A first synthesis of available data for the period of Rome’s expansion in Italy (about 400–29 b.c.e.) shows the role of climate and environment in early Roman imperialism. Although global indices suggest a warmer phase with relatively few short-term climate events occuring around the same time as the expansion, local data emphasize the highly variable timing and expression of these trends. This variability casts doubt on ideas of a unitary, historically consequential “Roman Warm Period.” The historical importance of climate and environment to socioeconomic development merits emphasis, but should be understood in terms of evolving, contingent forms of resilience and risk-mitigating behavior by Italian communities during Roman expansion.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- History and Philosophy of Science