One thought on “Fun Fact of the Day

  1. The cooling caused by that dust enabled rats infected with yersinia pestis — Black Death — to survive crossing the desert to reach cities in Egypt. From there the infection was spread by grain ships around the Mediterranean. An estimated 25 million people died from the plague.

    Byzantine emperor Justinian caught the plague, but managed to survive. While he was sick, the Empire was ruled by his wife. Unfortunately, she chose to eliminate the “threat” to the throne from Justinian’s favorite un-castrated general, Belisarius, and had him removed from office, stripped of his bodyguards, and exiled from Constantinople. Justinian reversed the punishment a short time after he recovered. However, the damage to the campaign to retake Italy was done, as less competent generals were barely able to hold onto gains Belisarius had made. Loss of manpower due to the plague made further gains nearly impossible.

    IMHO, the plague damage was what made the Byzantines and Sassanids (Persians) such easy opponents for Mohammed’s armies just a few generations later. The number of men available for soldiering dropped 90% from pre-plague numbers, and while it would have recovered some, it would not have reached “normal” in time to meet the Arab armies.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s