The Emperor Justinian reunified Rome's fractured empire by defeating the Goths and Vandals who had separated Italy, Spain, and North Africa from imperial rule. At his capital in Constantinople, he built the world's most beautiful building, married its most powerful empress, and wrote its most enduring legal code, seemingly restoring Rome's fortunes for the next 500 years. Then, in the summer of 542, he encountered a flea. The ensuing outbreak of bubonic plague killed 5,000 people a day in Constantinople and nearly killed Justinian himself.
Weaving together evolutionary microbiology, economics, military strategy, ecology, and ancient and modern medicine, William Rosen offers a sweeping narrative of one of the great hinge moments in history, one that will appeal to readers of John Kelly's The Great Mortality, John Barry's The Great Influenza, and Jared Diamond's Collapse.
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by William F. Nolan
by Kerry Gleeson
by Clotaire Rapaille
by James M. McPherson
by Harvey Reese
by David Lax, James K. Sebenius
by John J. Pullen
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"Described as a chronicle of "the collision of the world's smallest organism with the world's mightiest power," Rosen's work promises a sweeping examination of the Golden Age of Constantinople. Rich in the detail so beloved by fans of historical narrative, the story is as compelling and dramatic as a novel. All of this makes Barrett Whitener's atonal narration that much more disappointing. Whitener has previously won Earphone Awards, leading one to anticipate a performance reflecting the "passion, panache, and attitude" heralded in the book's reviews. But, although his voice is clear, his tone and performance are flat. Whitener's narration does not enhance the experience of listening to this unique historical work. M.O.B. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine"
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