1 Gavin Kelly, “Ammianus and the great tsunami,” JRS 94 (2004), 141–67. 2 D. Stathakopoulos, Famine and Pestilence in the Late Roman and Early Byzantine Empire. A systematic survey of subsistence crises and epidemics (London, 2004). 3 For the upper Nilotic regions of east Africa as a reservoir of plague-bearing fleas which transmitted the bubonic virus to the rodent population, crucially to the black rat, see D. Keys, Catastrophe. An Investigation into the Origins of the Modern World (London, 1999), 20–31. 4 K.-H. Leven, “Die ‘justinianische’ Pest,” Jahrbuch des Instituts für Geschichte der Medizin der Robert-Bosch-Stiftung 6 (1987), 137–61. 5 C. Zuckerman, Du village à l'empire. Autour du régistre fiscale d'Aphroditô(Paris, 2004), 189–212, basing his argument on figures for annona deliveries from Egypt during the early 540s. 6 H. D. Colt, Excavations at Nessana I (London, 1962), 168 no. 80, 179–81 nos. 112–14; C. E. M. Clucker, The City of Gaza in the Roman and Byzantine Periods (Oxford, 1987), 124–7 nos. 9–11; cf. SEG 28, 1393 (Oboda), and 38, 1602, 1607, and 1608 (Rehovot). 7 J.-N. Biraben and J. Le Goff, “La peste dans le Haut Moyen Age,” Annales 24 (1969), 1484–1510 (English translation in R. Forster and O. Ranum, Biology of Man in History [Baltimore, 1975], 48–80). 8 D. Stathakopoulos, “Crime and punishment. The plague in the Byzantine empire 541–749,” in Lester K. Little (ed.), Plague and the End of Antiquity. The pandemic of 541–750 (Cambridge, 2007), 99–118. 9 M. G. Morony, “For whom does the writer write? The first bubonic plague pandemic according to Syriac sources,” in Lester K. Little (ed.), Plague and the End of Antiquity(Cambridge, 2007), 59–86.10 See the articles of John Maddicott and Ann Dooley in Lester K. Little (ed.), Plague and the End of Antiquity (Cambridge, 2007), 171–214 and 215–28.11 Mark Whittow, The Making of Byzantium 600–1025 (London, 1996), 66–8.12 C. Wickham, Framing the Early Middle Ages (Oxford, 2005), 548–9.13 W. Liebeschuetz, The Decline and Fall of the Roman City (Oxford, 2001), 390–2; P. Sarris, Empires of Faith (Oxford, 2011), 158–60.14 J. Durliat, “La peste du sixième siècle. Pour un nouvel examen des sources byzantines,” Hommes et richesses dans l'empire byzantin I (Paris, 1989), 107–19, seeks to minimize the consequences, but his arguments are questioned by J.-N. Biraben, in the same volume, 121–5.15 For the evidence of the Life of Theodore of Sykeon, see S. Mitchell, Anatolia II (Oxford, 1993), 122–34.16 D. Stathakopoulos, “The Justinanic plague revisited,” Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 24 (2000), 256–76 (20–25%); P. Allen, “The ‘Justinianic’ plague,” Byzantion 49 (1979), 5–20 (33%); J. A. S. Evans, The Age of Justinian (London and New York, 1996), 160, suggests a halving of the population of the empire between 500 and 600. All these figures are impressionistic.17 C. Wickham, Framing the Early Middle Ages (Oxford, 2005), 508.18 See M. McCormick, “Bateaux de vie, bateaux de mort, maladie, commerce, transports annonaires et le passage économique du Bas-Empire au Moyen-Age,” in Morfologie sociali e culturali di Europa fra tarda antichità e alto medioevo (Spoleto, 1998), 35–122. Further assessments of the plague by Michael Whitby, in Averil Cameron (ed.), The Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East III (Princeton, 1995), 92–9; M. Meier, Das andere Zeitalter Justinians (Göttingen, 2003), 321–40, 373–87; L. Conrad, “Epidemic disease in central Syria in the late sixth century,” Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 18 (1994), 12–58; P. Hordern, “Mediterranean plague in the age of Justinian,” in M. Maas (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Justinian (Cambridge, 2005), 134–60; and the articles in Lester K. Little (ed.), Plague and the End of Antiquity (Cambridge, 2007).19 Procopius, Bell. Vand. 4.14.5–6; cf. John Lydus, de ostentis 9.20 D. Keys, Catastrophe, 343–57. Keys' book has been predictably criticized for attempting to explain too much (the origins of the modern world, no less). Many of his inferences are highly speculative, but the central points relating to the climatic catastrophe appear to be sound. A. Arjava, “The mystery cloud of 536 CE in the Mediterranean sources,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 59 (2005), 73–94, unconvincingly argues that the cloud was a damp mist, localized to Europe.21 Full references for these and other catastrophes in M. Meier, Das andere Zeitalter Justinians (Göttingen, 2003), 656–70.22 M. Meier, “Die Erdbeben der Jahre 542 und 554 in der byzantinischen Überlieferung,” ZPE 130 (2000), 287–95.23 M. Meier, Das andere Zeitalter Justinians (Göttingen, 2003), 261–73.24 See the administrative documents from Ravenna published in Papyri Italiae dating between 552 and the second quarter of the seventh century.25 See the analysis of P. Sarris, Economy and Society in the Age of Justinian (Cambridge, 2006), 200–27.26 S. J. B. Barnish, “Transformation and survival in the western senatorial aristocracy c. AD 400–700,” Papers of the British School at Rome 56 (1988), 120–55.27 Averil Cameron, Corippus, Ioanni. D. Pringle, The Defences of Byzantine Africa from Justinian to the Arab Conquest I (Oxford, 1981), 33ff. compares the evidence of Corippus and Procopius.28 A. H. M. Jones, Later Roman Empire I (Oxford, 1964), 292 and 313.29 G. Greatrex, Rome and Persia at War 502–532 (Liverpool, 1998).30 J. Howard-Johnston, “The two great powers in late antiquity,” in Averil Cameron (ed.), The Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East III (Princeton, 1995), 180–203.31 Michael Whitby, “The Persian king at war,” in E. Dabrowa (ed.), The Roman and Byzantine Army in the East (Krakow, 1994), 227–63.32 P. Pourshariati, Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire. The Sasanian–Parthian confederacy and the Arab conquest of Iran (London, 2009), stresses the power of leading non-Sassanian families within the Iranian aristocracy, and the enduring influence of the Arsacid (Parthian) dynasty, which destabilized the central régime and eventually undermined Iran in the face of the Arab invasions.33 G. Fowden, Empire to Commonwealth (Princeton, 1993), 29–34.34 Z. Rubin, “The reforms of Khusro Anushirwan,” in Averil Cameron (ed.), The Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East III (Princeton, 1995), 227–97; see also P. Pourshariati, Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire (London, 2009), 83–117.35 Averil Cameron, Procopius (London, 1985), 161–70, draws attention to the detailed local knowledge displayed by Procopius in the narrative of events in Mesopotamia and Syria from 540–2, and argues that the historian was present for much of them in person. There is a very brief summary in Evagrius 4.25.36 W. Liebeschuetz, “The defences of Syria in the sixth century,” in Studien zu den Militärgrenzen Roms II (Cologne, 1977), 487–99.37 Procopius, Bell. Pers. 2.4, 20.1–16; E. K. Fowden, The Barbarian Plain between Rome and Iran(California, 1999), 133–4.38 M. Meier, Das andere Zeitalter Justinians (Göttingen, 2003), 313–20.39 A. Kaldellis, Procopius of Caesarea (Philadelphia, 2004), 205–9.40 Procopius, Bell. Pers. 2.11; Evagrius 4.26 claims to have witnessed the miracle of the Cross as a small child attending school there.41 Procopius, Bell. Pers. 2.15.1–13; cf. 2.28.27–28 for the dependence of the Lazi on the import of salt and other products. D. Braund, Georgia in Antiquity (Oxford, 1994), 292–5, suggests that Procopius exaggerates both the extent of Roman outrages and the behavior of their commander, John Tzibous, and the poverty of the region. But Lazica at this time may have been afflicted by the catastrophic crop failures of this period.42 See the shrewd analysis of the situation in Lazica by P. Sarris, Empires of Faith (Oxford, 2011), 153–7; further detail in D. Braund, Georgia in Antiquity (Oxford, 1994), 268–314.43 Details and discussion in E. Winter and B. Dignas, Rom und das Persereich (Berlin, 2002), 164–77, and in the English version of this study, Rome and Persia in Late Antiquity (Cambridge, 2007), 138–48.44 Theophylact 3.9.10; Theophanes, Chron. for the year 664.45 B. Isaac, “The army in the late Roman East,” in Averil Cameron (ed.), The Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East III (Princeton, 1995), 125–55 at 127–9.46 Michael Whitby, “Arzanene in the late Sixth Century,” in S. Mitchell (ed.), Armies and Frontiers in Roman and Byzantine Anatolia (Oxford, 1983), 205–18.47 Michael Whitby, “The Persian king at war,” in E. Dabrowa (ed.), The Roman and Byzantine Army in the East (Krakow, 1994), 227–63.48 Michael Whitby, “Recruitment in the Roman armies,” in Averil Cameron (ed.), The Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East III (Princeton, 1995), 81–3.49 For an account of the appearance of the Turks in this region see Theophylact 7.7.6–9.12.50 D. Braund, Georgia in Antiquity, 311–14.51 For the usurpation of Bahram-i Chubin, see P. Pourshariati, Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire (London, 2009), 123–6 and 397–414.