TIL that the first major wave of the bubonic plague was the Justinianic plague of 541-547 A.D. It is named after the Byzantine emperor at the time; Justinian I. The disease killed 20% of the imperial capital and the ensuing pandemic is believed to have killed 25%-60% of Europe’s population.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plague_of_Justinian?pissant

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  1. That pandemic is credited with being the killing blow to the serfdom system.

    Afterward, due to the scarcity of laborers, farmers who had been serfs(slaves in all but name) were able to barter with their Noble Lords for better wages and better conditions. Or they’d just up and go work for a different Lord. There was an abundance of farmland that needed tending and not enough farmers to go around.

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