The Strategypage is a comprehensive summary of military news and affairs.
August 8, 2020
cover
Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox by Jonathan B. Tucker


cover
Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War by Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg, William J. Broad


cover
Biohazard: The Chilling True Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Program in the World--Told from Inside by the Man Who Ran It by Ken Alibek



Discussion Boards on Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Weapons

The War Against Smallpox David W. Tschanz, MSPH, PhD

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

The Romans

The impact smallpox had on history cannot be overestimated. Its first likely appearance in Europe was the Antonine Plague of 165-66 AD, when the legions of Avidius Cassius were decimated by the disease after a successful campaign against the Parthians. The returning survivors spread the disease throughout the Empire. In Rome, one third of the inhabitants died. Roman forces on the Danube frontier were thrown into disarray. Severely weakened, they were unable to stem the invading barbarians who overran Noricum, Pannonia and Aquileia at the head of the Adriatic Sea. The Emperor Marcus Aurelius, unable to raise troops from the depopulated citizenry, drafted slaves and gladiators into the legions. When that proved insufficient he auctioned off the imperial household, then hired mercenaries from Germanic tribes and the Scythians to defend the Empire. The epidemic depopulated the Roman Empire.

A century later, just as Rome was beginning to regain the demographic stability necessary to recover, smallpox returned. Eusebius records that in Alexandria, the second city of the Empire, the number of men aged 14 through 70 years of age after the plague equalled the number of those aged 40-70 before it struck. Throughout the Empire the population base dwindled further. The Romans were unable to field the large armies of the past. The number of legions fell. The Empire found itself increasingly defenseless. Less than fifty years later, Constantine moved the imperial capital to Constantinople, essentially abandoning the West to the barbarian tribes pressing on it from northern Europe. The Western Empire disappeared with a whimper.

More Victims

In 754 the caliph Abu-al Abbas, who had overthrown the Ummaiyad dynasty five years earlier and laid the foundations for the Abassid dynasty, was struck down by smallpox while still in his early thirties.

Smallpox killed Chinese Emperors, African tribal chiefs, European monarches and Arab emirs, and millions of unknown, unnamed people. Its greatest days of devastation were in the aftermath of the European discovery of the New World.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

Discussion Boards on Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Weapons

The Latest Comment On This Topic:
From: Yimmy 7/28/2014 7:48:00 PM
Subject:
In 2004 mike_golf said the American Army in WWII became the largest volunteer army the world has ever seen.

This was in fact the British Indian Army of WWII.

Aimless comment of the night.....
cover
Plague Wars: The Terrifying Reality of Biological Warfare by Tom Mangold, Jeff Goldberg


cover
Anthrax: The Investigation of a Deadly Outbreak by Jeanne Guillemin


cover
Combating Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Terrorism: A Comprehensive Strategy: A Report of the Csis Homeland Defense Project) by Frank J. Cilluffo, Sharon L. Cardash, Gordon Nathaniel Lederman


 

© 1998 - 2020 StrategyWorld.com. All rights Reserved.
StrategyWorld.com, StrategyPage.com, FYEO, For Your Eyes Only and Al Nofi's CIC are all trademarks of StrategyWorld.com
Privacy Policy