The Plague Of Justinian

During the reign of the eastern Roman emperor Justinian, the Mediterranean world was hit by a pandemic whose virulence was exceeded only by the outbreak of the Black Plague in western Europe many centuries later.  The pandemic–commonly known today as the Plague of Justinian–only lasted from A.D. 541 to 542, but there were residual aftershocks of the disease that occurred periodically for two centuries thereafter.  It is important to history not only for its extremely high death toll, but also for the political and economic changes that followed in its wake.

Continue reading

Justinian’s Codification Of The Law


Great men make laws, and greater men interpret them.

If a leader wishes to achieve immortality, let him organize, arrange, and codify a body of law for his people.  Many of the greatest leaders (Numa Pompilia, Lycurgus, Solon, etc.) have been lawgivers.  The monuments of stone have crumbled, but the laws remain.

To codify is to bestow immortality.

Continue reading