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Plague and the End of Antiquity: The Pandemic of 541-750
     

Plague and the End of Antiquity: The Pandemic of 541-750

by Lester K. Little
 

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ISBN-10: 052171897X

ISBN-13: 9780521718974

Pub. Date: 01/14/2008

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

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

Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521718974
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
01/14/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
382
Sales rank:
748,992
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents


Contributors     vii
Preface     xi
Map     xvi
Introduction
Life and Afterlife of the First Plague Pandemic   Lester K. Little     3
Historians and Epidemics: Simple Questions, Complex Answers   Jo N. Hays     33
The Near East
'For Whom Does the Writer Write?': The First Bubonic Plague Pandemic According to Syriac Sources   Michael G. Morony     59
Justinianic Plague in Syria and the Archaeological Evidence   Hugh N. Kennedy     87
The Byzantine Empire
Crime and Punishment: The Plague in the Byzantine Empire, 541-749   Dionysios Stathakopoulos     99
Bubonic Plague in Byzantium: The Evidence of Non-Literary Sources   Peter Sarris     119
The Latin West
Consilia humana, ops divina, superstitio: Seeking Succor and Solace in Times of Plague, with Particular Reference to Gaul in the Early Middle Ages   Alain J. Stoclet     135
Plague in Spanish Late Antiquity   Michael Kulikowski     150
Plague in Seventh-Century England   John Maddicott     171
The Plague and Its Consequences in Ireland   Ann Dooley     215
The Challenge of Epidemiology and Molecular Biology
Ecology, Evolution, and Epidemiology of Plague   Robert Sallares     231
Toward a Molecular History of the Justinianic Pandemic   Michael McCormick     290
Bibliography     313
Index     355

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