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Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2004 Mar;18(1):45-51.

Impact of the plague in Ancient Greece.

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Department of Political Science, Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus, 720 North Boulevard, Brookville, NY 11548, USA.


Disease as a pivotal factor in determining the course of human events may be one og the least considered historical variables. When assessing the critical junctures of history, historians seem more inclined to focus on the impact of conquering armies, economic revolutions, and technologic breakthroughs. This analysis attempts to illustrate the seminal effects of the great plague of Athens. By depleting Athenian military personnel, depriving Athens of its charismatic leadership, and dissolving the system of ideals and principles that distinguished Athens from the rest of antiquity, the plague materially altered the outcome of the Peloponnesian War, which in turn deflected the flow of all subsequent Hellenic history.

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