A Plague Upon the Fathers
Monday April 14th 2008, 3:08 am
Filed under: Archeology,Patristics

Archeologists have found a mass grave from the plague that hit during the reign of Justinian.

Justinian’s Plague was “a pandemic that killed as many as 100 million people around the world during a 50-year period in the 6th century A.D.”

It spread through Europe as far north as Denmark and as far west as Ireland… The plague swept across the Mediterranean during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I in the early 540s and according to some historians changed the course of European history because the empire then entered a period of decline.

Carried by rats and parasites, the disease spread rapidly because families at the time lived in close quarters in poor hygienic conditions…

Modern scholars believe that the plague killed up to 5,000 people per day in Constantinople … and later went on to destroy up to a quarter of the human population of the eastern Mediterranean.

Hat tip: Rogue Classicism.


2 Comments so far
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Mike, thanks for always being on top of these kinds of discoveries. Perhaps I don’t comment as often as I ought, but I do appreciate the work you do in bringing these finds to greater public awareness.

Comment by D. P. 04.14.08 @ 5:23 pm

Interesting, the war in Italy was also be waved during this period- Byzantine versus the Goths. I think the plague reach Italy around 548 or 550. Anyway, the aftereffects of the war, Justinian didn’t have the time or money to rebuilt Italy.was one of the causes that brought Italy into a crippling state. Later on, the Lombard Invasion destroy some more of what was left of the old empire. The Plague depopulating Italy and the the destrucation of three aquaducts during the war which made it impossiable to support a larger popualtion in Rome were reasons why Italy went ino the dark ages, Anyway, prior to this even when the Goths had ruled Italy for over a history some fo the old Roman culture still exist. It would be interesting how the bodies were dated to the 6th century.

Comment by Cynthia Curran 03.10.09 @ 9:50 pm



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