ABSTRACT. Given the current context, we have found reviewing the first major pandemic, that is the “Justinian’s Plague”, in terms of the historiographical sources, its occurrence, spreading area, chronology and manifestations not only a revealing, but also an insightful endeavour. We do not intend to insist on the evolution of the research on the topic, but we will outline various aspects related to the plague: occurrence, distribution area and chronology, narrative sources, given that the information about this pandemic comes almost exclusively from the area of narrative sources, with strong subjective overtones. Thereafter, we shall dwell on the effects of the pandemic so as to highlight the fact that a pandemic of the magnitude of Justinian’s plague pinpoints the vulnerabilities of a political and social system, and through its unpredictability and novelty, can destabilize a society politically, socially and economically, while also generating mechanisms of adaptation.

Keywords: Emperor Justinian; plague; pandemic; effects; Church; crisis

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PhD; Reverend Professor at Babeș-Bolyai University,
Faculty of Orthodox Theology;
Cluj-Napoca, Romania

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