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Justinian's Flea: Plague, Empire and the Birth of Europe Hardcover – 3 May 2007

3.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 377 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape; 1st Edition edition (3 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224073699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224073691
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 629,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"Ambitious and exciting, witty and elegant, this is a big book in every sense, and packed with big ideas. William Rosen takes one of history's great cause-and-effect problems and turns it into a work that is entertaining and illuminating in equal measure. Along the way he comes up with interpretations of a little-understood era that delight and sometimes dazzle. From the theological puzzles of Gnosticism, neo-Platonism and the Arian heresy through the pathology of a flea-bite to the appropriate use of heavy cavalry, the complicated and the convoluted become comprehensible... and fun." (Phil Craig, Co-Author Of Finest Hour: The Battle Of Britain, And Trafalgar: The Men, The Battle, The Storm)

"William Rosen doesn´t just give us the most believable, the most human and the most fully rounded Justinian ever. He also conjures up a vivid picture of the age, in a compelling style that makes his weighty learning light." (Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Author Of Millennium And Civilizations)

"

What a richly detailed and thought-provoking book! I got stuck into

William Rosen's fascinating chronicle with all the appetite of a flea

settling on the brawny arm of one of Justinian's cataphracts.

" (Robert lacey, co-author of The Year 1000)

"We live at a time when the Pope's quotation of a Byzantine emperor can cause an international incident. William Rosen's fascinating new book offers a timely portrait of the greatest Byzantine emperor of them all - and explains, in compelling detail, how the golden age of Constantinople was blotted out by a catastrophe as momentous as any in history." (Tom Holland, author of Rubicon and Persian Fire)

"Justinian's Flea is narrative history writing at its best. Breathtaking in its scope, the book presents a confident mix of history, science, architecture, theology, military strategy, law, engineering and medicine to tell the story of how plague transformed the classical world and gave birth to mediaeval Europe. William Rosen's canvas stretches from China to Spain, and Britain to Arabia, and his intriguing cast of characters includes emperors, priests, soldiers, and engineers as well as rats, fleas and silkworms. Justinian's Flea transforms our understanding of many key events in the history of the last two thousand years, from the decline of Rome to the rise of Islam and beyond." (Karl Sabbagh, author of The Riemann Hypothesis)

Book Description

Popular history at its best: an epic story in which the newly united Roman Empire under Justinian is decimated by bubonic plague.

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19 customer reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

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17 June 2016
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18 July 2017
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