Climate 1314 AD: "The Third Horseman: A Story of Weather, War, and the Famine History Forgot" William Rosen



(Photo: Bannockburn. Site of the 1314 battle between the British and the Scots.)

Twitter: @batchelorshow

Climate 1314 AD: "The Third Horseman: A Story of Weather, War, and the Famine History Forgot" Apr 28, 2015 by William Rosen

“A kink in Europe’s climate during the fourteenth century indirectly triggered a seven-year cataclysm that left six million dead, William Rosen reveals in this rich interweaving of agronomy, meteorology, economics and history.... Rosen deftly delineates the backstory and the perfect storm of heavy rains, hard winters, livestock epidemics, and war leading to the catastrophe.”


“Rosen... delights in the minutiae of history, down to the most fascinating footnotes... Engrossing.... A work that glows from the author’s relish for his subject.”


“Rosen (The Most Powerful Idea in the World) argues persuasively that natural disasters are most catastrophic when humankind’s actions give them a push. The depredations committed in battle by Englishmen and Scots were augmented by years of bad weather: the result was that people died in droves. The interactions Rosen describes have been studied but are seldom incorporated into popular history, and the author never overreaches in his conclusions, providing a well-grounded chronicle.... This book will appeal foremost to history lovers, but it should also interest anyone who enjoys a well-documented story.”

--Library Journal

“William Rosen is a good enough writer to hold interest and maintain the fraught relations between nature and politics as a running theme. He ends The Third Horseman with a stark observation: in some ways, global ecology is more precarious nowadays than it was in the 1300s.”

—Milwaukee Express

“Rosen is a terrific storyteller and engaging stylist; his vigorous recaps of famous battles and sketches of various colorful characters will entertain readers not unduly preoccupied by thematic rigor.... Rosen’s principal goal, however, is not to horrify us, but to make us think.... While vividly re-creating a bygone civilization, he invites us to look beyond our significant but ultimately superficial differences and recognize that we too live in fragile equilibrium with the natural world whose resources we recklessly exploit, and that like our medieval forebears we may well be vulnerable to ‘a sudden shift in the weather.’”

—The Daily Beast

Dec 30, 2016, 12:01 AM
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Ole_Possum - 4 months ago

Please, what date was the William Rosen episode on? I am looking for it on I-tunes for the download and cannot find it so far...


Ole_Possum - 4 months ago

If only there was a link from the blogpost TO where we can DOWNLOAD the podcast without having to search through several months of them...It would make listening easier!


ByronLandissGraves - 5 months ago

William Rosen's analysis of the number of grains produced per grain is BRILLIANT!! Between William Wallace, the rise of Robert the Bruce, rejection of the French princess, Isabella and on top of that, FAMINE, Poor Edward II's reign was doomed from the start.