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Great Adventures along the Silk Road - The Plague

Lester K. Little, Professor of History, Smith College, focuses on plague in this "Great Adventures" lecture. Virtually all of the major epidemics of infectious diseases in history have followed quite closely upon recently opened avenues of communication. This is clearly the case with the most dreaded of diseases, bubonic plague, in all three of its documented pandemics. The first of these united East and North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, the second all of Eurasia, and the third seaports throughout the world. What role did the Silk Road play in this grim history?