Another theory: This insect was the culprit. Mosquitoes are thought to have spread malaria among the population. In Roman times, these insects were found all over Italy – presumably no one realized the threat they posed. Archaeologists are investigating the remains of 2,000-year-old ceramic vases from the final years of the empire. They contain the skeletons of children – victims of a bizarre period of mass mortality. Their ancient toys are ensconced with them. Researchers from the University of Rome discover traces of the anopheles, a particularly vicious mosquito. It might have caused a severe malaria epidemic. Does this mean that the tiny mosquito was responsible for the demise of ancient Rome? Using a microscope the scientists can compare traces of the DNA of the mosquitoes bred in their lab with the traces found in the vases. Their conclusion: these children died of malaria.
Theories. Evidence. The lead. The mosquitoes. Either could be the reason for the decline of the Roman Empire. But not the only one. The decadence, the excess, should also be considered. Maybe it’s hard to know for sure why the Roman Empire fell.