Past Event

Pandemics and Catastrophe: The Justinianic Plague and the Origins of the Middle Ages

March 5, 2021
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Event Description

The Justinianic Plague (c. 541-750 CE) is often depicted in scholarly and public literature as a major transformative event in Eurasian history with detrimental effects on politics, the economy, and culture from sub-Saharan Africa to England and the Middle East. This talk situates this pandemic in its historical context to demonstrate that its effects could be significant in the short-term, but its long-term effects appear dubious. Instead, speakers argue that pandemics in the ancient and medieval past have been made into spectacularly unusual events in the 20th-21st centuries to demonstrate modern superiority. At the end, the speakers suggest that our own ongoing COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates that we still experience many of the same problems.

Event Speakers

Please visit the event webpage to view the speaker list. 

Event Information

Free and open to the public; registration required. Hosted by the History Department at the College of Staten Island