In this interview, Martin Bauch, the leader of a group researching medieval climate history and climate change at the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) in Leipzig, discusses his research into the eruption of the Samalas volcano in 1257 in Indonesia.  Based on a wide range of information sources, including chronicles from Europe, the Middle East and the Far East, dendrochronology and ice-core dating, Martin explains how this massive eruption had an impact on world-wide climate patterns over several years.  Martin’s focus is on central and southern Europe, and here he demonstrates how the shifting climate influenced economics, trading patterns, public health and potentially even the design of cultural artefacts. 

The effect of the Samalas eruption was noted throughout the world, often, but not always, with a negative impact. As many of the changes wrought by the eruption and subsequent change of weather patterns were long term or permanent, Martin describes this as a truly global moment in the Middles Ages.

This podcast is part of a series of interviews covering central Europe in the medieval period for MECERN and CEU Medieval Studies.

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