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This Author: William Rosen
This Narrator: Barrett Whitener
This Publisher: Tantor Audio

Justinian's Flea by William Rosen

Justinian's Flea

Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe

by William Rosen


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Unabridged Edition
Running Time
13 Hrs.
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The emperor Justinian reunified Rome's fractured empire by defeating the Goths and Vandals who had separated Italy, Spain, and North Africa from imperial rule. At his capital in Constantinople, he built the world's most beautiful building, married the most powerful empress, and wrote the empire's most enduring legal code, seemingly restoring Rome's fortunes for the next five hundred years. Then, in the summer of 542, he encountered a flea. The ensuing outbreak of bubonic plague killed 5,000 people a day in Constantinople and nearly killed Justinian himself.

In Justinian's Flea, William Rosen tells the story of history's first pandemic - a plague seven centuries before the Black Death that killed tens of millions, devastated the empires of Persia and Rome, left a path of victims from Ireland to Iraq, and opened the way for the armies of Islam. Weaving together evolutionary microbiology, economics, military strategy, ecology, and ancient and modern medicine, Rosen offers a sweeping narrative of one of the great hinge moments in history, one that will appeal to readers of John Kelly's The Great Mortality, John Barry's The Great Influenza, and Jared Diamond's Collapse.


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  • Published: May 2007
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: J024486
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Audio CD
11 Discs
1400103851
9781400103850
MP3 CD
1400153859
9781400153855