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The first recorded outbreak of the Bubonic Plague occurred in Pelusium, an isolated town in the Egyptian province, but soon it moved on to Alexandria. Alexandria was the breadbasket of the Empire, and ships carrying grain (and plague-bearing rats) spread across the Empire. The Plague reached Constantinople to disastrous effect: 25% of the population died. Justinian set up a burial office but even they couldnt keep up with the demand. When they ran out of burial land, they started piling corpses into ships and setting them afloat; they even packed them into the guard towers along the wall. So few people survived that when word got out that Justinian had contracted the plague, hope seemed lost... until Theodora stepped up. She had always been a force within the Empire, Justinian's co-regent, and now she used that power to fight off the plots against him and keep the Empire together. She dealt ruthlessly with anyone who threatened them, and since many people wanted Belisarius installed on the throne as Justinian's heir, she recalled him and pushed him out of power. She managed to keep the Empire from disintegrating into Civil War and became the symbol of hope and perserverance for a sorely demoralized city. And then, miraculously, Justinian pulled through.
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Tagged under: Justinian,Emperor Justinian,Empress Theodora,Theodora,Saint Theodora,Justinian Theodora,Byzantine Empire,Roman Empire,Eastern Roman Empire,Eastern Rome,Constantinople,Eastern Empire,Byzantium,Bubonic Plague,Plague,Great Plague,Justinian' Plague,Belisarius,Extra Credits,Extra History,Daniel Floyd,James Portnow
Clip makes it super easy to turn any public video into a formative assessment activity in your classroom.
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* Whiteboard required for teacher-paced activities
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