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Plague of Justinian (Bubonic plague) 541-549

Plague of Justinian (Bubonic plague) 541-549

Plague of Justinian (Bubonic plague) 541-549

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Deaths 100000000


The plague of Justinian or Justinianic plague (541–549 AD) was the first major outbreak of the first plague pandemic, the first Old World pandemic of plague, the contagious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. The disease afflicted the entire Mediterranean Basin, Europe, and the Near East, severely affecting the Sasanian Empire and the Byzantine Empire and especially its capital, Constantinople. The plague is named for the Byzantine emperor in Constantinople, Justinian I (r. 527–565) who, according to his court historian Procopius, contracted the disease and recovered in 542, at the height of the epidemic which killed about a fifth of the population in the imperial capital. The contagion arrived in Roman Egypt in 541, spread around the Mediterranean Sea until 544, and persisted in Northern Europe and the Arabian Peninsula, until 549.In 2013, researchers confirmed earlier speculation that the cause of the plague of Justinian was Yersinia pestis, the same bacterium responsible for the Black Death (1347–1351). Ancient and modern Yersinia pestis strains closely related to the ancestor of the Justinian plague strain have been found in the Tian Shan, a system of mountain ranges on the borders of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and China, suggesting that the Justinian plague originated in or near that region.

Source: Wikipedia

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