A massive volcanic eruption may have contributed to the rise of the Roman Empire

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"After Alaska’s Okmok volcano blew its top in 43 BCE, the Mediterranean saw years of bitter cold and famines.

"The year 43 BCE was, by all accounts, a tumultuous time for the Mediterranean region. The assassination of Julius Caesar one year earlier had sparked a seventeen-year power struggle that would lead to the demise of the Roman Republic and the Ptolemaic dynasty that governed ancient Egypt and the dawn of the Roman Empire. It was also a time of extremely weird weather; the years 43 and 42 BCE were marked by bitter cold and excessive rains that led to widespread famines and disease..."

Kate Baggaley - Popular Science

Originally published Thursday, 25 June 2020

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