School of History, Classics & Archaeology

The Fennell Lecture 2020 - Professor Monica H Green

'Mongols, marmots, and millet: The origins of the Black Death'

The Black Death, usually said to have begun in 1346 and ended by 1353, is considered the largest pandemic in human history. This lectrure will argue that the Second Plague Pandemic started a century earlier and spread further than any previous historical account has acknowledged. It was, in fact, the foundation for a 500-year-long plague regime that engulfed much of Eurasia and even parts of Africa. Its effects on both continents continue to the present day.

This 13th-century explosion of plague occurred not in the area of the Black Sea, but in the heart of the Mongol Empire, spreading out from the Inner Asian Mountain Corridor. Drawing on new findings in genetics, climate history, the researches of sinologists, and recently published documentary sources, this lecture will lay the foundations for a new approach to the history of the world’s major infectious diseases, showing how human activity has (unwittingly) played the largest role in the establishment of new disease regimes.

Time and venue for the lecture will be confirmed shortly but will take place late afternoon on University of Edinburgh Central Campus and will be followed by a drinks reception.

The event is free but ticketed, please reserve tickets via the Eventbrite link. Everyone welcome!

Professor Monica H Green

Professor Monica H. Green earned an A.B. degree from Barnard College and a PhD from Princeton University. She is a co-winner of the John Nicholas Brown Prize and was awarded the Margaret W. Rossiter History of Women in Science Prize. She is a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America, and has been awarded the Joseph H. Hazen Education Prize in recognition of outstanding contributions to the teaching of history of science by the History of Science Society and the CARA Award for Excellence in Teaching Medieval Studies by the Medieval Academy of America.


Mar 05 2018 -

The Fennell Lecture 2020 - Professor Monica H Green

Professor Monica H Green will deliver the 2020 Fennell Lecture on 5 March, 2020.