Roman Empire did not fall because of plague, study claims

Roman Empire did not fall because of plague, study claims

Several sources across antiquity that had attributed important world events to the outbreak of the plague, such as the fall of the Roman Empire.

However, the researchers found that previous scholars had focused on evocative written accounts, ignoring hundreds of contemporary texts that did not mention the outbreak.

“We found no reason to argue that the plague kil-led tens of millions of people as many have claimed,” said co-author Timothy Newfield. 

“Plague is often construed as shifting the course of history. It’s an easy explanation, too easy. It’s essential to establish a causal connection,” he said.

Analysis of evidence such as pollen samples and bur-ial sites also found that the millions of supposed deaths did not quite add up.

Where there should be more mass graves and less pollen from the lack of farming as a result, the researcher’s findings showed no evidence of the mass deaths.

Co-author of the study, Janet Kay, said: “We investigated a large dataset of human burials from before and after the plague outbreak, and the plague did not result in a significant change whether people buried the de-ad alone or with many others.

“The Black dea-th kil-led vast numbers of people and did change how people disposed of corpses.”

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