Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Natural evil

This is a scary encyclopedia, but in contrast to many other dark and occultic works, it's not authored by the grand dame of paranormal reference books, Rosemary Ellen Guiley. That's because this work is about, ahem, the real world. Or perhaps we should call it the physical world, as opposed to the astral and etheric?

George C Kohn's “Encylopedia of Plague and Pestilence” is a reference volume with entries about, among other things, the Afghan Smallpox Epidemic of 1970-72, the African and Asian Conjunctivitis Pandemic of 1969-71, the Algerian Typhus Epidemic of 1942-44 or the Malian Relapsing Fever Epidemic 1921-22. Don't worry, I never heard of them before either, and I'm glad I wasn't around when they happened!

Well known historical plagues are also discussed. This includes the Carthaginian Plague of 396 BC (which saved the Greek city of Syracuse on Sicily from the invading Carthaginians), the Plague of Cyprian (Roman Empire 251-270, which resulted in mass conversions to Christianity), the Plague of Justinian (6th century – the author is of the opinion that it contributed heavily to the so-called fall of Rome), the 14th century Black Death, which hardly needs an introduction, and the Great Plague of London (1665-1666). Cohn has also included an entry on an epidemic mentioned in the Bible, more specifically 1 Samuel 5:6-6:18.

I admit that I don't like thinking about the darker side of human existence, but I will nevertheless give this somewhat bizarre volume three stars.
Now, I'm going back to the astral!

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