Lecture 1. First Spreads: Pandemics in Early Global Cultures (3000 BCE – 1350 CE)

Communicable diseases existed during humankind’s first society (hunter-gatherer) days, but the shift to agrarian life 10,000 years ago created communities that made epidemics more possible. Early illnesses were limited in their geographical scope, but were devastating in small communities. With the emergence of global empires, pandemics followed in China, Egypt, Greece and Rome. This lecture includes the origin of the term ‘epidemic’ and ‘pandemic’ – in Greece, linked directly to Homer’s Odyssey – the proliferation of pandemics in the Roman Empire, and the Eurasian world-altering Black Death which claimed 1/3 of the Eurasian-African population.

supporting documents:

Lecture Notes

Quiz with Answers