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The Science of Roman HistoryBiology, Climate, and the Future of the Past$
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Walter Scheidel

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691195988

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691195988.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Reconstructing the Roman Climate

Reconstructing the Roman Climate

(p.11) Chapter One Reconstructing the Roman Climate
The Science of Roman History

Kyle Harper

Michael McCormick

Princeton University Press

This chapter frames our current state of knowledge about the physical climate in the period of the Roman Empire's expansion, flourishing, and final fragmentation, at roughly 200 BCE to 600 CE. The emphasis here is on the new evidence of paleoclimate proxy data. The chapter explores what it is starting to tell historians about the timing and nature of large-scale climate change in the centuries of interest. To conclude, the chapter draws together the disparate sources of evidence into a tentative narrative. It highlights the questions that can be asked about the relationship between climate change and historical change and underscores the need for more and better data to fill in such a narrative in the future.

Keywords:   climate, Roman climate, paleoclimate proxy data, climate change, historical change, Roman Empire

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