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Weather History and Climate (150 B.C. to 100 B.C.)

200 B.C. to 150 B.C. | 150 B.C. to 100 B.C. | 100 B.C. to 50 B.C.

CLIMATE (150-100 B.C.):

The 100-year cycle that began at 170 and lasted until 90 B.C. was, like its predecessor, broken up into short phases and again as a consequence there were no great waves of nation building. However, peoples allover the world, like the Romans, were building up slowly to a climax of power. In the process, class struggle increased and during the cold phases,. civil wars were becoming more and more organized and bloody. In Rome these conflicts reached a peak in the wars between Caesar and Pompey, then between Octavius and Antony. Meanwhile, commerce expanded and weather accumulated. The nation building climax occurred on a strong climatic shift from cold to warm following the date 80 B.C.

The present cycle suffered a long break between two warm periods, from 140 to 120 B.C. It could quite as well be said that there were two major cycles rather than one, and that the first of the two ended at 130 B.C. The only reason for not calling it two cycles is the practical one of trying to reduce the long-time picture as a whole to its simplest terms.

HISTORY (150-100 B.C.):

The autocratic-imperialistic pattern On the one hand, and the democratic pattern on the other, alternated with the short climatic fluctuations. Rome rapidly added to her empire, but with the advent of each warm period democracy suffered a serious loss until it vanished altogether. The nobles found it easier to control affairs against the will of the people as it became warmer, and the farmer class was in dire straights. The great landed estate worked by slaves was taking the place of the small farm worked by the independent farmer. The farmer left the country for the city in order to find employment, or he joined the army. During the cold periods, slaves who had taken the places of the farmers on the farms revolted.

During the cold period that centered on 130 B.C., a famous attempt was made by the Brachi brothers to restore democracy to the Roman Empire. The attempts were unsuccessful. One of the brothers, Tiberius, was slain in the civil war in 133 and the other, Caius, was murdered by his enemies in 121. The struggle was between the democrats and the aristocrats, and as it turned warm the aristocrats won. The Roman people took sides, some joining the reactionaries and others the liberals. But in the struggle, Rome eventually changed first to a dictatorship and then to a monarchy. Had it remained cold long enough, the course of Roman history might well have been radically different.

The longer the very rich aristocracy held the reins of the government, the more corrupt it became. This fact is illustrated by the bribery and corruption associated with the so-called Jagurthan War. Final victory was assured for Rome only when Marrius, an honest statesman, was put in command of the legions. But later, as a champion of Democracy and good government, he met his death.

Among the States that revived temporarily during the short warm periods were Parthia and Bactria which were engaged in a war between themselves. Parthia was a large country southeast of the southern tip of the Caspian Sea, and Bactria was east of Parthia, close to India.

Greece was now part of Rome and both during this interval and the preceding one, Greek culture--its thinking and its art--found its way into Italy and India. Cold periods are times of cultural mixing and borrowing. We are heading into such a period now and we can expect our stores to handle increasing amounts of foreign cultural products, especially of the arts and crafts. Already we are driving more English and French cars in this country, by far, than at any other time in our history.

The Third and final Punic War occurred in 151-146 B.C. On a small scale, it corresponded to World War II in that it reflected the moral decline both of the Romans and of the Carthaginians, but especially of the Romans. Carthage was razed and many of its inhabitants were sold into slavery (warm and dry). The benevolence of the Republic toward its satellites and conquered peoples vanished as the spirit of democracy waned.

 Information from Weather Science Foundation.