Skip to main content

Droughts in Historical Times in Europe, as Derived from Documentary Evidence

Part of the Geography of the Physical Environment book series (GEOPHY)

Abstract

Documentary evidence can provide high-resolution data pertaining to past droughts. This may include a wide range of sources, among them: narratives (annals, chronicles, memoirs); diaries kept by persons specifically interested in the weather; accountancy and economic-administrative archives; legal-administrative records; religious observances; letters; songs; newspapers and magazines; paintings and pictographic evidence; chronograms; epigraphic evidence; early instrumental meteorological observations; society and professional reports; and weather compilations. Most of these are generally available for many European countries. Such a variety of documentary information is sufficient to distinguish between the basic types of drought (meteorological, agricultural, hydrological and socio-economic) and reconstruct hydroclimatic conditions in the form of series of precipitation totals, drought frequencies and drought indices. This paper presents a European overview of existing documentary-based drought studies for the Mediterranean, western, central and eastern areas of Europe. Examples of outstanding European droughts are drawn from events of 1361, 1616 and 1718–1719 CE. The descriptions of European droughts and of human responses to them, pay particular attention to impacts on society, to perceptions of drought and to spiritual and ritual responses, as well as to the institutional/legal-administrative decisions and changes droughts have brought about. Perspectives for future research into historical droughts in Europe are also presented.

Keywords

  • Drought
  • Documentary data
  • Long-term variability
  • Impacts
  • Human responses
  • Europe

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-23315-0_4
  • Chapter length: 32 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-23315-0
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   199.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 4.1
Fig. 4.2
Fig. 4.3
Fig. 4.4
Fig. 4.5
Fig. 4.6

(Photo O. Kotyza archive)

Fig. 4.7
Fig. 4.8
Fig. 4.9
Fig. 4.10
Fig. 4.11
Fig. 4.12
Fig. 4.13

References

  • Alcoforado MJ, Vaquero JM, Trigo RM, Taborda JP (2012) Early Portuguese meteorological measurements (18th century). Clim Past 8:353–371. https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-8-353-2012

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Alexandre P (1987) Le climat en Europe au Moyen Âge. Contribution à l’histoire des variations climatiques de 1000 à 1425, d’après les sources narratives de l’Europe occidentale. Éditions de l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris

    Google Scholar 

  • Anonymous (1927) Goigs a llaor de Sant Galderic llaurador, patró dels pagesos Catalans (Prayers and songs in honour of Saint Galderic the Farmer, patron of all Catalan farmers). Arnau-Ors i Bartrés, Barcelona

    Google Scholar 

  • Barriendos M (1997) Climatic variations in the Iberian Peninsula during the late Maunder Minimum (AD 1675–1715): an analysis of data from rogation ceremonies. Holocene 7:105–111. https://doi.org/10.1177/095968369700700110

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Barriendos M (2005) Climate and culture in Spain. Religious responses to extreme climatic events in the Hispanic Kingdoms (16th–19th century). In: Behringer W, Lehmann H, Pfister C (eds) Kulturelle Konsequenzen der “Kleine Eiszeit” – Cultural Consequences of the “Little Ice Age”. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, pp 379–414

    Google Scholar 

  • Beguería S, Vicente-Serrano SM, Reig F, Latorre B (2014) Standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) revisited: parameter fitting, evapotranspiration models, tools, datasets and drought monitoring. Int J Climatol 34:3001–3023. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.3887

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Behringer W (1997) Witchcraft persecutions in Bavaria. Popular magic, religious zealotry and reason of state in early modern Europe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Behringer W (1999) Climatic change and witch-hunting: the impact of the Little Ice Age on mentalities. Clim Change 43:335–351. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1005554519604

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Bělínová M, Brázdil R (2012) Meteorologická pozorování c. k. Vlastenecko-hospodářské společnosti v Čechách v letech 1817–1847 (Meteorological observations of I. R. Patriotic-Economic Society in Bohemia in the years 1817–1847). Meteorol Zpr 65:13–22

    Google Scholar 

  • Bell WT, Ogilvie AEJ (1978) Weather compilations as a source of data for the reconstruction of European climate during the medieval period. Clim Change 1:331–348. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00135154

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Bellon T (1996) Beklen. A nagykunsági mezővárosok állattartó gazdálkodása a XVIII-XIX. században (Beklen. Animal husbandry of the towns in Greater Cumania in the 18–19th centuries). Karcag Város Önkormányzata, Karcag

    Google Scholar 

  • Black J (1990) History of Europe. Eighteenth century Europe 1700–1789. Macmillan, New York

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Boa K (2012) Az 1863–1864. évi aszály és ínség Békés megyében (The 1863–1864 drought and dearth in Békés County). Fons 19:161–199

    Google Scholar 

  • Borisenkov YP, Pasetskiy VM (1988) Tysyatcheletnaya letopis neobytchaynykh yavleniy prirody (A thousand-year history of unusual natural events). Mysl, Moskva

    Google Scholar 

  • Borisenkov YP, Pasetskiy VM (2002) Letopis neobytchaynikh yavleniy prirody za 2.5 tysyatcheletiya (V v. do n.e.–XX v. n.e.) (A chronicle of unusual natural events for 2.5 millennia (5th century BC–20th century AD)). Gidrometeoizdat, Saint-Petersburg

    Google Scholar 

  • Brázdil R, Kirchner K (eds) (2007): Vybrané přírodní extrémy a jejich dopady na Moravě a ve Slezsku (Selected natural extremes and their impacts in Moravia and Silesia). Masarykova univerzita, Český hydrometeorologický ústav, Ústav geoniky Akademie věd České republiky, v.v.i., Brno, Praha, Ostrava

    Google Scholar 

  • Brázdil R, Kotyza O (1995) History of weather and climate in the Czech Lands I. Period 1000–1500. Zürcher Geographische Schriften 62. ETH Zürich, Zürich

    Google Scholar 

  • Brázdil R, Trnka M (eds) (2015) Sucho v českých zemích: minulost, současnost, budoucnost (Droughts in the Czech Lands: Past, present and future). Centrum výzkumu globální změny Akademie věd České republiky, v.v.i., Brno

    Google Scholar 

  • Brázdil R, Pfister C, Wanner H et al (2005) Historical climatology in Europe—the state of the art. Clim Change 70:363–430. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-005-5924-1

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Brázdil R, Kiss A, Luterbacher J, Valášek H (2008) Weather patterns in eastern Slovakia 1717–1730, based on records from Breslau meteorological network. Int J Climatol 28:1639–1651. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.1667

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Brázdil R, Dobrovolný P, Luterbacher J et al (2010) European climate of the past 500 years: new challenges for historical climatology. Clim Change 101:7–40. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-009-9783-z

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Brázdil R, Bělínová M, Rožnovský J (2011) Phenological observations made by the I. R. Bohemian Patriotic-Economic Society, 1828–1847. Theor Appl Climatol 105:71–81. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-010-0373-9

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Brázdil R, Bělínová M, Dobrovolný P et al (2012a) Temperature and precipitation fluctuations in the Czech Lands during the instrumental period. Masaryk University, Brno

    Google Scholar 

  • Brázdil R, Chromá K, Valášek H, Dolák L (2012b) Hydrometeorological extremes derived from taxation records for south-eastern Moravia, Czech Republic, 1751–1900 AD. Clim Past 8:467–481. https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-8-467-2012

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Brázdil R, Dobrovolný P, Trnka M et al (2013) Droughts in the Czech Lands, 1090–2012 AD. Clim Past 9:1985–2002. https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-9-1985-2013

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Brázdil R, Řezníčková L, Valášek H et al (2014) Past locust outbreaks in the Czech Lands: do they indicate particular climatic patterns? Theor Appl Climatol 116:343–357. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-013-0950-9

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Brázdil R, Dobrovolný P, Trnka M et al (2016) Documentary and instrumental-based drought indices for the Czech Lands back to AD 1501. Clim Res 70:103–117. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01380

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Brázdil R, Kiss A, Luterbacher J et al (2018) Documentary data and the study of past droughts: a global state of the art. Clim Past 14:1915–1960. https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-14-1915-2018

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Brázdil R, Dobrovolný P, Trnka M et al (2019) Extreme droughts and human responses to them: the Czech Lands in the pre-instrumental period. Clim Past 15:1–24. https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-15-1-2019

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Buisman J (1995–2006) Duizend Jaar Weer, Wind en Water in de Lage Landen. Vol. 1, to 1300 (1995); Vol. 2, 1300–1450 (1996); Vol. 3, 1450–1575 (1998); Vol. 4, 1575–1675 (2000); Vol. 5, 1675–1750 (2006). Uitgegeverij Van Wijnen, Franeker

    Google Scholar 

  • Camenisch C (2015) Endlose Kälte. Witterungsverlauf und Getreidepreise in dem Burgundischen Niederlanden im 15. Jahrhundert. Schwabe, Basel

    Google Scholar 

  • Camenisch C, Brázdil R, Kiss A et al (2019) Extreme heats and droughts of 1473 and their impacts in Europe in context of the early 1470s. Reg Environ Change, in review

    Google Scholar 

  • Camuffo D, Bertolin C (2012) The earliest temperature observations in the world: the Medici Network (1654–1670). Clim Change 111:335–363. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-011-0142-5

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Camuffo D, Jones P (eds) (2002) Improved understanding of past climatic variability from early daily European instrumental sources. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht

    Google Scholar 

  • Csáki Á (2010) Szárazság és pestis Háromszéken 1717–1720-ban (Drought and plague in Háromszék [Hargita county, Romania] in 1717–1720). Acta Siculica 2010:277–287

    Google Scholar 

  • Cullen JK (2010) Famine in Scotland: The ‘Ill Years’ of the 1690s. Scottish Historical Review Monograph, Edinburgh University Press

    Google Scholar 

  • Dai A (2011) Characteristics and trends in various forms of the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) during 1900–2008. J Geophys Res 116:D12115. https://doi.org/10.1029/2010JD015541

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Dai A (2013) Increasing drought under global warming in observations and models. Nat Clim Change 3:52–58. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1633

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Dawson A (2009) Do foul and fair a day. A history of Scotland’s weather and climate. Birlinn, Edinburgh

    Google Scholar 

  • Diodato N (2007) Climatic fluctuations in southern Italy since the 17th century: reconstruction with precipitation records at Benevento. Clim Change 80:411–431. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-006-9119-1

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Diodato N, Bellocchi G (2011) Historical perspective of drought response in central-southern Italy. Clim Res 49:189–200. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01020

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Dobrovolný P, Brázdil R, Valášek H et al (2009) A standard paleoclimatological approach to temperature reconstruction in historical climatology: an example from the Czech Republic, A.D. 1718–2007. Int J Climatol 29:1478–1492. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.1789

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Dobrovolný P, Moberg A, Brázdil R et al (2010) Monthly and seasonal temperature reconstructions for Central Europe derived from documentary evidence and instrumental records since AD 1500. Clim Change 101:69–107. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-009-9724-x

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Dobrovolný P, Brázdil R, Trnka M et al (2015) Precipitation reconstruction for the Czech Lands, AD 1501–2010. Int J Climatol 35:1–14. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.3957

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Domínguez-Castro F, Santisteban JI, Barriendos M, Mediavilla R (2008) Reconstruction of drought episodes for central Spain from rogation ceremonies recorded at the Toledo Cathedral from 1506 to 1900: a methodological approach. Glob Plan Change 63:230–242. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha2008.06.002

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Domínguez-Castro F, García-Herrera R, Ribera P, Barriendos M (2010) A shift in the spatial pattern of Iberian droughts during the 17th century. Clim Past 6:553–563. https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-6-553-2010

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Domínguez-Castro F, Ribera P, García-Herrera R et al (2012) Assessing extreme droughts in Spain during 1750–1850 from rogation ceremonies. Clim Past 8:705–722. https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-8-705-2012

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Domínguez-Castro F, de Miguel JC, Vaquero JM et al (2014a) Climatic potential of Islamic Chronicles in Iberia: extreme droughts (AD 711–1010). Holocene 24:370–374. https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683613518591

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Domínguez-Castro F, Vaquero JM, Rodrigo FS et al (2014b) Early Spanish meteorological records (1780–1850). Int J Climatol 34:593–603. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.3709

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Elleder L (2016) The Hunger stones: a new source for more objective identification of historical droughts. EGU General Assembly, Vienna, Austria, 17–22 Apr 2016, EGU2016-14986

    Google Scholar 

  • Fernández-Fernández MI, Gallego MC, Domínguez-Castro F et al (2015) The climate in Zafra from 1750 to 1840: precipitation. Clim Change 129:267–280. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-014-1315-9

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Fragoso M, Carraça MGD, Alcoforado MJ (2018) Droughts in Portugal in the 18th century—a study based on newly found documentary data. Int J Climatol 38:5522–5541. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.5745

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Gallego D, García-Herrera R, Prieto R, Peña-Ortiz C (2008) On the quality of climate proxies derived from newspaper reports—a case study. Clim Past 4:11–18. https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-4-11-2008

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • García-Ruiz JM, López-Moreno JI, Vicente-Serrano SM et al (2011) Mediterranean water resources in a global change scenario. Earth Sci Rev 105:121–139. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2011.01.006

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Garnier E (2010) Bassesses extraordinaires et grandes chaleurs. 500 and de sécheresses et de chaleurs en France et dans lespays limitrophes. La Huille Blanche 4:1–17. https://doi.org/10.1051/lhb/2010039

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Garnier E (2019) Historic drought from archives: beyond the instrumental record. In: Iglesias A, Assimacopoulos D, Van Lanen HAJ (eds) Drought. Science and policy. Wiley, Hoboken, pp 45–67

    Google Scholar 

  • Garnier E, Assimacopoulos D, van Lanen HAJ (2015) Historic droughts beyond the modern instrumental records: an analysis of cases in United Kingdom, France, Rhine and Syros. DROUGHT-R&SPI, Technical Report No. 35

    Google Scholar 

  • Garrioch D (2016) 1666 and London’s fire history: a re-evaluation. Hist J 59:319–338. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0018246X15000382

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Gerrard CM, Petley DN (2013) A risk society? Environmental hazards, risk and resilience in the later Middle Ages in Europe. Nat Hazards 69:1051–1079. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-013-0750-7

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Glaser R (2001) Klimageschichte Mitteleuropas. 1000 Jahre Wetter, Klima, Katastrophen. Primus Verlag, Darmstadt

    Google Scholar 

  • Glaser R (2008) Klimageschichte Mitteleuropas. 1200 Jahre Wetter, Klima, Katastrophen. 2. Auflage. Primus Verlag, Darmstadt

    Google Scholar 

  • Glaser R (2013) Klimageschichte Mitteleuropas. 1200 Jahre Wetter, Klima, Katastrophen. 3. Auflage. Primus Verlag, Darmstadt

    Google Scholar 

  • Gómez-Baggethun E, Reyes-García V, Olsson P, Montes C (2012) Traditional ecological knowledge and community resilience to environmental extremes: a case study in Doñana, SW Spain. Glob Environ Change 22:640–650. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2012.02.005

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Grau-Satorras M, Otero I, Gómez-Baggethun E, Reyes-García V (2016) Long-term community responses to droughts in the early modern period: the case study of Terrassa, Spain. Ecol Soc 21:33. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-08232-210233

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Haslinger K, Blöschl G (2017) Space-time patterns of meteorological drought events in the European Greater Alpine Region over the past 210 year. Water Resour Res 53:9807–9823. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017WR020797

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Heim RR (2000) Drought indices. A review. In: Wilhite DA (ed) Drought: a global assessment. Hazards Disaster Series, vol I. Routledge, New York, pp 159–167

    Google Scholar 

  • Heim RR (2002) A review of twentieth-century drought indices used in the United States. Bull Am Met Soc 83:1149–1165. https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0477-83.8.1149

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Jones PD, Ogilvie AEJ, Wigley TML (1984) Riverflow data for the United Kingdom: reconstructed data back to 1844 and historical data back to 1556. CRURP 8. Climate Research Unit, Norwich

    Google Scholar 

  • Kanold J (1718–1720) Sammlung von Natur- und Medicin-, wie auch hierzu gehörigen Kunst- und Literatur-Geschichten. Michael Hubert, Breslau

    Google Scholar 

  • Keene D (2011) Crisis management in London’s food supply, 1250–1500. In: Dodds B, Liddy CD (eds) Commercial activity, markets and entrepreneurs in the Middle Ages: essays in honour of Richard Britnell. Boydell & Brewer, pp 45–62

    Google Scholar 

  • Kington J (1974) The Societas Meteorologica Palatina: an eighteenth-century meteorological society. Weather 29:416–426. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1477-8696.1974.tb04330.x

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kington B (1980) Searches for historical weather data: appeals and responses. Weather 35:124–134. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1477-8696.1980.tb04731.x

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kiss A (2005) Utilization of the inundation area at Lake Fertő before regulation works: example of Sarród and its surroundings. Acta Geographica 38:39–49

    Google Scholar 

  • Kiss A (2009) Historical climatology in Hungary: role of documentary evidence in the study of past climates and hydrometeorological extremes. Idöjárás 113:315–339

    Google Scholar 

  • Kiss A (2017) Droughts and low water levels in late Medieval Hungary II: 1361, 1439, 1443–4, 1455, 1473, 1480, 1482(?), 1502–3, 1506: documentary versus tree-ring (OWDA) evidence. J Environ Geogr 10:43–56. https://doi.org/10.1515/jengeo-2017-0012

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kiss A (2019) Anatomy of a great drought in late medieval Hungary. the drought of (1506–)1507 and its multiannual socio-economic consequences in a Central-European context. Reg Environ Change, in review

    Google Scholar 

  • Kiss A, Nikolić Z (2015) Droughts, dry spells and low water levels in Medieval Hungary (and Croatia) I: the great droughts of 1362, 1474, 1479, 1494 and 1507. J Environ Geogr 8:11–22. https://doi.org/10.1515/jengeo-2015-0002

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kovács PE (1992) Estei Hippolit püspök egri számadáskönyvei 1500–1508 (The Account Books of the Bishop of Eger, Ippolito d’Este). Heves Megyei Levéltár, Eger

    Google Scholar 

  • Kovács JL (1995) Faut Márk és Klein Menyhért krónikája. – Die Chronik des Marx Faut und Melchior Klein. 1526–1616. Sopron város történeti forrásai – Quellen zur Geschichte der Stadt Ödenburg. C sorozat 1. kötet – Reihe C Band 1. Soproni Levéltár – Burgenländischen Landesregierung, Sopron – Eisenstadt

    Google Scholar 

  • Kundmann JC (1748) Anmerckungen über die Heuschrecken in Schlesien von dem Jahre 1748. Johann Jacob Korn, Breßlau

    Google Scholar 

  • Leijonhufvud L, Wilson R, Moberg A (2008) Documentary data provide evidence of Stockholm average winter to spring temperatures in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Holocene 18:333–343. https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683607086770

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Leijonhufvud L, Wilson R, Moberg A et al (2010) Five centuries of Stockholm winter/spring temperatures reconstructed from documentary evidence and instrumental observations. Clim Change 101:109–141. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-009-9650-y

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Levack BP (2016) The witch-hunt in early modern Europe, 4th edn. Routledge, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Lüdecke C (2010) Von der Kanoldsammlung (1717–1730) zu den Ephemeriden der Societas Meteorologica Palatina (1781–1792). Meteorologische Quellen zur Umweltgeschichte des 18. Jahrhunderts. In: Popplow M (ed) Landschaften agrarisch-ökonomischen Wissens: Strategien innovativer Ressourcennutzung in Zeitschriften und Sozietäten des 18. Jahrhunderts. Waxmann, pp 97–119

    Google Scholar 

  • Lyakhov ME (1984) Klimatitcheskiye extremumy v tsentralnoy tchasti yevropeyskoy territorii SSSR v XIII–XX vv (Climatic extremes in the central part of the European USSR in the 13th to the 20th centuries). Izvestiya Akad Nauk SSSR – Ser Geogr 6:68–74

    Google Scholar 

  • Malewicz HM (1980) Zjawiska przyrodnicze w relacjach dziejopisarzy polskiego średniowiecza (Natural events in reports by the historians of Medieval Poland). Ossolineum, Wrocław

    Google Scholar 

  • Martínková L (2005) Paměti pelhřimovských měšťanů z přelomu 18. a 19. století. Filip Ignác Dremsa & Antonín Štěpán (Memoirs of the burghers of Pelhřimov from the end of the 18th century and the start of the 19th. Filip Ignác Dremsa & Antonín Štěpán). Moravský zemský archiv v Brně – Státní okresní archiv v Pelhřimově, Pelhřimov

    Google Scholar 

  • Martín-Vide J, Barriendos Vallvé M (1995) The use of rogation ceremony records in climatic reconstruction: a case study from Catalonia (Spain). Clim Change 30:201–221. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01091842

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • McKee TB, Doesken NJ, Kleist J (1993) The relationship of drought frequency and duration to time steps. In: Preprints, 8th Conference on Applied Climatology. Anaheim, 17–22 Jan 1993, pp 179–184

    Google Scholar 

  • McRee BR (1993) Charity and gild solidarity in late Medieval England. J British Studies 32:195–225. https://doi.org/10.1086/386030

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Mishra AK, Singh VP (2010) A review of drought concepts. J Hydrol 391:202–216. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2010.07.012

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Možný M, Brázdil R, Dobrovolný P et al (2016) Drought reconstruction based on grape harvest dates for the Czech Lands, 1499–2012. Clim Res 70:119–132. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01423

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Mrgic J (2018) Intemperate weather in violent times—narratives from the Western Balkans during the Little Ice Age (17–18th centuries). Cuadernos de Investigación Geográfica 44:137–169

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Munzar J (2004) Extreme droughts in Central Europe in the preinstrumental period. Morav Geogr Rep 12:13–23

    Google Scholar 

  • Murphy C, Noone S, Duffy C et al (2017) Irish droughts in newspaper archives: rediscovering forgotten hazards? Weather 72:151–155. https://doi.org/10.1002/wea.2904

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Naumann G, Alfieri L, Wyser K et al (2018) Global changes in drought conditions under different levels of warming. Geophys Res Lett 45:3285–3296. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017gl076521

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Nicoll J (1836) A diary of public transactions and other occurrences, chiefly in Scotland from January 1650 to June 1667. T. Constable, Edinburgh

    Google Scholar 

  • Noone S, Broderick C, Duffy C et al (2017) A 250-year drought catalogue for the island of Ireland (1765–2015). Int J Climatol 37:239–254. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.4999

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Ogilvie AEJ (1990) Climatic changes in Iceland A.D. c. 865 to 1598. Acta Archaeologica 61:233–251

    Google Scholar 

  • Ogilvie A, Farmer G (1997) Documenting the medieval climate. In: Hulme M, Barrow E (eds) Climates of the British Isles. Present, past and future. Routledge, London, pp 112–133

    Google Scholar 

  • Ogrin D (2002) Dry and wet years in submediterranean Slovenia from the 14th to the mid-19th century. Acta Univ Palacki Olomuc, Fac Rer Nat – Geographica 37:55–62

    Google Scholar 

  • Oliva M, Ruiz-Fernández J, Barriendos M et al (2018) The Little Ice Age in Iberian mountains. Earth-Sci Rev 177:175–208. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2017.11.010

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Orth R, Vogel MM, Luterbacher J et al (2016) Did European temperatures in 1540 exceed present-day records? Environ Res Lett 11:114021. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/11/1/114021

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • PAGES Hydro2k Consortium (2017) Comparing proxy and model estimates of hydroclimate variability and change over the Common Era. Clim Past 13:1851–1900. https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-13-1851-2017

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Palmer WC (1965) Meteorological drought. Office of climatology research paper 45. U.S. Weather Bureau, Washington

    Google Scholar 

  • Palotay M, Mindszenty A, Kopecskó K, Poros Z (2012) Az Ínség-kő geológiája (Geology of the dearth-stone). Földtani Közlöny 142:243–250

    Google Scholar 

  • Petrovics I (2005) Witch-hunt in Szeged in the early eighteenth century. In: Szeghyová B (ed) The role of magic in the past. Learned and popular magic, popular beliefs and diversity of attitudes. Pro Historia, Bratislava, pp 108–116

    Google Scholar 

  • Pfister C (1992) Monthly temperature and precipitation in central Europe 1525–1979: quantifying documentary evidence on weather and its effects. In: Bradley RS, Jones PD (eds) Climate since A.D. 1500. Routledge, London, pp 118–142

    Google Scholar 

  • Pfister C (1999) Wetternachhersage. 500 Jahre Klimavariationen und Naturkatastrophen (1496–1995). Paul Haupt, Bern

    Google Scholar 

  • Pfister C (2007) Climatic extremes, recurrent crises and witch hunts: strategies of European societes in coping with exogenous shocks in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Medieval Hist J 10:33–73. https://doi.org/10.1177/097194580701000202

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Pfister C (2018) The “Black Swan” of 1540. Aspects of a European megadrought. In: Leggewie K, Mauelshagen F (eds) Climatic change and cultural transition in Europe. Leiden, Brill, pp 156–194

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Pfister C, Weingartner R, Luterbacher J (2006) Hydrological winter droughts over the last 450 years in the Upper Rhine basin: a methodological approach. Hydrol Sci J 51:966–985. https://doi.org/10.1623/hysj.51.5.966

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Piervitali E, Colacino M (2001) Evidence of drought in Western Sicily during the period 1565–1915 from liturgical offices. Clim Change 49:225–238. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1010746612289

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Pribyl K (2017) Farming, Famine and Plague. The impact of climate in late Medieval England. Springer, Cham

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Pribyl K, Cornes R (2019) Droughts in medieval and early modern England. Part 2: Impacts. Weather (in press)

    Google Scholar 

  • Przybylak R (2010) Instrumental observations. In: Przybylak R, Majorowicz J, Brázdil R, Kejna M (eds) The Polish climate in the European context: an historical overview. Springer Science + Business Media B.V., pp 129–166

    Google Scholar 

  • Réflexions lues dans la séance tenue au Louvre, par la société royale de médecine, le 18 septembre 1781: sur la nature de la Constitution de cette année, & le traitement des maladies qu’elle a occasionnées à la fin. Ph.-D. Pierres, Impr., Paris, 1781

    Google Scholar 

  • Reizner J (1899) Szeged története (History of Szeged), vol 4: Chartulary, Szeged Szabad Királyi Város közönsége, Szeged

    Google Scholar 

  • Riemann D, Glaser R, Kahle M, Vogt S (2015) The CRE tambora.org—new data and tools for collaborative research in climate and environmental history. Geosci Data J 2:63–77. https://doi.org/10.1002/gdj3.30

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Rodrigo FS (2008) A new method to reconstruct low-frequency climatic variability from documentary sources: application to winter rainfall series in Andalusia (Southern Spain) from 1501 to 2000. Clim Change 87:471–487. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-007-9312-x

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Rodrigo FS, Barriendos M (2008) Reconstruction of seasonal and annual rainfall variability in the Iberian peninsula (16th–20th centuries). Glob Plan Change 63:243–257. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2007.09.004

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Rodrigo FS, Esteban Parra MJ, Castro DY (1995) Reconstruction of total annual rainfall in Andalusia (Southern Spain) during the 16th and 17th centuries from documentary sources. Theor Appl Climatol 52:207–218. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00864044

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Rodrigo FS, Esteban Parra MJ, Castro-Diez Y (1998) On the use of the Jesuit order private correspondence records in climate reconstructions: a case study from Castille (Spain) for 1634–1648 A.D. Clim Change 40:625–645. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1005316118817

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Rodrigo FS, Esteban-Parra MJ, Pozo-Vazquez D, Castro-Díez Y (1999) A 500-year precipitation record in Southern Spain. Int J Climatol 19:1233–1253. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1097-0088(199909)19:11%3c1233:AID-JOC413%3e3.0.CO;2-L

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Roggenkamp T, Herget J (2015) An extreme drought in the year 69 AD on Lower Rhine. A quantitative reconstruction. Z Geomorph 59(Suppl 3):99–109. https://doi.org/10.1127/zfg_suppl/2015/S-59205

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Rohr C (2007) Extreme Naturereignisse im Ostalpen. Naturerfahrung im Spätmittelalter und am Beginn der Neuzeit. Böhlau Verlag, Köln

    Google Scholar 

  • Seager R, Liu H, Henderson N et al (2014) Causes of increasing aridification of the Mediterranean region in response to rising greenhouse gases. J Clim 27:4655–4676. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00446.1

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Shmakin AB, Chernavskaya MM, Popova VV (2013) “Velikaya” zasucha 2010 g. na Vostochno-Evropeyskoy Ravnine: istoricheskiye analogi, cirkulyacionnyye mekhanismy (The Great drought of 2010 in the eastern European plain: historical analogues, circulation mechanisms). Izvestiya RAN – Ser Geogr 6:41–57

    Google Scholar 

  • Smičiklas T, Kostrenčić M, Laszowski E (1915) Codex Diplomaticus Regni Croatiae, Dalmatiae et Slavoniae – Diplomatički zbornik Kraljevine Hrvatske, Dalmacije i Slavonije, vol 13. Tisak Dioničke Tiskare, Zagreb

    Google Scholar 

  • Spinoni J, Vogt JV, Naumann G et al (2018) Will drought events become more frequent and severe in Europe? Int J Climatol 38:1718–1736. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.5291

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Strömmer E (2003) Klima-Geschichte. Methoden der Rekonstruktion und historische Perspektive. Ostösterreich 1700 bis 1830. Franz Deuticke, Wien

    Google Scholar 

  • Svoboda MD, Fuchs BA (2018) Handbook of drought indicators and indices. In: Wilhite DA, Pulwarty RS (eds) Drought and water crises. Integrating science, management, and policy. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Bayton, pp 155–207

    Google Scholar 

  • Symons GJ (1891) Merle’s MS. Considerationes temperiei pro 7 annis. Per Magistrum Willelmum Merle, socium domus de Merton. The earliest known journal of the weather. Kept by The Rev. William Merle, rector of Driby, Lincolnshire. 1377–1344. E. Stanford, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Tarand A, Jaagus J, Kallis A (2013) Eesti kliima minevikus ja tänapäeval (Estonian climate: past and present). Tartu Ülikool, Kirjastus

    Google Scholar 

  • Tejedor E, de Luis M, Barriendos M et al (2018) Rogation ceremonies: a key to understand past drought variability in northeastern Spain since 1650. Clim Past Discuss. https://www.clim-past-discuss.net/cp-2018-67/

  • Telelis I (2008) Climatic fluctuations in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East AD 300–1500 from Byzantine documentary and proxy physical paleoclimatic evidence—a comparison. Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik 58:167–208. https://doi.org/10.1553/joeb58s167

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Teplý F (1928) Martina Škvoreckého, úředníka na Pacově, hospodářská korespondence z dob války třicetileté (1630–1642) (Financial correspondence of Martin Škvorecký, a clerk at Pacov, from the time of the Thirty Years’ War, 1630–1642). Nákladem Ministerstva zemědělství Republiky československé, Praha

    Google Scholar 

  • Todd B, Macdonald N, Chiverrell RC et al (2013) Severity, duration and frequency of drought in SE England from 1697 to 2011. Clim Change 121:673–687. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-013-0970-6

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Trnka M, Hayes M, Jurečka F et al (2018) Priority questions in multidisciplinary drought research. Clim Res 75:241–260. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01509

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • van der Schrier G, Efthymiadis D, Briffa KR, Jones PD (2007) European Alpine moisture variability 1800–2003. Int J Climatol 27:415–427. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.1411

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Van Loon AF, Gleeson T, Clark J et al (2016a) Drought in the anthropocene. Nat Geosci 9:89–91. https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2646

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Van Loon AF, Stahl K, Di Baldassarre J et al (2016b) Drought in a human-modified world: reframing drought definitions, understanding, and analysis approaches. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 20:3631–3650. https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-20-3631-2016

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Vicente-Serrano SM, Beguería S, López-Moreno JI (2010) A multi-scalar drought index sensitive to global warming: the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index—SPEI. J Clim 23:1696–1718. https://doi.org/10.1175/2009JCLI2909.1

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Walter H (1901) Ueber die Stromschnelle von Laufenburg. Vierteljahrsschrift d. naturf. Ges. Zürich 46:232–263 (see also: Inaugural-Dissertation, Zürich)

    Google Scholar 

  • Weikinn C (1958–2002) Quellentexte zur Witterungsgeschichte Europas von der Zeitwende bis zum Jahre 1850. Hydrographie. Teil 1 (Zeitwende–1500), Teil 2 (1501–1600), Teil 3 (1601–1700), Teil 4 (1701–1750), Teil 5 (1751–1800), Teil 6 (1801–1850). Akademie-Verlag, Berlin

    Google Scholar 

  • Wetter O, Pfister C (2013) An underestimated record breaking event. Why summer 1540 was likely warmer than 2003. Clim Past 9:41–56. https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-9-41-2013

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Wetter O, Pfister C, Werner JP et al (2014) The year-long unprecedented European heat and drought of 1540—a worst case. Clim Change 125:349–363. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-014-1184-2

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • White S, Pfister C, Mauelshagen F (eds) (2018) The Palgrave handbook of climate history. Palgrave Macmillan, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Wilhite DA, Pulwarty RS (2018) Drought as hazard: understanding the natural and social context. In: Wilhite DA, Pulwarty RS (eds) Drought and water crises. Integrating science, management, and policy. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Bayton, pp 3–20

    Google Scholar 

  • Williams H (2016) Saint Geneviève’s miracles: art and religion in eighteenth-century Paris. French Hist 30:322–353. https://doi.org/10.1093/fh/crv076

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Worobec CD (1995) Witchcraft beliefs and practices in prerevolutionary Russian and Ukrainian villages. Russ Rev 54:165–187. https://doi.org/10.2307/130913

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Xoplaki E, Maheras P, Luterbacher J (2001) Variability of climate in meridional Balkans during the periods 1675–1715 and 1780–1830 and its impact on human life. Clim Change 48:581–614. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1005616424463

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Yurchenkov V (2014) Impact of natural conditions on the regional historical development (based on the example of the Mordovian Land of the XVIIth century). In: Božić S (ed) History and geography: meetings and permations. Geography Institute Jovan Cvijić (SASA), Institute of Recent History of Serbia, Institute of Slavic Studies (RAS), Belgrade, pp 583–594

    Google Scholar 

  • Zgutam R (1977) Witchcraft trials in seventeenth-century Russia. Amer Hist Rev 82:1187–1207

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

Rudolf Brázdil acknowledges the support of Czech Science Foundation, project ref. 17-10026S. Andrea Kiss acknowledges financial support from the Austrian Science Funds, project ref. I 3174. Ladislava Řezníčková was supported by “SustES – Adaptation strategies for sustainable ecosystem services and food security under adverse environmental conditions” project ref. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000797. Mariano Barriendos acknowledges support from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competition, programme I + D + i, funding project CLIMED, ref. CGL2015-69985-R. We would like to thank the following individuals and institutions: for provision of data, N. Diodato (Benevento), C. Murphy and S. Noone (Kildare), C. Pfister (Bern) and V. V. Popova (Moscow); for providing us with figures and permission with their publication—Fig. 4.2, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, Figs. 4.6 and 4.11a, O. Kotyza (Litoměřice), Fig. 4.11b, the National Museum, Prague and Fig. 4.13, Zentralbibliothek, Zürich; for further assistance with this manuscript, Jaak Jaagus (Tartu), Neil Macdonald (Liverpool) and Kathleen Pribyl (Norwich). Tony Long (Svinošice) helped work up the English. We also thank anonymous referee for valuable critical comments.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rudolf Brázdil .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2020 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Brázdil, R., Kiss, A., Řezníčková, L., Barriendos, M. (2020). Droughts in Historical Times in Europe, as Derived from Documentary Evidence. In: Herget, J., Fontana, A. (eds) Palaeohydrology. Geography of the Physical Environment. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-23315-0_4

Download citation