Skip to comments.Water's role in the rise and fall of the Roman Empire
Posted on 12/13/2014 6:19:39 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Smart agricultural practices and an extensive grain-trade network enabled the Romans to thrive in the water-limited environment of the Mediterranean, a new study shows. But the stable food supply brought about by these measures promoted population growth and urbanisation, pushing the Empire closer to the limits of its food resources...
Brian Dermody, an environmental scientist from Utrecht University, teamed up with hydrologists from the Netherlands and classicists at Stanford University in the US. The researchers wanted to know how the way Romans managed water for agriculture and traded crops contributed to the longevity of their civilisation. They were also curious to find out if these practices played a role in the eventual fall of the Empire.
"We can learn much from investigating how past societies dealt with changes in their environment," says Dermody. He draws parallels between the Roman civilisation and our own. "For example, the Romans were confronted with managing their water resources in the face of population growth and urbanisation. To ensure the continued growth and stability of their civilisation, they had to guarantee a stable food supply to their cities, many located in water-poor regions."
...It takes between 1000 and 2000 litres of water to grow one kilo of grain. As Romans traded this crop, they also traded the water needed to produce it - they exchanged virtual water...
"We're confronted with a very similar scenario today. Virtual water trade has enabled rapid population growth and urbanisation since the beginning of the industrial revolution. However, as we move closer to the limits of the planet's resources, our vulnerability to poor yields arising from climate change increases," concludes Dermody.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...
Affluence Explains Rise of Moralizing Religions, Suggests Study
Popular Archaeology | Thu, Dec 11, 2014 | Cell Press News Release
Posted on 12/13/2014 6:08:09 PM PST by SunkenCiv
I’d recommend not salting your earth.
Just don’t use lead pipes.
it has an unfortunate effect on Civilization.
The Roman Empire fell into oblivian for many reasons, but the weather wasn’t one of them.
Sort of like they did to Carthage, then tried recolonizing it later, right?
How the heck do I know?
I do know that irrigation with mineral laden water can cause some real problems over time.
It was my understanding that in the end, there were more takers than makers, with the treasury being plundered much as it is today in our own country, with the end result being financial collapse.
Scientists are attempting to reduce the amount of water required to successfully raise our food.
Monsanto is the best known company doing this kind of research and is producing many GMO seeds which will help feed the world.
Africa has banned such life saving seeds in all but four countries.
It is somewhat disheartening to see so many Freepers on board with denying food to people who desperately need it.
My God, the left even tries to use the Roman Empire to pimp for Global Warming. Hey Dermody, leave the Romans alone.
I think the lead issue is exaggerated as well.
Considering how valuable salt was, would he really waste it like that?
Yes, the real cause of the collapse.
The Roman Empire fell into oblivian for many reasons, but the weather wasnt one of them.
I am sure liberals could tie it to global warming.
I’ve seen a theory that the end of the Roman Warm Period coincided with the fall of the Western Empire.
“However, as we move closer to the limits of the planet’s resources, our vulnerability to poor yields arising from climate change increases,”
The correct ending to this sentence is “...limits of the planet’s resources, the price of the scarce resources will rise and a free market will produce solutions that will make everyone wealthier.”
From the quick reading of Wiki, it looks like the salting was more symbolic/ritualistic than done over a wide area to the extent of being “permanent”.
The monies which would have supported trade and growth went instead to Bread and Circus.
TANSTAAFL, even in ancient Rome.
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