Peak times: the worst years in human history

Written by Tristan Free

The black death in Florence 1348: The worst year in human history?

Throughout 2020, several occasions have prompted the urge to declare that “we’ve hit rock bottom. The only way is up!” Only for a new depth of despair to be uncovered as the archaeologist of time excavated deeper into the possibilities of nature’s barbarity and human cruelty. Even as the positive news of vaccine success broke towards the end of the year, new – more transmissible – variants emerged to spoil the party. In an attempt to feel better by comparison and with the year drawn to a close – now available to assess in all its glory – we ask;...

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