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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Epizootic Landscapes: Sheep Scab and Regional Environment in England in 1279-1280
Author(s): Slavin, Philip
Keywords: Late-medieval England
animal disease
sheep economy
Complexity Theory
Issue Date: 2-Jul-2016
Citation: Slavin P (2016) Epizootic Landscapes: Sheep Scab and Regional Environment in England in 1279-1280. Landscapes, 17 (2), pp. 156 - 170.
Abstract: This essay looks at late-medieval rural landscapes of animal disease through the prism of sheep epizootics in England, caused by sheep scab, a highly acute and transmissive disease, whose first wave broke out in 1279–1280. The essay focuses on three regions in England: East Anglia, the Wiltshire-Hampshire Chalklands and Kent, each possessing distinct topographic and environmental features and exhibiting different rates of mortality. The study sets a theoretical model, based on the concept of 'complexity theory' and consisting of ten different principles, determining regional variances in dissemination of scab and in mortality patterns. A close analysis of the available statistical sources suggests that there was no ‘universal’ explanatory factor accounting for the correlation between regional geography and mortality rates, and that the situation varied not only from region to region, but from farm to farm, depending on a combination of several possible factors. It is only through a meticulous analysis of local, rather than regional, conditions that the complexity of the situation can begin to be appreciated
DOI Link: 10.1080/14662035.2016.1251040
Rights: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Landscapes on 12 Dec 2016, available online:

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