones as having ten billion people on the planet, as this is something the environment, Nature, NORA (Naturally Occurring Random Artifice) uses to police the fauna population.

While I don't think allocation of names or anthropomorphising risks and assigning them names is overall a great idea as that has gone awry in the past there are some benefits to assuming that we aren't the only intelligence around. We may be the chattiest, noisiest and most careless of our environment but if there is a system for handling overpopulation on the planet among its fauna we don't have an exemption certificate just because we are human.
 

owedtojoy

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Excellent OP, a broad and topical canvas to paint on. Where is syphilis in the list of plagues, one (generally accepted) riposte from the New World? Sorry, am I missing it there somewhere? Just losing Franz Schubert prematurely was a significant blow to world culture. The toll taken on the peoples of the Americas by European diseases is difficult to quantify but went on for centuries. Here is one relatively minor example among the Inuit (Eskimo) that still resonates locally in my Canadian province:


Notwithstanding that and even as I stand on their land, my immediate, twitter-sized response would be, are epidemics and pandemics not just the price of hom sap ‘success’ and civilization too? We’re not ’designed’ to live so close together but if we were to revert back to our original small groups, one unpleasant problem of quite a few we’d face is that we might eventually separate into competing humanoid species - and we’re bad enough as one.

Straying covidly more than a little, I would concede that technology can help us considerably in fighting novel cross-species infections but one clear strategy is to go deep into our past and embrace the dietary preferences of Australopithecus or, even better, Purgatorius who must have been named by a carnivore:



Here he is how he might have looked, although this lad is clearly posing:

D4F90E37-AA48-45AD-B2D1-318BF84FF33B.jpeg
Being something like that up there in the foliage is a line of work I wouldn’t have minded at all - you basically have the story of my fantasy life right there. Let’s add a bit of cooking to his (or her) diet and then we‘ll really have the microbes on the run.
If we had remained hunter-gatherers living in small groups, subsiding on what nature provides, we may have been "healthier and happier".

No major wars, no diseases, no organised religion .... John Lennon's Imagine wells up in the background.

Also very little art, science or transcendence ... lives limited by the brutal scope of the seasons, the climate and wild nature. Not much time for Beethoven to write his Fifth Symphony, or James Joyce to write Ulysses, or Einstein to discover the Principle of Relativity.

Plus, modern study has found that hunter-gatherer people wage small and vicious wars that are as inhumane and cruel as anything waged by modern nations. Stick that up your poncho, John Lennon!

I just wonder if we could not somehow get the best of both worlds.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Well the good news there is that we are the most adaptable of the world's predators. We've fundamentally changed our way of being on a number of occasions in the past in reaction to a hostile environment and we're most likely capable of doing so again.
 

owedtojoy

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Well the good news there is that we are the most adaptable of the world's predators. We've fundamentally changed our way of being on a number of occasions in the past in reaction to a hostile environment and we're most likely capable of doing so again.
Don't let's get above ourselves either ... viruses and bacteria are predators on us, and may have the last laugh. We are the most adaptable large, multicellular creature - Dinosaurs lasted longer than we have been around (an eye-blink in geological terms), and cockroaches evolved over 300 million years ago.

Actually, we may be the ones who destroyed our own natural supports. If Hairy Fuxxonaro goes ahead with his plan to burn down the Amazon basis for one big cattle ranch, I am not sure where will will end up.

But, hey, we can't complain. We have had a good run, so let's enjoy it while it lasts. ;)
 

former wesleyan

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Tom Holland in The Shadow of the Sword makes the point that the Plague deaths left the borders of the Roman and Persian empires defenceless against the Arabs whose nomadic lifestyle had left them largely untouched.
 

Malcolm Redfellow

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Of course, other life-forms who share this planet might (were they capable) reckon the greatest plague was the rise of humanoids.

Though that may be a bit too Douglas Adams.
 

Catahualpa

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Tom Holland in The Shadow of the Sword makes the point that the Plague deaths left the borders of the Roman and Persian empires defenceless against the Arabs whose nomadic lifestyle had left them largely untouched.
But the Arabs struck these Empires after they had exhausted themselves in huge wars to see who was the Greater.

The Muslims were not immune to Plague either:

Plague of Emmaus

The epidemic is famous in Muslim sources because of the death of many prominent companions of Muhammad.

 

Lumpy Talbot

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For all the talk of globalisation and multilateralism we sure leapt back into the concept of the national bunker pretty fast. The whole question about whether there should be flights banned from initial hotspots and then suddenly it was nation states closing doors.

Looks like the death of the nation-state may well have been exaggerated.
 


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