Historiographic Surveys

The bibliography on the Justinianic Plague has been burgeoning in recent years. We recommend that readers orient themselves in current arguments by consulting the two main historiographic surveys of the Justinianic Plague:

Covers research on the Justinianic Plague from the mid-19th century to 2000.

Follows Stathakopoulos and covers the more recent developments from 2000-2018.

Selected Scholarly Publications

Dozens of scholarly publications cover the Justinianic Plague; we provide only the most significant developments in scholarly thinking, ordered here chronologically.

  • Biraben, J.-N., and Jacques Le Goff. “The Plague in the Early Middle Ages.” In Biology of Man in History, edited by Robert Forster and Orest Ranum, 48–80. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975.

The article that launched the contemporary research of the Justinianic Plague. Groundbreaking in combining critical research with innovative methodological developments. Invaluable but also introduced biases that continue to plague the field today.

  • Durliat, Jean. “La peste du VIe siècle: pour un nouvel examen des sources byzantines.” In Hommes et richesses dans l’Empire byzantin, edited by Catherine Abadie-Reynal, Cécile Morrisson, and Jacques Lefort, 107–19. Réalités byzantines ; 1. Paris: Lethielleux, 1989.

Durliat was an early skeptic of the mainstream narrative, but his arguments were not well received.

The most significant survey of the Justinianic Plague to date and the most comprehensive catalog.

The result of a conference on the Justinianic Plague. Covers the regional contexts of plague and a significant shift in methodology.

Although considered uncritical by historians, this book was well received among scientists and continues to be cited outside the discipline of history.

The recent most comprehensive maximalist understanding of plague.

An attempt to question the current maximalist interpretation of plague using various independent types of evidence.