We know the classic biblical stories of Exodus brought down by Yahweh, God of Israel, in order to force the Pharaoh to allow the Israelites to depart from slavery.
Frogs, Flies, Thunder, Locusts and water turning into blood are a few of the ‘plagues’ that were said to have ravaged Egypt.
But...what about the disease in the ancient world?
I’ve compiled a list of some of the worst epidemics/pandemics in history. The list is arranged in order of death toll. With the last on the list being highest.
Corona Virus 2019 - Present.
I wanted to include coronavirus in this list to demonstrate the stark contrast between a current pandemic and an ancient one. So far it is estimated that 4,700 people have died.
Originating in non-human primates in Central and West Africa, HIV/AIDS caused huge worldwide panic. Over time, a carrier’s immune system breaks down making the most vulnerable to life-threatening infections and cancers. Since 1981, between 25-35 Million people have perished.
Plague of Justinian 541-542 AD.
This pandemic afflicted the Byzantine Empire and especially its capital, Constantinople. The death toll is not agreed upon but an estimated 30-50 million people lost their lives. Some scholars attribute the fall of the Roman Empire in part because of this plague,
Spanish Flu 1918-1919 AD.
A particularly deadly strain of influenza, this flu killed around 50 million people. Overcrowded medical camps, poor hygiene and malnourishment made this flu extremely deadly,
Smallpox 1520 AD.
This malady killed an estimated 90% of Native Americans. The earliest evidence of the disease dates to 300 BC in Egyptian mummies. The death toll is around 56 Million.
Black Death 1347-1351 AD.
Often regarded as the most deadly plague that ever existed, the bubonic plague claimed the lives of around 200 million people. 30-50% of Europe was wiped out. It took 200 years for the world to recover.
Wash. Your. Hands.