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The Plague of Thebes (Public Domain)

The Black Death and Beyond: Uncovering the Secrets of Plague's Deadly Legacy (Video)


Plague, one of the deadliest diseases in human history, has a haunting legacy of mass sickness and destruction. It has been responsible for numerous major pandemics that occurred centuries apart, each leaving a lasting impact on the course of human history. The first recorded pandemic of bubonic plague was the Plague of Justinian in the 6th century. This devastating outbreak killed millions of people in just a few years and forever altered the course of human history, leading to significant economic, social, and political changes.

From the rise of international trade that facilitated the spread of germs across continents, to the rapid urbanization that created ideal conditions for disease transmission, the forces that fueled the spread of plagues like the Black Death were deeply intertwined with the forces that drove human progress.  And yet, despite the catastrophic consequences of plague, the search for its causes led to monumental scientific breakthroughs, from the discovery of the bacterium responsible for the disease to groundbreaking advances in medicine, public health, and sanitation. Today, as we continue to grapple with the challenges of pandemic disease, the lessons of plague's turbulent history remain more relevant than ever.

Top image: The Plague of Thebes (Public Domain)

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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