The Plague of Athens

Disastrous History: A Disasters of History Podcast


In 430 BC, in the midst of the Peloponnesian War, the powerful city-state of Athens was struck down by a disastrous plague. Athenians fell sick with a dizzying array of symptoms, from fevers and vomiting to painful pustules that broke out all over people’s bodies. In total it killed roughly a third of the city’s population and caused a total breakdown in Athenian society.


Dan is joined by Alastair Blanchard, Deputy Head of the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at the University of Queensland. He explains the repercussions of this terrible epidemic and discusses some of its possible causes.


Produced by James Hickmann and edited by Ella Blaxill.


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