Date of this Version
SOIL CONSERVATION, Vol. VI, No.5 for November 1940
AULUS, the Roman, spoke proudly when he announced that at last they knew malaria ~ was caused by the night air. Then, like other intelligent Romans of his day, he ordered all the doors and windows of his home tightly closed from sundown to sunrise to exclude the "pestilence that walketh by night." Little did the Romans realize that 1,500 years would pass before the truth would be known about malaria-that the disease is carried by the Anopheles mosquito. Yet of all the plagues of human history malaria probably has taken the heaviest toll of human lives. For twenty-five hundred years it has persisted throughout many parts of the world. Before the rise of Rome it was recognized as the most deadly enemy of the Athenian Empire, and if she had conquered malaria, Athens would have ruled the world. Ancient Rome lost more soldiers to malaria than to her enemies.