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Professor Publishes Black Death Encyclopedia

Dr. Joe Byrne, historian and professor in Belmont’s Honors Program, has authored Encyclopedia of the Black Death, published by ABC-CLIO press. Its 300 entries are the culmination of over a decade of his research and writing while on staff at Belmont.

ABC-CLIO press wrote, “Encyclopedia of the Black Death is the first A–Z encyclopedia to cover the second plague pandemic, balancing medical history and technical matters with historical, cultural, social, and political factors and effects in Europe and the Islamic world from 1347–1770. It also bookends the period with entries on Biblical plagues and the Plague of Justinian, as well as modern-era material regarding related topics, such as the work of Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur, the Third Plague Pandemic and plague in the United States. Unlike previous encyclopedic works about this subject that deal broadly with infectious disease and its social or historical contexts, this interdisciplinary work synthesizes much of the research on the plague and related medical history published in the last decade in accessible, compellingly written entries. Controversial subject areas such as whether ‘plague’ was bubonic plague and the geographic source of plague are treated in a balanced and unbiased manner.”

It follows his two monographs on the Black Death (2004, 2006) and the Encyclopedia of Pestilence, Pandemics and Plagues he edited for Greenwood Press (2008). Byrne also is editing a series of historical monographs on “Health and Medicine in Daily Life” for Greenwood Press.