Solving the Mystery of the Plague That Decimated Ancient AthensBethany Brookshire7/18/13 11:00am825EditPromoteGo to permalink In 430 BC, during the Peloponnesian War, a plague ripped through Athens. We now know it was caused by typhoid fever. You’d think, when we’ve known about an infectious disease for a couple thousand years, we would know how it works. But we didn’t. Until now.