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Weather History and Climate (250 B.C. to 200 B.C.)

300 B.C. to 250 B.C. | 250 B.C. to 200 B.C. | 200 B.C. to 150 B.C.

CLIMATE (250-200 B.C.):

The 100-year cycle seems now to be running shorter than normal – 65 years. It is about the only time in history when it runs this short. In the new cycle that began around 235 B.C., the warmest phase was very weak and unstable. No sooner had it started to form when it was interrupted by a 10-year drop in temperature (220-210 B.C.). Then the warm-wet phase revived.

HISTORY (250-200 B.C.):

By 250 B.C. nation building was over and the empires of the world were already sinking into the usual period of decline preceding the outbreak of civil strife. Note how civil strife predominated from 245 to 210 when it was cold most of the time. But the instant the warm phase of the next 100-year cycle started to form at 225 B.C. nation building was under way again and international wars broke out.

Rome obtained her foothold in Greece by interfering with civil wars in that region. This policy finally resulted in annexing to the growing empire the countries around the eastern end of the Mediterranean. When Rome went into a region during times that were climatically mixed, or close to the average, her procedure was generally a liberal and democratic one, leaving to the country a considerable measure of independence and local autonomy, exacting, however, tribute and taxes.

The Second Punic War, the sudden power shown by the East Syrian or Bactrian Empire (over toward India) under Antiochus the Great, the appearance of a large Hunnish Empire in Siberia, and the revival of the Chinese under the Han dynasty, all illustrate that the nation-building process takes place on a climatic shift from cold to warm even when the transition is not a vigorous one. However, the building process is not, on the whole, as extensive or as far-reaching in its consequences as it is when the transitions are strong.

The Second Punic War began in 218 B.C. According to the climate curve it was actually cold and wet at that time, although it had been slightly warm for the preceding ten years. In any event, the long time trend that began to show at 225 was toward the formation of the usual warm-wet phase of the 100-year cycle. The historical facts harmonize with the variant in the weather trends. While Carthage and Rome were both interested in Spain and wished to gain control of that region, and while Carthage was still smarting from her defeat in the First Punic War, neither side was yet ready for a conflict. The Carthaginian armies were training in Spain for an eventual conflict with Rome, but for the present they were engaged in subduing rebellious tribes. Hannibal was a very young man. He was given command of the armies in defiance of orders from Carthage and so, in order to secure his position, he aggravated the Romans and played upon the desire of the Carthaginians for revenge. His plan was to advance on Rome from Spain, taking advantage of trouble which the Romans were having with hostile tribes in the North. Here is an example of how a human personality can cut across the timing of events by climatic factors. In a few years, a clash between Rome and Carthage would have been inevitable. On the other hand, it is very doubtful if Hannibal could have achieved his purpose if the climatic transition had not already begun, for the chances are that the necessary aggressiveness and unity would not have been sufficient.

In Egypt during this period the First Alexandrian School continued to thrive, but its pat fern changed, along with scholarship Over the known world as a whole. Aristotle was a great scholar who combined the organismic and mechanistic patterns, although the organismic dominated in his thinking. He had lived at the end of a warm period as it was turning cold. Now, 100 years later, another famous scholar did the same thing under similar circumstances. He was Archimedes, a great physicist and engineer who was said to have jumped out of his bath shouting, "Eureka!"(J have found it) when he discovered the principle of specific gravity.

 Information from Weather Science Foundation.