Talk:Antonine Plague

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The Source[edit]

What is the ancient source of this information? Kazuba 11 May 2005

Galen and Marcus Aurilius among others. See new information in the article. WBardwin 18:38, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

Sorry, but it is (unintentially) too funny to describe this plague as "decimating the Roman army". Decimation itself stems from the Roman army and has a specific meaning........or did it really slay exactly one in ten? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.69.10.180 (talk) 22:39, 15 April 2009 (UTC)


Plague of Cyprian / Central article?[edit]

Great quotes for the Plague of Cyprian -- but -- I was hoping to create that article next week. I have some basic info and the quotes would be very welcome. OK with you? Thanks for your interest. WBardwin 07:13, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

I'm a lumper, not a splitter. Do these two bouts of plague gain anything by separate entries? Should all incursions of plague in the Roman Empire have a central article, such as at the article Bubonic plague? --Wetman 08:35, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
Yes, they should have a central article. . Not Bubonic plague, as historians are generally unsure as to what was the exact nature of the several plagues during antiquity. Plaques in Antiquity or Plagues in Ancient Rome would fit better. Do we create that article form scratch, or do we move this article? I prefer the first option.
--Hippalus 09:47, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Since Plague is a disambiguation page, perhaps the main article should be Pandemic, with condensed sections on each plague, including Antonine Plague. --Wetman 20:50, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Fall of Rome?[edit]

I've read in other places that the plagues and subsequent depopulation were the biggest cause of the end of "Pax Romana" and the continuing decline of the western empire. I doubt this is true, but perhaps it deserves an argument, perhaps linking to the crisis of the third century.

Vandalism[edit]

The first sentence in this article appears to have been vandalized. It has been vandalized elsewhere as well.

Plague of Cyprian[edit]

I have started a separate article for the Plague of Cyprian as the latter is clearly a distinct outbreak from the Antonine pandemic. I have transferred the relevant section from this article to the new article. I propose that the same section should now be deleted from this article. Any objections? EraNavigator (talk) 02:36, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Marcus Aurelius[edit]

Thanks Uruiamme for communicating. I have replaced your wikilink, which was: [Marcus Aurelius] with a version piped from the original of the quotation, thus: M. Aurelius

It seems to me that this is better in that it preserves the original form of the quotation, while resolving the possible ambiguity you mention. I hope this helps. Richard Keatinge (talk) 09:49, 25 January 2011 (UTC)


I would like to see some references to actual ancient sources that support this plague having anything to do with the death of Marcus Aurelius or even Lucius Verus.

Scope and scale of plague[edit]

I feel the total amount of deaths and the amount of deaths per day mentioned in the article are misleading. While it is true that Dio Cassius mentions 2,000 deaths a day, historians actually concerned with researching this topic heavily disagree on the issue (and, for that matter, on the proposed long-term devastating effects of the plague itself). The estimates vary between 1% of the total population of the empire, to significantly more than 10%. However, since opinions also vary on the total population of the empire, there is no easy estimate to give. Therefore, I also feel the reference for five million deaths to a BBC article that is not stating any further source is inadequate. Furthermore, several historians note that it is often the case that plagues are described to be 'the worst in history' in primary sources, and that the amount of deaths can be majorly overstated. For example: R.P. Duncan-Jones, 'The Impact of the Antonine Plague', Journal of Roman Archaeology 9 (1996) 108-136 for a slightly older but still authoritative article on the matter, although most of its other points (again concerning the seriousness and long term effect of the plague) have been disputed by other historians at some point. Exonimus 15:32, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Ok - so then what would you propose? Not picking specifically at you, but I've been on too many Talk pages where someone comes in, fires off a "this page sucks because of X, Y, Z" comment, offers no constructive changes besides this, and then gets pissed off because "no one is listening to him". I agree that some of the figures seem to be high and are unsourced. What can we do about it? Ckruschke (talk) 22:41, 21 April 2011 (UTC)Ckruschke


Thanks for the reply, I didn't mean to be unconstructive or cynical, sorry if it looked that way. I'm a history student currently doing some research and writing an essay on the topic, and I just felt that the wiki page does not properly reflect the historical debate and the range of uncertainty concerning this subject. I'd be happy to offer some more constructive criticism concerning the historical debate around the matter, probably some better usable sources, etc. But it'll be a few weeks till my essay is done, and I'd rather wait until then so I have a more complete/objective picture of this (if such a thing exists), if that is acceptable to you. Speaking of constructive criticism, I just noticed that page listed one of Christer Bruun's articles as a reference, while he is actually one of the main opponents of the plague being of any serious effect on the crisis of the third century.

In closing, I would probably propose (again, in a few weeks) me giving a sort of overview on the authors/debate (there aren't that many) on the talk page, and the ranges of estimation, with links to sources instead of giving concrete numbers, so others can decide if they feel it's usable or not (this is one of my first entries on wikipedia, and I don't feel that comfortable just going ahead and editing articles yet)

I also recently read the German version of the wikipedia page, although it still has some problems, it does mention the debate: (freely translated) "There is a continuing debate among modern historians about how and to what extent the plague was a factor contributing to the political destabilization during the crisis of the third century. The immediate social and economic effects were certainly devastating in Rome. However, all things considered, Marcus Aurelius' reign is widely known as a period of high taxes, military problems, bad harvests, etc. In relation to these aspects, the plague's long term effect has only been relative" It might be a good place to start if you feel like starting before I finish my essay :) Exonimus (talk) 10:54, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Sounds cool. It will especially work well if you can offer specific edits rather than ideas that someone else would then have to reinterprete into an edit to the text. So maybe when you find time, you can offer sections or paragraphs along with edits and those of us who check this talk page can review it and give thumbs up/down and comments. Thanks for your help. Ckruschke (talk) 01:04, 23 April 2011 (UTC)Ckruschke

You have a deal :), it will be about three weeks, a month at most. Exonimus (talk) 10:49, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

No hurry - we all have real lives. Ckruschke (talk) 20:10, 24 April 2011 (UTC)Ckruschke

WP:Death Assessment Commentary[edit]

The article was assessed as Start-class, due to lack of in-line citations and supporting materials.Boneyard90 (talk) 09:31, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Era style[edit]

Please keep the neutral era tag "BCE" and "CE". I would prefer it in this form. Lupus Bellator (talk) 18:04, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

Please see WP:ERA, and don't change an established era style. Cynwolfe (talk) 19:20, 4 December 2012 (UTC)