Typhoid fever behind fall of Athens
The plague began in Ethiopia and passed through Egypt and Libya to Greece in 430-426 B.C. It changed the balance of power between Athens and Sparta, ending the Golden Age of Pericles and Athenian dominance in the ancient world.
An estimated one-third of Athenians died, including Pericles, their leader.
Knowledge of the epidemic had come largely from an account by the Greek historian Thucydides, who was taken ill with the plague but recovered. Despite Thucydides’ description, researchers could only narrow the possibilities down to a range that included the bubonic plague, smallpox, anthrax and measles.
The new study, led by Manolis Papagrigorakis of the University of Athens, found DNA sequences similar to those of the modern day Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, the organism that causes typhoid fever. The work is detailed online by the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Typhoid fever is transmitted by contaminated food or water. It is most common today in developing countries.
comments powered by Disqus
- Coming Soon, a Century Late: A Black Film Gem
- The discovery that complicated the history of sex change operations
- NYT identifies the person who exposed Gary Hart's philandering
- Decades After Trinity Nuclear Test in New Mexico, U.S. Studies Cancer Fallout
- Lawrence Of Arabia's Hand-Drawn, WWI Map Is Up for Auction
- Ken Burns and the Myth of Theodore Roosevelt
- What Ken Burns Doesn't Understand about the Roosevelts
- A call for historians to do macro history
- Colorado school board, worried about the new AP framework, wants to make sure high school kids are taught patriotic history
- Professor premieres animated short on Pueblo revolt on PBS