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How microbes contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire


DECRYPTION – In a book written long before the Covid, the American historian Kyle Harper, a specialist in late Antiquity, believes that nature had its share of responsibility in the end and then the disappearance of the Western Roman Empire.

It is doing a great deal of honor to man to hold him solely responsible for the fall of Rome. Invasions, political decadence, a budget crisis? Without a doubt. But nature played its part in the end of the empire that has long ruled the West, believes historian Kyle Harper. In an enthralling sum reissued in pocket format, the professor of ancient history at the University of Oklahoma (United States) recounts a story that “Escapes the human monopoly, slides Benoît Rossignol (University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne) in the preface. We are back in our place. ”

On a small scale, admits Kyle Harper, “The decisions have weighed with all their weight” in the collapse of an empire suffering from “Structural defects”. But his “Fate (…) was also decided by bacteria and viruses, volcanoes and solar cycles”. Pathogens gave life “Short and uncertain”, but the Empire’s capacity for resilience was great. Only by connecting areas of the world

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