Plague of Justinian confirmed as Black DeathBreaking News
tags: Roman Empire, Black Death
What caused the fall of the Roman Empire? A devastating plague that struck during the reign of Emperor Justinian in 541 AD, killing a quarter of the population, seems to have landed the final blow, but the identity of the infection was a mystery.
Now sequencing of DNA taken from two skeletons buried in Bavaria, Germany, in the 6th century has uncovered the complete genome of Yersinia pestis, the bacteria also blamed for the Black Death that struck Europe in 1348. The find suggests that Y. pestis may have emerged to ravage humanity several times.
Hendrik Poinar at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, who led the team that sequenced the German bacteria, also helped sequence Y. pestis bacteria from Londoners killed by the Black Death. He says the new finds don't prove Y. pestis was the sole cause of both plagues, but "make it more likely Yersinia was part of the larger story"....
comments powered by Disqus
- How 22-Year-Old George Washington Inadvertently Sparked a World War
- Tension in the Middle East and populist presidents: what the world was like 100 years ago
- A brief history of presidential impeachment
- What Happens to News When Journalists and Historians Join Forces
- Why Haven't the Afghanistan Papers Gotten More Attention?
- The Radical Lives of Abolitionists
- National Security Archive Releases USCYBERCOM documents which shed new light on the campaign to counter ISIS in cyberspace
- Historian Jonathan Holloway will be named as Rutgers first black president
- The Twitterstorians Trying to De-Trumpify American History
- African Americans and Africa: A New Book about Black America’s Relationship with the Continent