Dr Sam White is an Associate Professor at Ohio State University in the United States, with a research emphasis
on past weather and climate and the role they play in history. His two books, The Climate of Rebellion in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and A Cold Welcome: The Little
Ice Age and Europe’s Encounter (Harvard University Press, 2017), focus on the impact of the 16th/17th centuries’ “Little Ice Age” in two distinct geographical regions. Climate and History in the Middle East and Mediterranean: Lessons from the past?
This lecture will explore how new techniques to reconstruct past climates and our new appreciation of the impacts of climatic change have reshaped understandings of Middle East and Mediterranean history. It will examine how this research can shed new light on past economies, populations, cultures and empires of the region, and ask whether those historical experiences hold any lessons for present- day countries faced with global warming. The lecture will explain some of the new scientific and historiographic techniques involved in historical climatology and discuss case studies of past societies in the region faced with climatic change and natural disasters.