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History Has Lots of Great Ideas About What To Do During a Quarantine

March 24, 2020
00:00 46:09
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Quarantines are nothing new: they've been used since at least the Bronze Age to prevent the spread of leprosy. In this episode (rebroadcasted from a Facebook Livestream), we'll look at the various ways that humans rode out the plague and other disease.

Some panicked, like the Flagellators during the Black Death. But others took advantage of the time and bunkered down with friends, taking long walks, enjoying delicious meals, and each telling stories (like in the Italian Renaissance work "The Decameron"). Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV retreated to his rural estates and went on long hunting trips when the bubonic plague struck Istanbul. Shakespeare took the opportunity to write poetry, and Isaac Newton invented physics.

Hopefully this will give us plenty of ideas of what to do as we ride out COVID-19.

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Meet Your Host
Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to
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