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Kittens Are Jerks

Why 536 was the worst year to be alive

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Kittens Are Jerks

Why 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive’
Ask medieval historian Michael McCormick what year was the worst to be alive, and he's got an answer: "536." Not 1349, when the Black Death wiped out half of Europe. Not 1918, when the flu killed 50 million to 100 million people, mostly young adults. But 536. In Europe, "It was the beginning of one of the worst periods to be alive, if not the worst year," says McCormick, a historian and archaeologist who chairs the Harvard University Initiative for the Science of the Human Past.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/11/why-536-was-worst-year-be-alive

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Black Monk

Codswallop. It's all subjective. Many people would have found 535 to be worse than 536.

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Kittens Are Jerks
1 hour ago, Black Monk said:

Codswallop. It's all subjective. Many people would have found 535 to be worse than 536.

Of course. Because there are people who love living in total darkness, under freezing conditions, whilst starving.

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Black Monk
4 minutes ago, Kittens Are Jerks said:

Of course. Because there are people who love living in total darkness, under freezing conditions, whilst starving.

Whether a year is bad or good for each person is just a matter of that person's opinion.

Saying 536 was the worst year to be alive is ludicrous. I daresay there'd be many people who found 539 to be worse for all sorts of reasons.

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Kittens Are Jerks
1 hour ago, Black Monk said:

Whether a year is bad or good for each person is just a matter of that person's opinion.

Saying 536 was the worst year to be alive is ludicrous. I daresay there'd be many people who found 539 to be worse for all sorts of reasons.

I take it then that it's reasonable to assume you've not read the article, for if you had, you would know that that debate is not at all central to it.

But yeah sure, it's easy to state the obvious, isn't it.

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hetrodoxly

This artical as little credibility due to the fact he uses "The Irish chronicles record "a failure of bread from the years 536–539" this was written in the 16th century not the 6th aslo he's added a couple of years to make it fit.

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Kittens Are Jerks
1 hour ago, hetrodoxly said:

This artical as little credibility due to the fact he uses "The Irish chronicles record "a failure of bread from the years 536–539" this was written in the 16th century not the 6th aslo he's added a couple of years to make it fit.

The Chronicle of Ireland recorded events in Ireland from 432 to 911 AD.

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hetrodoxly
4 minutes ago, Kittens Are Jerks said:

The Chronicle of Ireland recorded events in Ireland from 432 to 911 AD.

Yes, but it was back written

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freetoroam
Quote

At a workshop at Harvard this week, the team reported that a cataclysmic volcanic eruption in Iceland spewed ash across the Northern Hemisphere early in 536. Two other massive eruptions followed, in 540 and 547. The repeated blows, followed by plague, plunged Europe into economic stagnation that lasted until 640, 

I would say it was not just 536, anyone living during that period and losing loved ones would have been pretty bad.

I think the article really is to show what caused this, as for many people throughout the centuries can claim pretty bad years.

You can not pin point a bad year to this one particular year, especially what followed after. 

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hetrodoxly
13 minutes ago, Kittens Are Jerks said:

The Chronicle of Ireland recorded events in Ireland from 432 to 911 AD.

The Annals of Ulster (Irish Chronicles)The entries span the years from A.D. 431 to A.D. 1540. The entries up to A.D. 1489 were compiled in the late 15th century by the scribe Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín, this scribe must have lived a long time if he wrote the whole Cronicle.

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Kittens Are Jerks
10 minutes ago, freetoroam said:

I would say it was not just 536, anyone living during that period and losing loved ones would have been pretty bad.

I think the article really is to show what caused this, as for many people throughout the centuries can claim pretty bad years.

You can not pin point a bad year to this one particular year, especially what followed after. 

I agree. It isn't about the year; it's about knowing what happened and what the source of those mysterious clouds was.

That 536 was the worst year ever, is simply one historian/archaeologist's opinion; and one that is obviously up for debate.

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Lord Harry
On 11/16/2018 at 2:52 PM, Kittens Are Jerks said:

Why 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive’
Ask medieval historian Michael McCormick what year was the worst to be alive, and he's got an answer: "536." Not 1349, when the Black Death wiped out half of Europe. Not 1918, when the flu killed 50 million to 100 million people, mostly young adults. But 536. In Europe, "It was the beginning of one of the worst periods to be alive, if not the worst year," says McCormick, a historian and archaeologist who chairs the Harvard University Initiative for the Science of the Human Past.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/11/why-536-was-worst-year-be-alive

That is not a fair assessment. My great great great great great great great great great 10x removed grandfather was alive in Rome in 536 AD. And according to family legend, the year 536 was a joyous time to be alive.

Now if this year was about the year 537, then maybe you'd be on to something. As the family's prize goat was eaten by wolves that year.

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Tatetopa
1 hour ago, Kittens Are Jerks said:

That 536 was the worst year ever, is simply one historian/archaeologist's opinion; and one that is obviously up for debate.

Well, aside from all the quibbling, I learned something.  Thanks for posting.

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Essan

All depends on perspective.  For many, 1915 wasn't all that good,  but, globally, 1919 was far worse ...   Although, to be fair, most of those who'd rather not be alive then soon found they weren't .....

Personally I'd have thought the volcanic ash would have given great sunsets so as a photographer, 536 sounds a great year  Plus I prefer cold weather :)

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jaylemurph
6 hours ago, Lord Harry said:

That is not a fair assessment. My great great great great great great great great great 10x removed grandfather was alive in Rome in 536 AD. And according to family legend, the year 536 was a joyous time to be alive.

Now if this year was about the year 537, then maybe you'd be on to something. As the family's prize goat was eaten by wolves that year.

I can promise you no one in sixth Century CE Rome was very happy. Rome’s population fell over 90% between about 300 and 600 CE, between disease, warfare and starvation. It was basically ruled over by gangs and malaria was endemic. 

And that’s apart from the Germanic attacks on the city. 

—Jaylemurph 

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Farmer77
On 11/16/2018 at 4:52 PM, Kittens Are Jerks said:

Why 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive’
Ask medieval historian Michael McCormick what year was the worst to be alive, and he's got an answer: "536." Not 1349, when the Black Death wiped out half of Europe. Not 1918, when the flu killed 50 million to 100 million people, mostly young adults. But 536. In Europe, "It was the beginning of one of the worst periods to be alive, if not the worst year," says McCormick, a historian and archaeologist who chairs the Harvard University Initiative for the Science of the Human Past.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/11/why-536-was-worst-year-be-alive

Can you imagine the sun going dark and not having the scientific knowledge to understand why? It must have truly seemed like the gods had damned humanity.

That was a very interesting article. Thanks for the share!

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jaylemurph
11 minutes ago, Farmer77 said:

Can you imagine the sun going dark and not having the scientific knowledge to understand why? It must have truly seemed like the gods had damned humanity.

That was a very interesting article. Thanks for the share!

I don't know: eclipses are rare, but not unheard of. They'd been able to predict them for hundreds if not thousands of years, and when they happen, it's clear why -- the moon goes in front of the sun. The Sun doesn't mysteriously vanish or anything. It'd be creepy, yeah, but no more inexplicable than it is today.

--Jaylemurph

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Farmer77
2 minutes ago, jaylemurph said:

I don't know: eclipses are rare, but not unheard of. They'd been able to predict them for hundreds if not thousands of years, and when they happen, it's clear why -- the moon goes in front of the sun. The Sun doesn't mysteriously vanish or anything. It'd be creepy, yeah, but no more inexplicable than it is today.

--Jaylemurph

Ok, I know you know your history so youre making me question myself here.

Wasnt the sun blotted out by the result of a volcanic eruption and thats what led to lower temps and crop failures ? Or did I wholly misread the article?

Edited by Farmer77
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Setton
On 18/11/2018 at 2:11 PM, Kittens Are Jerks said:

But yeah sure, it's easy to state the obvious, isn't it.

You'd think. And yet certain posters still manage to fail at that. 

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