Why Was 536 The Worst Year of All For Mankind According To Science

The Justinian Bubonic Plague

12. The Justinian Bubonic Plague

Those who fought through the dark days, crop failures, and starvation were also faced with another hurdle; the plague of Justinian.

Named after the Byzantine emperor in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) who is said to have contracted the disease but recovered a year after. The bacterium that caused the plague was revealed to be the same one that caused the Black Death in a study conducted in 2013.

Although its spread didn’t match the feats of the 14th-century bubonic plague, about a half to a third of the Ancient European population had been killed by the disease.

At its peak the plague was claiming 5,000 lives a day which included many farmers and their labor force; yet and still, Emperor Justinian demanded the annual tax all while the Roman Empire was unraveling at the seams.

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