From a plague in Athens during the Peloponnesian War in 430 BCE, to another in 540 that wiped out half the population of the Roman empire, down through the Black Death in the Middle Ages and on through the 1918 flu epidemic (which killed between 50 and 100 million people) and this century's deadly SARS outbreak, plagues have been a much more relentless fact of life than many realise.

Brian Michael Jenkins is one of the leading authorities on U.S. national security and an advisor to governments, presidents and CEOs. Brain joins Dan to discuss the legacy of epidemics— which is not only one of the lives lost but also of devastated economies, social disorder, and severe political repercussions.

This episode was produced by Hannah Ward and edited by Dougal Patmore.

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