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b Oct 7

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Alicia Mc Kenzie

Dust-veils and pandemics: the sixth century and the end of antiquity What impact did the major natural catastrophies of late antiquity have on European and Near Eastern Society? Do they constitute a clear break between the late antique and medieval worlds NO. but some scholars argue yes The 536 dust-veil event (some sort of cataclysmic event that puts ash in the air, globally) Probably volcanic (more evidence) rather than comet/asteroid In Korea notice drought and famine Sources indicate ash falling Procopius (Justinians core historian) Points out something wrong with sun (volcano?) Associates with God’s wrath/ evil omens Cassiodorus Blue-coloured sun (had been going on for a year) Dendrochronology (tree rings) Used to tell climate change Very narrow rings at this time Mount Tambora eruption (1816) “Year without a Summer” HOWEVER Did not “cause” end of a civilization Perhaps an influence Plague: an introduction (541, Pelusium) The Three Major Pandemics Justinianic Plague Black Death th Third Pandemic (19 century China) Yersinia Pestis It is this disease all three times {bubonic (typical), Pneumonic plague (virulent, spread through coughing)} The Justinianic Plague : primary sources Anxiety, don’t know what causing this. Syriac John of Ephesus Traveled with plague, sees whole towns wiped out Nobody in fields harvesting (dangerous to survivors as well Arabic Consolation literature Make people feel bwtter (indirect) Greek Procopius Wrote everything to Justian standards Agathias Meticuously assesses outbreaks Evagrius Scholasticus Lost a lot of his family What like to be a survivor The Plague: Political and Social consequences in Byzantium Disposal of co
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