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Weather History and Climate (50 B.C. to 0 A.D.)

100 B.C. to 50 B.C. | 50 B.C. to 0 A.D. | 0 A.D. to 50 A.D.

CLIMATE (50 B.C. - 0 A.D.):

There have been several times in history when the warm phase of the 1000year cycle was interrupted by a rather long and vigorous cold period. During each one of these interruptions there have been historic civil conflicts. These civil wars are generally very bloody, fought between two strong factions --the liberals versus the conservatives. .

A cold interruption of this sort began around 130 B.C. and was marked by the famous wars of the Gracchi in Rome. Now, at 50 B.C., there began a 20-year cold period during which furious civil wars were fought in the Roman Empire. Another famous cold period of the same sort began in 1510 and was followed by the Protestant Reformation. Still another took place immediately after 1810. This was the decade during which the Latin American countries began their struggle for independence.

Following all of these cold periods, the second half of the warm phase is much drier than the first half and terminates in the main warm-dry phase of the cycle. In the present instance, however, the droughts were not excessive and there was a sufficient recovery in rainfall to produce a period of prosperity and a brief but historic cultural epoch--the "Augustan Age" of Rome.

At 10 B.C. it turned cold for the main cold-phase of the 100-year cycle and remained cold most of the time for the next 75 years. It was during this cold period that, in accordance with our reckoning, the current 500-year cycle came to an end.

HISTORY (50 B.C. - 0 A.D.):

All through the cold period from 50 to 30 B.C., Rome was gripped in civil war; first between Caesar and Pompey, then between Octavius and Antony. The whole known world seethed with political intrigue and double crossing. In 45, Cleopatra poisoned her brother in Egypt, and reigned alone. Caesar was assassinated in 44. Cicero was murdered in 43. Herod had to quell rebellions in Palestine. Civil wars were general across Arabia and Asia. Empires and states allover the known world began disintegrating. From 10 B.C. to 70 A.D. chaos reigned every· where.

The Golden Age of Rome was short. It marked the climax of her greatness and the turning point in her 100-year history. When Octavius returned victorious from Egypt after making that country a Roman province, the senate bestowed upon him the title of Augustus, and Rome officially became a monarchy. As it remained warm, Rome continued her conquests, subduing all of Spain, the southwest German province of Raetia, then the eastern province of Pannonia (Austria). By the end of the warm phase, or very close to it, rebellions began breaking out again. and Octavius tightened the reins of government, assuming the title of Pontifex Maximus. The severe oppressions of Herod in Palestine led to a revolt in that province. By 10 B.C. it was turning cold and at 4 B.C. occurred that incomparable event of history – the birth of Christ.

The literature of the Roman Golden Age at first followed the organismic, classical pattern, but in the case of Ovid particularly, it turned in the direction of the cold phase romantic pattern. Horace was philosophically and moralistically inclined; a romantic in the sense that Wordsworth and Goethe have been called romantic (very inaccurately and with little regard for the historic trends in literature), but quite unlike that other kind of romanticism as seen in Robert Burns and Longfellow. Virgil, the oldest of the three, reflected more clearly the spirit of subordination that always developed in harmony with the trend toward strong government. He expressed the nobleness in human affairs and in great institutions together with the mysteries of the unseen world. All this is typically warm. Ovid, the youngest, was the most descriptive of the three and reproduced the light-hearted gaiety and brilliant fancy of a nascent romantic spirit among the people. This is a trend toward the pattern that prevails during cold times.· Life is no longer subordinated to reflection and serious purpose; reverence is gone and with it all sense of mystery and majesty. This is the phase we are now irr, in 19S0. And thus it is that the poet mirrors the culture pattern of the day. The transition from the warm to the cold phase is nicely exemplified in the transition from Virgil and Horace to Ovid.

Information from Weather Science Foundation.