Justinian Plague Effects

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Of all the plagues that have erupted in our world’s history, none is more popular than the Bubonic Plague. Believed by scholars to have started from diseased rats in Egypt, it spread like wildfire killing many people in its wake. Egypt had long been the bread basket for the Mediterranean world, so through trade the disease was able to infect most of Europe. In fact, the plague was so large that scholars have divided the plague into three separate waves. The first wave, also known as the Justinian Plague, was named after the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. Justinian had set out to restore glory to the Roman Empire and, by the account of most scholars, was successful. During his reign, Justinian was able to secure peace with the Persian Empire and made military gains in…show more content…
Justinian’s eventual inability to reunite the area around the Mediterranean under Roman control, may be blamed largely on the innervating effects of the plague. The Middle Eastern population decreased significantly during this time resulting in many victories by Persia and other armies of Islam. In fact, “the victories by the Persian military by the year 573 may be directly attributed to depopulation and debilitation of the Byzantine army (Plagues in the Ancient World).” There is little doubt that the swift victories of the armies of Islam in the 7th and 8th centuries were also largely due to the destructive pandemic of Justinian. Though the disease no longer plagued the city it severely weakened it making it vulnerable to attack years after. Additionally, Justinian had expended huge amounts of money for wars against the Vandals in the Carthage region and the Ostrogoth Kingdom of Italy. He had also dedicated significant funds to the construction of great churches like the Hagia Sophia. Coming in the middle of these great expenditures, the plague’s effects on tax revenue was

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