How the Justinian Plague affected the Byzantine Empire

Subject: Political
Type: Cause and Effect Essay
Pages: 2
Word count: 369
Topics: Government, Imperialism, International Relations

The fall of the Byzantine Empire was experienced after the Nika riot and was characterized by problems such as financial problems, social injustices and regional imbalance. Justinian left the Byzantine army to spread all over the empire, basically under the command of general Belisarius. This left a narrow line of defense in some areas and hence the empire was left open to attacks (Harrak & Amir n.p). The Justinian caused the decline of the Byzantine Empire through the constant wars and the rebuilding of the Constantinople.

The Syriac chronicles of Zuqnin gives an account of the world, from the point it was created till the eight century A.D. John of Ephasus describes the preservation of the lost work from the end of the sixth century in the Syriac history. He gives a described account of the length of persecution initiated against the followers of Monophysitism, by the Chalcedonians (Rosen & William, 45). The Great Plague which was experienced in the mid of the sixth century caused devastations in the whole world and three decades in Byzantium. This was exposed to the world which had prominence in church politics at the reign of Justinian. The early admiration for the Emperor by John is revealed as well as his frustrations.

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In the last years of the Justinian’s reign, there were several plagues which were experienced in the empire. The Justina plague for instance saw the death of millions of people. The Slavs and Avars started attacking the byzantine territory as the byzantine on the other hand was putting up a barbaric group meant to counter the Slavs (Barras & Colin, 34). This was signified the beginning of war. In the 626 CE, the Avars began the siege to Constantinople as the Sassanid approached the city. Heraclius defeated the Avars and drove away Sassanid.

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  1. Rosen, William. Justinian’s Flea: The First Great Plague and the End of the Roman Empire. Penguin, 2007.
  2. Harrak, Amir. The Chronicle of Zuqnīn, Parts III and IV: AD 488-775: Translated from Syriac with Notes and Introduction. Vol. 36. PIMS, 1999.
  3. Barras, Colin. "The Year of Darkness." New Scientist, vol. 221, no. 2952, 18 Jan. 2014, p. 34.
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