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The Worst Year?

John Rowland

Posted on December 30, 2018 16:44

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As we approach the end of 2018, some may look back believing that this past year was lousy. Well at least it wasn't the year A.D.536.

Most people probably have mixed thoughts and feelings about 2018; some parts were great, some just good, while some other things may have been just plain bad.

Whatever the case, we can all surely be grateful that we weren't living 1482 years ago -- in the year 536.

According to Michael McCormick, a Harvard archaeologist and medieval historian, this was "the worst year in the entirety of human history." Or more precisely, the "beginning of one of the worst periods to be alive, if not the worst year." Wow.

After much research, Dr. McCormick and glaciologist Paul Mayewski at the Climate Change Institute of The University of Maine concluded that it all started with a cataclysmic volcanic eruption in Iceland in 536.

So blame the Vikings.

But this, along with subsequent eruptions, released millions of tons of ash which spread over much of the world.

Ever heard of the Dark Ages?

Well, this kicked it all off; a hundred years of economic ruin: famine, extreme drought, crop failures, frigid temperatures, much disease and death.

Other curious things occurred like snowfall in China and 18 months of solid darkness produced by a "mysterious fog."

The Irish chronicles even relate to "a failure of bread from the years 536-539."

The economy finally revived with the smelting of silver along with the minting of coins, according to archaeologist Christopher Loveluck of the University of Nottingham.

Gee, if they only had a private central bank monopoly back then, they could have taken the shortcut and printed vast quantities of ponzi paper to use as "currency."

But anyway, whatever one's current circumstances are, as we draw to a close on the year 2018, we can probably all give thanks it isn't the year 536.

Happy New Year.

John Rowland

Posted on December 30, 2018 16:44

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