ROSEN William, « Justinian’s Flea: The First Great Plague and the End of the Roman Empire »

Auteur : William ROSEN

Editeur : Penguin Books

Date : août 2008 (réédition)

Nombre de pages : 384.

Résumé par Publishers Weekly (© Reed Business Information) :

What might be called « microbial history »—the study of the impact of disease on human events—is a subject that has received great attention in recent years. Rosen’s new book follows John Barry’s The Great Influenza and John Kelly’s The Great Mortality. An editor and publisher for more than a quarter century, Rosen absorbingly narrates the story of how the Byzantine Empire encountered the dangerous Y. pestis in A.D. 542 and suffered a bubonic plague pandemic foreshadowing its more famous successor eight centuries later. Killing 25 million people and depressing the birth rate and economic growth for many generations, this unfortunate collision of bacterium and man would mark the end of antiquity and help usher in the Dark Ages. Rosen is particularly illuminating and imaginative on the « macro » aftereffects of the plague. Thus, the « shock of the plague » would remake the political map north of the Alps by drawing power away from the Mediterranean and Byzantine worlds toward what would become France, Germany and England. Specialist historians may certainly dislike the inevitable reductionism such a broad-brush approach entails, but readers of Collapse and Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond’s grand narratives, will find this a welcome addendum.

Sommaire :

Prologue : Pelusium

PART 1 : Emperor

1 – « Four princes of the world »

2 – « We do not lov anything uncivilized »

3 – « Our most pious consort »

PART 2 : Glory

4 – « Solomon, I have outdone thee »

5 – « Live honorably, harm nobody, and give everyone his due »

6 – « The victories granted us by heaven »

PART 3 : Bacterium

7 – « Daughter of chance and number »

8 – « From so simple a beginning »

9 – « The fury of the wrath of god »

PART 4 : Pandemic

10 – « A man of unruly mind »

11 – « No small grace »

12 – « A thread you cannot unravel »

13 – « This country of silk »

Epilogue : Yarmuk

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