Article on the Justianic Plague
Procopius: The Plague, 542
Pseudo-Dionysius of Tel-Mahre
First, read the three selections linked above, including the short article on the Justianic Plague, excerpts of the writings of the court historian Procopius about the plague, and excerpts of the Pseudo-Dionysius of Tel-Mahre, a Syriac monastic account that describes the plague in the Middle East. Next, in your essay, you will account for the bubonic plague that hit the Byzantine Empire during the rule of the emperor Justinian in the sixth century CE.
In doing so, your essay, address all of the following questions:
1. What were the main symptoms of the bubonic plague? How did it seem to spread and what areas were the hardest hit?
2. How did ordinary people react to the plague? How did authorities such as physicians and government officials attempt to help plague victims, both the living and the dead? What impact did their actions have?
3. What sorts of reasons did people in the sixth century CE use to explain why the bubonic plague occurred? What lessons does this particular outbreak have for us today?
Essays should be generally free of spelling, grammatical, and stylistic errors. They should use complete sentences and paragraphs. A paragraph is comprised of 4-6 sentences. Essays should have an introductory paragraph with a thesis statement that provides the essay’s argument, the main body of several supporting paragraphs that address the questions, and a conclusion that wraps up the essay and refers again to the thesis statement. Essays should be indented at the beginning of each paragraph.
Essays should be typed in 12-point font with a simple, clean font such as Times New Roman. Use 1” inch margins on all sides and double-space the text.
Excluding citations, essays should be a minimum of 1,000 words, or four pages in length. Essays should run no more than a maximum of 1,250 words, or five pages in length.
Essays should provide specific examples and use evidence in answering the questions. This includes citing sources, either with direct quotes or summarized information. As a general rule of thumb, essays should have at least one citation per paragraph. Essays should avoid lengthy or block quotations.
Students should take care to avoid plagiarism. As part of this, and in order to simplify this assignment for students, the use of outside sources is forbidden for this essay. Students should only cite the sources assigned to them in GoView for this essay.
Essays should not use the first person, e.g. I, me, or my.
Source citations should use a commonly accepted citation style such as MLA or Chicago. You should choose one of these citation styles from the outset and use it consistently throughout your essay. For more information on accepted citation styles, please see the General Essay Guideline on the syllabus