New study links natural disaster with revolutions

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New study links natural disaster with revolutions Empty New study links natural disaster with revolutions

Post by Guest on Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:28 am

From 305 BCE to 30 BCE, ancient Egypt was ruled by the Ptolemaic Dynasty, a Greek family put in place after Alexander the Great conquered Egypt. Though Egypt's wealth and importance were legendary during this time, it was also a period of great civil unrest. Perhaps because they were being ruled by foreigners, the Egyptian people revolted against their leadership several times during the 200s, sparking civil wars. But now scientists believe these revolts may have broken out in part because of a chain reaction started by volcanoes halfway across the world.

There's no doubt that the Egyptians were chafing under the yoke of their foreign monarchs. The days of the great pharaohs were over, and leaders from the north were replacing Egyptian culture with Greek gods and architecture. But why did the Egyptians' resentment boil over into open revolt sometimes and remain at a steady simmer otherwise? Historian Francis Ludlow of Trinity College, Ireland, and his colleagues believe that ash, dust, and other particles released by volcanoes during the 200s BCE caused temperatures to cool around the globe. Cooling resulted in less water evaporation, which meant less rain for northern Africa and, therefore, less flooding of the life-giving Nile River.

Because the ancient Egyptians were a farming culture that lived and died by the harvest, the annual Nile flood was key to survival. Floods meant nutrient-rich waters fed the fields and everyone could eat. Nile levels were so important to the Egyptian economy that the government based tax amounts on readings from "Nilometers," stone wells fed by the river where they could measure its height in cubits. If the levels were trending too high (destructive flooding) or too low (drought), taxes were scaled back to account for people's diminished fortunes.

Years with low rainfall inevitably meant people wanted for more and had less to lose. Gripes with the government became full-scale rebellions, like the 20-year "Theban revolt" that started in 207 BCE and the "Egyptian revolt" against Ptolemy III between 245-238 BCE. Both came after periods of increased volcanic activity. Though many other factors were in play, there is an undeniable correlation between eruptions and rebellion against the Ptolemaic regime.


https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/11/new-study-shows-natural-disasters-can-lead-to-political-uprisings/

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Post by nicko on Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:16 am

I love your little History Lessons Didge !
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New study links natural disaster with revolutions Empty Re: New study links natural disaster with revolutions

Post by Guest on Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:18 am

nicko wrote:I love your little History Lessons Didge !

Thanks mate, but is also more me learning new things from history every day and happy to share this with everyone.

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