A killer plague

Between 430 and 426 BC, Athens suffered outbreaks of a terrible plague, which killed almost a third of the population. Scientists now believe that the plague may have arrived in Athens by ships from North Africa. The city was very overcrowded because of the Peloponnesian War and this meant the plague spread quickly.

At the time no one was sure why the plague was happening. People in Athens had different opinions as to what had caused the mysterious disease - and what might cure it.