The decline of the Roman Republic casts a shadow over volcanoes: ancient historians have documented the mysterious disappearance of the sun after julius Caesar’s assassination in 44 B.C., followed by a cold climate and crop failures. Now, a team of scientists and historians has discovered that a massive volcanic eruption in 43 Bc may have contributed to the climate anomalies and famines that occurred two years after the collapse of the Republic’s empire.
The dark weather following Caesar’s assassination may have been caused by a small eruption of Mount Etna, but early the following year there was a massive eruption at The Okmok volcano in Alaska, creating a 10km-wide crater. The volcanic particles it spews from the sky-covering sky can easily drift across the northern hemisphere.
The researchers say they are convinced the eruption caused extreme weather. The study was published in the journal PNAS.