Pathogens and the Anthropocene

Pathogens and the Anthropocene

The “Anthropocene” is the name that many propose for the current geological epoch in recognition of how fundamentally humans (= anthropoi) have altered the earth’s…

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Database of Pestilence in the Roman Empire

Database of Pestilence in the Roman Empire

The term “endemic,” when applied to disease, is a spatial term: it means a particular disease is native or persistently present in a specific place….

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Framing the Fifth-Century Climate

Framing the Fifth-Century Climate

The need to understand contemporary climate change – and the role of human activity in driving climate change – has an unintended side effect for…

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Smallpox: Resources and Thoughts

Smallpox: Resources and Thoughts

Smallpox, We Hardly Knew Ye* [updated 2/7/2017] In an important new study, Duggan et al. sequenced the genome of a 17th-century smallpox virus (Variola major)…

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Lecture on history, genetics, and infectious disease

Lecture on history, genetics, and infectious disease

Here is the video of a lecture I gave in October of 2016 titled “Nature Did It: Romans, Ecology, and the Global History of Infectious…

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Prices, Rents, and Wages in the Roman Empire

Prices, Rents, and Wages in the Roman Empire

Papyri from Egypt provide extraordinary information about life in the ancient world. In a new study, I assemble a large database of Wheat Prices, Land…

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Plague of Cyprian: Another Eye-Witness

Plague of Cyprian: Another Eye-Witness

  In the 2015 issue of the Journal of Roman Archaeology, I published a study of the much neglected Plague of Cyprian, a pandemic caused…

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Plagues and the Fall of the Roman Empire

Plagues and the Fall of the Roman Empire

It was very exciting to read this excellent summary of my recent work in The Atlantic. Caroline Wazer does a great job of reporting on…

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Immortales: Rome comes to OU!

Immortales: Rome comes to OU!

  Twenty of the most iconic images of western civilization are making their American debut and decided it should be in Norman, OK! Some of…

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Spring Break with TS Eliot

Spring Break with TS Eliot

For Spring Break Michelle and I were able to sneak away to England for a quick trip, hitting Little Gidding (above), Burnt Norton (below), and…

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