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User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Its interesting, but somewhat wandering. The book is more about a specific period of time than it is the plague and Justinian. It is certainly an impressive amount of scholarship on the late Roman Empire, but reads like several sections of several other books that have been brought together. It's not quite a biography of Justinian. It's not quite a history of the plague and its implications. Its not quite a history of the Eastern Roman Empire's battles with the Goths, Persians, or nascent Islam. Though well-written and readable, it overall lacks focus and coherence that one would expect given its title and cover blurb.  

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

I was somehow surprised by this book. I didn't expect to read even about the way a little organism like a bacteria gets to propagate from a flea to a rat an then to a human being.
All this while reading about Justinian's reign and roman history.

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Farree - LibraryThing

I have been putting off reading this since August 15, 2015 (or so), because I wanted a little more coverage of the Roman Empire (and I don't currently have Gibbon in my library). I got that earlier ... Read full review

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User Review  - pbjwelch - LibraryThing

The book's flaws (and successes) have been covered by many former reviewers so let me add just a few notes that may be of interest to someone at some time: For anyone who slept through their world ... Read full review

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User Review  - as85 - LibraryThing

If you want to read a book about Justinian, this book might do - his life, times and accomplishments are well detailed. If you want to read a book about the flea that carries the plague bacillus, you ... Read full review

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User Review  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

Mr. Rosen has assembled a competent examination of the most serious event of the 500's CE. He has good chapters on the Plague and the Architecture of Hagia Sophia, which he examines in great detail ... Read full review

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User Review  - justindtapp - LibraryThing

Justinian's Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe This book is primarily about the reign of Justinian (482-565 A.D.) with the bubonic plague ("The Devil") as a key world-changing component in ... Read full review

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User Review  - JeffV - LibraryThing

While bouncing around throughout the history of the Roman Empire, Justinian's Flea concerns itself mostly with the period from the end of the Western Roman Empire at the hands of Odoacer at 476 CE ... Read full review

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User Review  - romanccm - LibraryThing

This was a really good read- extremely well written and organized. Much of the history was familiar to me from elsewhere, I don't think Rosen breaks new ground here but his synthesis of the cultural ... Read full review

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User Review  - MiaCulpa - LibraryThing

Interesting that I had never heard of Belisaurus, Khosro the great, Narses and the like, even though I'm an eager reader of history. This book is more about history than the plague, which, to be frank ... Read full review


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