Roman poem object of climate change study

Medieval history professor Michael McCormick has spent a great deal of time investigating documentation of climate change in medieval records. Now he turns his attention to the late Roman Empire.

“If you would have told me 10 years ago that I could walk into an undergraduate seminar, read a poem by one of the Roman Empire’s leading poets which describes a drought that he saw as he rode along a ridge and that literary specialists had dated to 371 — but couldn’t be sure — and then pulled out the chart of rainfall in that part of the Roman empire in 371 — it’s just extraordinary,” McCormick said. “This is a new world of historical investigation.”