Malaria and malaria-like disease in the early Middle Ages

Malaria impairs human reproduction, augments excess mortality, and lowers productivity. It can exercise a debilitating effect so profound that it denes regions. The disease is an essential element in histories of places and periods in which it was endemic. Although many European regions are thought to have had a long association with malaria, evidence for the disease, the parasites that cause it, and the mosquitoes that transmit it, is thin before 1900. Malarias early medieval history is opaque. This paper clears up contours of malarias occurrence in Frankish Europe. It surveys sources  relevant to its study and establishes guidelines for retrospectively diagnosing the disease. It argues that malaria was plentiful north of the Alps before 1000 and that it inuenced demographic trends where it was endemic.“

Timothy P. Newfield (2017), Malaria and malaria-like disease in the early Middle Ages, Early Medieval Europe, Volume 25, 3, 251–300.



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