Saturday, December 12, 2009
Justinian's Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe by William Rosen this is one of those attempts to determine the transition point between two eras of history as a title suggests the ancient and medieval. This is done through looking at three different phenomena that took place roughly at the same time during emperor Justinian's reign. These were new techniques in architecture, bubonic plague pandemic and Byzantine campaigns to reconquer Italy. Unfortunately the book gets bogged down in some strange digressions. Rosen talks about arguments for evolution and creationism which really seemed out of place. This could have been made a lot tighter with some judicious editing.