Rosshofgasse (Schnitz), Seminarraum S 01 and via Zoom
Fachbereich Alte Geschichte, Sabine Huebner
How Should We Assess the Impact of the Justinianic Plague?
Since 2019 a number of efforts have been made to try to down-play (or dismiss) the impact of the Justinianic Plague of the sixth to eighth centuries AD. But what would such ‘impact’ consist of? And how would we be able to discern it given the nature of the evidence we have? This paper argues that in order to understand the Early Medieval pandemic, we need to adopt a comparative approach, informed by periods for which both the evidence is more extensive and the historiography more sophisticated. Examination of the impact of the Black Death in Late Medieval England, for example, reveals the extent to which much of the recent literature with respect to the Justinianic Plague has been looking for the wrong things, in the wrong places, and hence drawing the wrong conclusions.
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