The Plague of Eyam, 1666

In 1665, an outbreak of the bubonic plague struck London, crippling the life of the city and killing nearly a quarter of its half-million people. King Charles II, the royal family, the entire court, and anyone with enough money fled the city hoping to avoid contagion. In doing so, they carried the fleas that spreadContinue reading “The Plague of Eyam, 1666”

The Plague of Athens, 430 BCE

The Golden Age of Athens is the stuff of legends. The coalition of Greek city-states under Athenian leadership had defeated the invasion of the mighty Persian Empire in 478 BCE, and Athens continued to lead the anti-Persian Delian League alliance after the war. Tribute money from other cities flowed into Athens in the long periodContinue reading “The Plague of Athens, 430 BCE”

The Caladrius

This bird is a caladrius. It might be based on real bird, based on classical descriptions, but by the Middle Ages, the caladrius had become a mythical bird associated with sickness. It was said that by a look, the caladrius could tell if a sick person would live or die. From the Aberdeen Bestiary, whichContinue reading “The Caladrius”

Primary Sources for the Present Crisis

The past is prologue. – William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act 2, Scene I, 1610-11. The novel coronavirus is EVERYWHERE. Most of the world is in quarantine. This pandemic is slaying our people, stifling our culture, and shutting down our societies. Media outlets of all sources are talking about how ‘new’ this is, how unprecedented, howContinue reading “Primary Sources for the Present Crisis”