The Plague Of Athens

Athens

The Plague at Athens (430 – 427 B.C.):

“In the 2nd year of the Peloponnesian War, 430 BCE, an outbreak of plague erupted in Athens. The illness would persist throughout scattered parts of Greece and the eastern Mediterranean until finally dying out in 426 BCE. The origin of the epidemic occurred in sub-Saharan Africa just south of Ethiopia. The disease swept north and west through Egypt and Libya across the Mediterranean Sea into Persia and Greece. The plague entered Athens through the city’s port of Piraeus. The Greek historian Thucydides recorded the outbreak in his monumental work on the Peloponnesian war (431-404 BCE) between Athens and Sparta. According to various scholars, by its end, the epidemic killed upwards of 1/3 of the population; a population which numbered 250,000-300,000 in the 5th century BCE. By most accounts, the plague which struck Athens was the most lethal episode of illness in the period of Classical Greece history.”

~ John Horgan “Ancient History Encyclopedia, https://www.ancient.eu”

Plague of Athens

“Violent heats in the head; redness and inflammation of the eyes; throat and tongue quickly suffused with blood; breath became unnatural and fetid; sneezing and hoarseness; violent cough’ vomiting; retching; violent convulsions; the body externally not so hot to the touch, nor yet pale; a livid color inkling to red; breaking out in pustules and ulcers.”

~ Thucydides (c. 460 – 399 B.C.)

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