By Michael H. Brown
Unusual Global Event Tied To Fall Of Roman Empire
Sometime around 540 A.D. — as the evil Roman Empire was in its last throes — the world encountered a mysterious global event.
That’s the conclusion of scientists studying evidence such as the growth of ancient tree rings.
All we know is that something happened worldwide between 530 and 550 and there was a sudden flux in climate. Scientists are now racing to discover just what it might have been.
Some speculate it was a massive Indonesian volcano. Others wonder if it was a comet or a strike by a series of small asteroids.
Temperatures dropped. It snowed in southern Europe. It snowed during summer in China. “The sun gave forth its light without brightness like the moon” from 535 to 536 A.D., according to a scribe named Procopius who was describing what happened in Rome itself.
From Sweden to Chile there were savage storms and trees inexplicably stopped growing.
In Britain hundreds died in an awful tempest and hail like “pullet’s eggs” fell in Scotland.
Suddenly, winters were so severe that birds allowed themselves to be taken by hand.
The southern part of the U.S. was battered by storms worse than any on the modern ledger, storms that according to one researcher, Dr. Kam-biu Liu of Louisiana State University (who has studied sand from ancient ocean surges) amounted to mega-hurricanes.
At the other extreme drought hit out west and affected the Indians — ravaging the Moche, Nasca, and Mayans in South America and causing the collapse of Teotihuacan.
Promoted by unusually wet weather, bacteria spread from Africa through the Middle East and southern Europe, causing the Justinian plague – and helping to end the Roman Empire in what we can clearly label a chastisement.
According to Byzantine historians many frightening comets appeared in the sky. Whether this was a coincidence, a sign of the times, or the cause itself (small comets can kick up enough dust to alter weather), that there was a major disruption in climate is becoming well-acknowledged by normally staid researchers.
“The trees are unequivocal that something quite terrible happened,” asserts Dr. Michael Baillie, an archeologist at Queens College near Belfast. “Not only in Northern Ireland and Britain, but right across northern Siberia, North and South America – a global event of some kind [occurred]. We know from tree rings to the year exactly when this event happened. And some archeologists and historians are beginning to come around to the opinion that this was the date when the Dark Ages began in Northern Europe.”
It seemed like a response to the evil of Roman times — the materialism, the paganism, the lust (which had been going on since the early emperors) –and it was eerie. A dry fog hovered globally.
The Justinian Plague began in 542. Less than two decades before (according to the later writings of astronomer E. F. Wilhelm Klinkerhaus), a comet appeared for twenty days “and after some time there occurred a running of the stars from evening till early, so that people said that all the stars were falling.”
“There seem to have been comets, meteors, earthquakes, dimmed skies and inundations and, following the famines of the late 530s, plague arrived in Europe in the window A.D. 542-5,” notes Dr. Baillie — who discovered that flooded bog oaks and archeological timber from this era display narrow rings indicating that trees suddenly and inexplicably stopped growing around the world.
Pope Gregory the Great in the 500s had to say about the evil of that time and the judgment of God: “The scourges of heavenly justice have no end because even in their midst there is no correction of the faults of our actions.”
We’ll have more on this soon. And we’ll have a look at Roman evils.