[Download] Justinian's Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe By William Rosen

Justinian's Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe

By: William Rosen
Narrated by: Barrett Whitener
Length: 11 hours
Release date: May 28, 2007
Rating: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (138 votes, average: 3.50 out of 5)

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The Emperor Justinian reunified Rome's fractured empire by defeating the Goths and Vandals who had separated Italy, Spain, and North Africa from imperial rule. At his capital in Constantinople, he built the world's most beautiful building, married its most powerful empress, and wrote its most enduring legal code, seemingly restoring Rome's fortunes for the next 500 years. Then, in the summer of 542, he encountered a flea. The ensuing outbreak of bubonic plague killed 5,000 people a day in Constantinople and nearly killed Justinian himself.

Weaving together evolutionary microbiology, economics, military strategy, ecology, and ancient and modern medicine, William Rosen offers a sweeping narrative of one of the great hinge moments in history, one that will appeal to readers of John Kelly's The Great Mortality, John Barry's The Great Influenza, and Jared Diamond's Collapse.
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20 Responses to “[Download] Justinian’s Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe By William Rosen”

  1. Darren Ogiba

    Deadly Boring
    I love history and looked forward listening to this story. The title was intriguing. Then the reality hit me: deadly boring. The writer tries to cramp whole centuries in one story and the narrator just spouts fact, figures, names, and places in a monotonous toon. After the first 40 minutes, I tried skipping forward in the hope to reach the real flea story. Didn’t happen. This is the first book, of my 240 books, that I didn’t finish. Not worth my money.

  2. Lincoln Shinn

    Ditto to Deadly Boring
    I had a hard time getting to the end of this. Towards the middle of the second half of book two I decided life was too short to listen to the anatomy of different bacterium, etc. I have a headache.

  3. Andrea Koeppe

    Poor narrative
    This book is WAY… too detailed. The narrative gets lost time and again. Some sections are incredibly boring. I think the author is just trying to show how much he knows.

  4. Walter B.

    This is an insightful and entertaining history of the plague mixed with an insightful telling of the history of Justinian. I think of it as the unexpected intersection of biology and politics. Both are covered in fascinating and always entertaining detail. The author has clearly mastered his subject and he relates his insights with ease and wit.

    This is one of those books that I mark as a must to re-listen.

  5. Theressa Hatch

    Beautifuly Read, Lots of Details
    What made the experience of listening to Justinian’s Flea the most enjoyable?

  6. Mohammed Lagorio

    A portrait of Justinian’s empire
    Rosen goes to extreme lengths to prove that the plague has dramatic impact on the fall of Rome and the subsequent rise of European nation states. I enjoyed the read; however, in classic Rosen fashion, his overall thesis and argument is lost throughout his tangents.

  7. Chi-Hung

    Better than expected
    Although I expected a boring narrative about the plague, this is a far better than expected execution to a fairly straight forward topic, instead of a narrowed down analysis to the plague of 540 ad, the book gave us the whole contextual narrative, the after effects, the long term impact and microorganic history. I am pleased with the execution; The author has managed to make the book interesting.

  8. Thomas

    Not even a flea market book
    First, listen to a sample, I wish I had. If this narrator doesn’t put you to sleep then you have a serious case of insomnia. I suppose in some ways his voice does fit the book, tedious, and profoundly uninteresting. I love history, I read/listen to history books often, quite often. I have never stopped listening to one because I just couldn’t take it anymore, at least not until now. If you are interested in Justinian, or the effects of the plague, find a book that actually talks about them. This book is not among those that do. As for the narrator somebody please buy this guy an inflection (and frankly, yes, I could do it better, much better). As Monty Python once put it so well..”run away..run away.”

  9. Rico Galleno

    Narration kills it
    I keep trying to go back and give it a chance as the topic is interesting to me but the narration is that bad

  10. Matt

    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

  11. Ken

    If you want to know…
    If you could sum up Justinian’s Flea in three words, what would they be?

  12. Carlton Vaci

    I had great expectations of learning anout the history of Europe and the impact of the plague, just as promised in the description..unfortunately, the most interesting connections were made in the short epilogue while the rest of the book was more an endless summary of what roman emperor, general, etc. did what when and how long….maybe I was expecting the wrong thing…this was a tough one to finish, not helped by the reader who has the most monotone voice and did not help convey enthusiasm for the story….

  13. Mardell Alton

    Justinian’s Flea
    This is the worst reader I have come across in the many years I have been purchasing service books!
    Avoid him at all costs.
    Read the book in hard copy, it was interesting.

  14. Chuck Milardo

    Amost interesting book, but…..
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

  15. Lynetta Koscielak

    In Depth
    This is not a book about the plague, but more, a book about how the plague impacted Roman history until the empire’s final end. The author gives incredible detail to the stories behind the actions which brought Y.Pestus to Roman shores. Even if the reader has only a slight knowledge of late Roman history, they will be well supported in their understanding. A good read for the history and plague buff.

  16. Susanna Sterker

    Good Story, Bad Narration
    Would you try another book from William Rosen and/or Barrett Whitener?

  17. mohadcheridi

    well done…
    I’m at a loss to understand why some find that the narrator didn’t do justice to the book… When i first read some of the negative reviews about this narrator i listened to the sample and wasn’t quite sure about him…But after finishing the book i have no hesitation in my judgement : 5 stars…

  18. Clyde Jenderer

    Solid and Interesting History
    Popular history should combine scholarly detail and diverting anecdote while making it clear which is which. The book accomplishes this very well. My only quibble is that, while the author deals with the plague in historical and biological depth, it is not the major focus of the book – which is really an overview of Justinian’s reign and accomplishments.

  19. Bryce Pinc

    The Book Is Good . . .
    . . . but oh my, the narration. Sounds like some sort of smoking cessation tape you put on before falling asleep. At first I thought I’d never make it through to the end. After a half hour, or so, you can get used to the narrator and start enjoying the book. No doubt a 4 to 5 star book, in written form.

  20. Eleanora Z.

    terrible narrator
    the book itself seemed interesting but the narrator was so flat and boring as to make it unlistinable. A complete waste, I reallly wouldn’t recommend it.

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