Course Description

Climate and Environment in the Pre-Modern World

Trinity College Dublin

Climate history is a rapidly evolving field of study that aims to: firstly reconstruct climate conditions over past centuries and millennia; and secondly understand how societies perceived and responded to changing climates and extreme weather. These aims can be best achieved by combining evidence from natural and human archives.

In this module we will examine the historical development of natural archives such as tree-rings and ice-cores and introduce how they can be used to reveal past climate variations. We will then examine how this information can be combined with evidence from human archives, including written and archaeological records, to understand the social impacts of climate change and extreme weather.

In doing so, we will draw upon case studies of major episodes of climate change in areas such as ancient Egypt, Babylonia, the ancient American Southwest, medieval Ireland, Japan, China, and beyond. We will examine the role explosive volcanic eruptions and rapid changes in the Sun’s output of energy played in causing extreme weather (that was often accompanied by major human impacts such as famine, disease and conflict), before studying how these societies adapted to these changes.

You may apply online or by phone* as follows:

ONLINE: You may register and pay by credit/debit card online at AFTER enrolments open for each term.

By telephone: Please text ‘APPLY FOR COURSE’ to 087 2572015* and you will receive a call back from us.

Please check the School of Histories and Humanities website for updates on this course at:

College Name Trinity College Dublin
Course Category History, Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Type Seminar
Course Location Dublin, Ireland
Location Postcode Dublin 2
Course Fee 85. There is also a concession rate of €60 available to all those retired, over 65s, and those on a government pension / payment plan and the unwaged, including second- and third-level students.
Course Duration This lecture-only module comprises one lecture per week over one term commencing in January 2024.
Awarding Body Trinity College Dublin
For information about Trinity College Dublin, please visit our college page on by clicking here.

Course Provider

Trinity College Dublin

01 872 2853
College Green, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

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