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Plagues, climate change, and the end of an empire. A response to Kyle Harper's The Fate of Rome (2): Plagues and a crisis of empire

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Izdebski,  Adam
Palaeo-Science and History, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

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Haldon, J., Elton, H., Huebner, S. R., Izdebski, A., Mordechai, L., & Newfield, T. P. (2018). Plagues, climate change, and the end of an empire. A response to Kyle Harper's The Fate of Rome (2): Plagues and a crisis of empire. History Compass, e12506. doi:10.1111/hic3.12506.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-7AB5-9
Abstract
Abstract This is the second of a three-section review of Kyle Harper's The Fate of Rome in which we examine in detail Harper's treatment of two allegedly widespread and mortal Roman outbreaks of disease. In the case of the second-century Antonine plague, we demonstrate that Harper overlooked a major controversy and instead portrayed an oversimplified narrative of a catastrophic event. In the case of the third-century Cyprianic plague, we call attention to several glaring methodological issues in Harper's treatment of the episode, point out the absence of corresponding evidence in the papyri, and cast doubt on the linkage previously drawn between the plague and archaeology.