Ptolemy III

20 Apr 2018

Aty ... around 245BC Ptolemy III of Egypt had the Seleucid empire on the run but for some unknown reason decided to turn around and head back to Egypt. Actually, we do know why - civil unrest had broken out in the Nile Valley. What we do not know is why? One reason might be volcanoes, it is conjectured - leading to a significant drop in global temperatures. An article in Nature Communications (Oct 2017) links the eruptions to the end of Ptolemy's war - and with a series of violent uprisings that racked Egypt. The Ptolemies controlled a large area to the east of the Nile Valley and southern Levant as well as Egypt itself. The latter relied on the annual Nile flood to supply the nutrients and water for the irrigation system. Whenever there were low Nile flood levels some farmers were left with dry earth in which nothing would grow. The idea is that volcanoes caused the monsoon rains to fail over Ethiopia which led to low Nile levels downstream.  - and a major eruption has been dated at 247BC. Research by Francis Ludlow of Trinity College in Dublin.

Note ... in Mike Baillie's book, 'A Slice Through Time' Batsford:1995 the low growth tree rings are dated around 210BC (which doesn't mean that 245BC did not experience a downturn). In China it is recorded stars were invisible followed by famines and dynastic change.

Over at ... volcanoes in this article are linked to the Roman plague we are told - rather, the Justinian plague of the 6th century AD. However, the link, more importantly, goes on to talk about the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, home to a unique flora and fauna. They are thought to have arrived or emerged at different times over one or two million years. The arms of the island appeared out of the sea at that time - it is inferred. Sulawesi used to be known as Celebes and is notable by its shape - somewhat akin to a starfish. Indonesia is highly tectonic - but large parts of it have been submerged at different times. Earthquakes and Indonesia are a byword for catastrophism.