Plague and the End of Antiquity: The Pandemic of 541-750
Lester K. Little
Cambridge University Press, 2007 - History - 360 pages
Plague was a key factor in the waning of Antiquity and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Eight centuries before the Black Death, a pandemic of plague engulfed the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea and eventually extended as far east as Persia and as far north as the British Isles. Its persisted sporadically from 541 to 750, the same period that witnessed the distinctive shaping of the Byzantine Empire, a new prominence of the Roman papacy and of monasticism, the beginnings of Islam and the meteoric expansion of the Arabic Empire, the ascent of the Carolingian dynasty in Frankish Gaul and, not coincidentally, the beginnings of a positive work ethic in the Latin West. In this volume, the first on the subject, twelve scholars from a variety of disciplines-history, archaeology, epidemiology, and molecular biology- have produced a comprehensive account of the pandemic's origins, spread, and mortality, as well as its economic, social, political, and religious effects. The historians examine written sources in a range of languages, including Arabic, Syriac, Greek, Latin, and Old Irish. Archaeologists analyze burial pits, abandoned villages, and aborted building projects. The epidemiologists use the written sources to track the disease's means and speed of transmission, the mix of vulnerability and resistance it encountered, and the patterns of reappearence over time. Finally, molecular biologists, newcomers to this kind of investigation, have become pioneers of paleopathology, seeking ways to identity pathogens in human remains from the remote past.
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Adomn´an afﬂicted ancient Anecdota Syriaca Anglo-Saxon Annals Arabic archaeological Bede Bede’s Benedictow biovar Biraben bishop Black Death buboes bubonic plague burial Byzantine caused Chronique de Michel church conﬁrmed Conquest of Plague Conrad Constantinople corpses CSCO Cuthbert demic demographic difﬁcult Egypt England epidemiology essay Europe Evagrius evidence example famine ﬁfth ﬁnd ﬁrst genome God’s Gregory of Tours Historia Francorum History human Ibid identiﬁcation Incerti auctoris India infection Ireland Irish John of Ephesus Justinianic Plague king Late Antiquity later malaria mawtŻanŻa Mediterranean Michael the Syrian Michel le Syrien modern molecular monasteries mortality outbreak of bubonic pathogen Paul the Deacon period peste plague epidemics Plague of Justinian plague’s pneumonic plague Pollitzer population Procopius rat ﬂeas record rodents Roman rural Sallares says Scott and Duncan settlements seventh century sharcŻut.Ża signiﬁcant sixth century sources speciﬁc spread suggested Syria Tel-MahrŻe third pandemic typhus victims Yeavering Yersinia pestis ZŻuqnŻın chronicler
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