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Re: H1N5 (and Bakker's virus extinction hypothesis) now H5N1
highly contagious epidemics, called plagues, in the Middle East,
Central Asia, and the Mediterranean were recorded in some very early
historical sources. They could be variants of smallpox, bubonic,
eboli, or anthrax. The ancient Greeks, Hittites, Babylonians,
Egyptians and Sumerians all had "gods of plague" and temples
dedicated to plague (which was often attributed to rodents, which
were known to carry contagion even then) going back to archaic times
before the Bronze Age (ca 1250 BC). This evidence suggests that
plagues have been recognized for millennia.
Check out the Old Testament story of the Ark of the Covenant in 1
Samuel: the Ark afflicted the Philistines with a deadly contagion
that is described in detail, allowing scholars to identify it as
bubonic plague. The 5th and 6th plagues that afflicted the Egyptians
in about 1300 BC is decribed in Exodus with details that lead
scholars to believe it was anthrax, first came the mass death of all
the herd animals, followed by pulmonary and cutaneous forms among the
humans. The plague that killed all the wild animals, then the draft
animals and then the soldiers at the beginning of the Trojan War in
Homer's Iliad was also most likely anthrax.
Other ancient examples:
Royal cuneiform tablets from Sumer (now Syria) dating to about 1770
BC forbid travel between towns infected by plague to avoid spreading
it the whole country.
Cuneiform tablets from the ancient Hittites in Turkey (1500 BC) tell
of epidemics that killed animals and people
The plague at Athens began in Egypt and spread to Persia and Libya
and then to Athens in 430 BC--medical experts have proposed smallpox,
measles, typhus, or bubonic plague. It killed 25% of the population
of Athens and surrounding territory.
Other massive plagues occurred in Egypt and Assyria, spread by rats,
in 700 BC (it killed nearly 200,000 Assyrians). In 586 BC, a terrible
plague killed Chaldeans and Babylonians, there were plagues in 396 BC
in Carthage, 74 BC around the Black Sea, The Gauls fell to a plague
in 105 BC, plague broke out in Jerusalem in AD 70, devastating
plagues swept Rome in AD 90 and AD 189 (killing 2,000 people per
day). The famous Great Plague of AD 164-66, originated in Babylon and
spread all across the Mediterranean to North Africa and up to the
Rhine: medical experts believe it was a form of smallpox. Another
pandemic spread from Egypt to Scotland in AD 250, etc.
For more details and all the sources for these plagues, see chapters
4 and 6 plus notes in 2003 book "Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion
Bombs" by A. Mayor (available on Amazon.com)
On May 14, 2006, at 7:03 AM, Phil Bigelow wrote:
On Sun, 14 May 2006 20:49:34 +0200 Tommy Tyrberg writes:
Bubonic plague as far as is known has *not* been around for
least not in Europe and the Middle East. There is as a matter of
indication that plague ever occurred there before the Justinian
There is some uncertainty on this matter.
There was a killer epidemic that struck Athens in 430 B.C. Some
historians have called it "plague" (in the generic sense?), but other
historians have assumed it was Bubonic Plague.
Most of Europe got clobbered by another big epidemic in A.D. 443.
many hisorians believe this was Bubonic Plague.
Plague then stayed active around the Mediterranean until
750, after which it disappeared, not to return until 1347,
A.D. 1347 is, very roughly, shortly after the beginning of the "Little
disappearing (from Europe at least) in the eighteenth century.
Which is, very roughly, around the end of the "Little Ice Age".
One of the National Security Agency's Top 10 favorite phone taps