IIRC, that applied to the cities in general well into the modern period. Medieval cities were famous for rampant disease, yet people kept crowding in because they did not want to be peasants. “Stadtluft macht frei”, the air of the city makes free, was the saying.
According to Defoe, in his book “A Journal of the Plague Year” (written some 60 years later) the “Social Distancing” measure was introduced by James I (& VI) in 1603. I’m reading this book at the moment, which is a great encouragement. If I can find a joiner, an old soldier and a sailmaker, I might join them to go into the country.
The AIDS pandemic had a lot more to do with unprotected sex than poverty, but since (in the US) most of the people who died from it were (in the eyes of some) thoroughly deserving of that fate, there wasn’t much of a public health response for years.
Despite living in the 20th / 21st century, we still have a very bronze age view of how an angry deity will punish those who don’t live their lives exactly as we think they should.
Yeah. That didn’t work out so well for the empire. When the Ostrogoths showed up in the balkans, all they had to do was say to all the slaves and impoverished freemen; “Hey, you know, if you guys were Goths, you’d own your own land that you farmed. Being a Goth is a pretty good deal. You should try it.” And all of this Romans were like “Hey, yeah, that sounds pretty good. Fuck it, I’m a Goth now. “. And, all of a sudden, in many cases without fighting a single battle, a whole lot of formerly Roman farmers were suddenly paying taxes to the Ostrogoths instead.
I think that slightly better characterises your nevertheless broadly true sentiments.
This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.