Procopius: The Plague, 542

Topics: Black Death, Byzantine Empire, Affect Pages: 2 (446 words) Published: November 17, 2013
Procopius: The Plague, 542 was written by Procopius as an explanation of the plague that struck the Byzantium Empire. Procopius goes into an in-depth explanation of how the plague physically affected the individuals that became ill during the plague as well as how it affected the friends and family of those that became ill that had to take care of them. The writing finishes with the emperor also falling ill during the plague.

Throughout the reading, Procopius did a good job of backing up his assertions with strong evidence. One of the parts of the reading that I thought was well-written was during the author’s explanation of how the plague not only affected those immediately impacted by the plague, but also those that had to take care of people they knew that became ill. While explaining how the plague affected the caretakers of those that fell ill, Procopius states, “For this reason everybody pitied them (the caretakers) no less than the sufferers, not because they were threatened by the pestilence in going near it… but they pitied them because of the great hardships which they were undergoing” 1. When people think of a plague, everyone usually focuses on all of the people that died. In reality, though, plagues also impact the people that are healthy greatly. I believe I liked this quote so much because it really made me see the plague from a different standpoint and provided me with a new outlook on how diseases in general affect more than just the one with the illness.

Another portion of the essay that I found interesting involved how the plague affected the social structure of the empire and the absence of importance of people in many cases. During an explanation of how the plague affected people in general, the author exclaims, “…but afterwards confusion and disorder everywhere became complete. For slaves remained destitute of masters, and men who in former times were very prosperous were deprived of the service of their domestics who were either...
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