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The Columbian Exchange and Diseases
Pre-Columbian-Smallpox

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Smallpox (ancient times-1492)

Pre Columbian Small Pox may have orginiated in China and india, and Africa is also a possible source for the ancestors of the Small Pox virus that came to live in Europe in the sixth century. Egyptian mummies frim 1570 to 1055 show effects of  Small Pox. Ancient Hellenes describe a disease that strongly resembes Small Pox that broke out during the Peleponnesian War, and according to the Athenian historian Thucydides, the disease orginianted in Ethiopia and affected Egypt and Lybia before it reached Athens.The breakout of Small Pox that is best documented is the "Plague of Antonius" that spread throughout the Roman Empire after Roman soldiers returned from fighting in Mesopotamia. The Islamic invasion of Europe brought Small Pox to Europe from Africa, and the returning crusaders brought it back home with them from the Levant. Small Pox then became a fact of life in pre-Columbian Europe. However, it did not exist in the Pre-Columbian Western Hemisphere because the Native Americans did not have the domestic animals that carry the Small Pox virus. When Columbus landed, and Small Pox was introduced into the Native American populations of the Western Hemisphere, it spread like wildfire, and literally killed millions.