In 541 AD, the alleged “Plague of Justinian” was said to have ‘appeared suddenly’ in Egypt and then it “spread” to Alexandria. According to the manipulated historical records, it severely affected the Sasanian Empire and the Byzantine Empire, especially Constantinople with an estimated death toll of 15 to 100 million in total. However, we know that viruses and plagues does not exist, that it is pseudo-science of the worst kind — and the “historians” and “scientists” supporting this false narrative also forgot to tell you that in the years previous to this “outbreak” there had been multiple volcanic eruptions with heavy pollution all over Europe and north Africa, with some of the coldest years in over a thousand years. Actually, some climate historians refer to 536 AD as the ‘Volcanic winter of 536,’ and the beginning of famine was recorded in the Annals of Inisfallen of 536 AD. As a result, western China had the first recorded snow in history. In the following years, as recorded in Annals of Tigernach in 538, and the Annals of Ulster in 539, famine grew rampant all over Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa.
Also, in 540 AD, ‘global environmental cooling’ was said to have been recorded as an aftermath of the volcanic eruptions and other eruptions in Central America and on Iceland, as evidenced by global tree ring growth diminution and Swiss ice core points.
In other words, people were starving and much of the food supply was polluted, as in poisoned. There was no “contagious plague,” there was starvation, pollution, poisoning, and fear-induced mental trauma from the extreme weather, the lack of food and from a lot of rioting and plunder.
As a result of the ongoing famine, there were raids and civil unrest brewing in many places all over Europe. Belisarius who conquered Italy was recalled by Emperor Justinian to handle such a situation in Armenia.
In the Ostrogothic lands, Totila was elected king by the nobles after the death of his uncle Ildibad. He won the support of the lower classes by liberating slaves and distributing land to the peasants, a very strategic move which helped with the famine situation.
In Persia, King Khosrau I, jealous of Justinian’s victories in the West, received an embassy from Totila and the Ostrogoths at Ctesiphon, urging him to act before the Byzantines would become too powerful. As a result, Khosrau I broke the Eternal Peace Treaty after only eight years.
This led to the ‘Lazic War,’ also known as the ‘Colchidian War’ or in Georgian historiography as the ‘Great War of Egrisi.’ In short, it was a war between the Byzantine Empire and the Sasanian Empire for control of the ancient Georgian region of Lazica.
Lazica was situated on the eastern shore of the Black Sea, and controlled important mountain passes across the Caucasus and to the Caspian Sea. It had a key strategic importance for both the Sasanian and Byzantine empires. For the Byzantines, it was a barrier against a Persian advance through Iberia to the coasts of the Black Sea. Persians on the other side hoped to gain access to the sea, and control a territory from which Iberia, which was by now under their firm domination, could be threatened.
In 542 AD, the Lazic War escalated as Justinian sent a Byzantine army of roughly 30,000 men into Armenia. The Persians, severely outnumbered, were forced to retreat, but at Dvin the Byzantines were defeated by a mere force of 4,000 men in an ambush.
In Europe, after successfully manipulating King Khosrau to break the Eternal Peace Treaty and attack the Byzantine Empire, the new Ostrogothic king Totila marched towards Italy and scattered the Byzantine forces near Faventia (Faenza,) which marked the beginning of the Gothic reconquest of Italy.
Totila continued down into Tuscany, bypassed Rome, and focused on southern Italy. He captured Beneventum and received the submission of the provinces of Apulia, Lucania and Bruttium. Before the end of the year, Totila besieged the city of Naples in Campania.
Meanwhile, King Childebert I and his brother Chlothar I of the Franks continued their conquests with invading the Visigothic Spain. They captured Pamplona, but failed to capture Zaragoza.
In 543 AD, the Byzantine garrison in Naples surrendered to the Ostrogoths due to famine.
In 544 AD, Emperor Justinian I sent Belisarius back to Italy to fight the Ostrogoths with an inadequate Byzantine force of only 4,000 men and 200 ships. However, Belisarius once again managed to defeat the Gothic army under King Totila, who had besieged the city of Otranto and was taken by surprise. After the retreat of the Ostrogoths from southern Italy, the Byzantines marched towards the city of Rome.
Meanwhile (the Lazic War,) King Khosrau I unsuccessfully attacks the Byzantine fortress city of Dara and the Persians are forced into a stalemate.
In 545 AD, after retreating, King Totila established his military base at Tivoli (Central Italy,) where he began preparations for a campaign to reconquer the region of Latium (as in the City of Rome.)
In Persia (the Lazic War,) King Khosrau I signed a five-year truce with the Byzantine Empire, but war continued to ravage the Caucasus region, especially in Armenia.
In early 546 AD, the Ostrogoths under King Totila besieged Rome and by December 17, after 11 months of siege and an unsuccessful attempt by an outnumbered Belisarius to relieve the city, Rome fell and was sacked. Totila then withdrew to Apulia in southern Italy.
In Europe, Audoin murdered and succeeded Walthari as king of the Lombards. Emperor Justinian sent subsidies to Audoin and encouraged him to fight the Gepids in the Carpathian Mountains. Audoin did as requested and the Lombards became allied with the Byzantines.
In 547 AD, Belisarius drove out the remaining Ostrogoths from Rome, but due to the lack of reinforcements from Constantinople and his troops being starved and his army too small, he was unable to follow the Ostrogoth’s withdrawal to Apulia.
In Austrasia, the north-eastern section of the Kingdom of the Franks, Theudebald, age 13, succeeded his father Theudebert I after a reign of 14 years.
In Britain, according to the Historia Brittonum, King Ida established the kingdom of Bernicia. He built the Bamburgh Castle (northeast England) as a fortress that would become the seat of later Anglo-Saxon kings.
In 548 AD, Justinian’s wife, Empress Theodora I, died at age 48. Her body was buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles (Constantinople.)
Also, Emperor Justinian relieved Belisarius from military service, in favor of 70-year-old Byzantine general Narses.
In Europe, King Theudis of the Visigoths was assassinated, and Theudigisel, the Visigothic general, proclaimed himself ruler.
In 549 AD, after Belisarius had returned to Constantinople by the order of Justinian to enjoy his retirement, the Ostrogoths under Totila besieged Rome for the third time. Totilia offered a peace agreement, but it was rejected by Emperor Justinian I.
As a response to Justinian, Totila conquered the city of Perugia (Central Italy) and took bishop Herculanus prisoner. Totila ordered his soldiers to have the bishop completely flayed as a warning to Justinian. However, during the flaying, one of the soldiers showed mercy and had Herculanus decapitated.
In Europe, the usurper Theudigisel was murdered and Agila I became the new king of the Visigoths.
In Persia, The Byzantine army under Bessas combined forces with King Gubazes II, and defeated the Persians in Lazica.
In Ireland, the church which later would become the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ossory was founded.
In 550 AD, Emperor Justinian I appointed general Bessas as commander (magister militum) of Armenia, and entrusted him to handle the war in Lazica (Georgia.)
In Italy, the Ostrogoths under king Totila returned from Perugia and recaptured Rome after a long siege. He then continued to the south and plundered Sicily after he subdued Corsica and Sardinia. He also sent a Gothic fleet to raid the coasts of Greece.
Meanwhile, Justinian I sent two Nestorian monks on a mission to Central Asia to spread Christianity in the East.
In northern Europe, as a part of the Swedish prehistory era, the Vendel Period began (Vendeltiden.) It is said to have been an era between the Migration Period and the Viking Age. The name was taken from the rich boat inhumation cemetery at Vendel parish church, Uppland. During this period, Swedish expeditions began to explore the waterways of territories which later became Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.
In Europe, what is now Germany and the Czech Republic, Chararic, the king of the Suevi, converted to Roman Catholicism – and again the Roman Catholic Church deepened their influence over Europe.
Also, around this time, the main redaction of the Babylonian Talmud was completed under Rabbis Ravina and Ashi. The Talmud is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law and theology.
In 551 AD, after the death of Justinian’s cousin Germanus, Justinian appointed Narses as new supreme commander. Narses was then assigned to return to Italy and fight the Ostrogoths. In Salona on the Adriatic coast, Narses assembled a Byzantine army totaling around 30,000 men and a contingent of foreign allies, notably Lombards, Heruls and Bulgars.
As Narses arrived in Venetia, he discovered that a powerful Gothic-Frank army of more than 50,000 men under joint command of the kings Totila and Theudebald had blocked the route to the Po Valley. Narses retreated and used vessels to leapfrog his army from point to point along the coast until he arrived at the capital of Ravenna. He then attacked and crushed a small Gothic force at Ariminum (present-day Rimini.)
During the autumn, the Byzantine fleet of 50 warships destroyed the Gothic naval force. It marked the end of the Gothic supremacy in the Mediterranean Sea.
By summer of 552 AD, Narses crossed the Apennines with his Byzantine army of roughly 25,000 men where he was blocked by a Gothic force under king Totila near Taginae in central Italy. During the ‘Battle of Tahginae,’ Narses used a narrow mountain valley to his advantage and outflanked the Gothic army, utilizing archers and the height on the sides of the pass to kill more than 6,000 Goths, including Totila, before the remnants fled.
Narses then proceeded to Rome where he captured the city after a brief siege.
After the death of Totila, Teia became the last king of the Ostrogoths in Italy.
In Europe, the Lombards under King Audoin defeated the Gepids, and in Ireland, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Meath was established.
In 553 AD, King Teia of the Ostrogoths joined forces with his brother Aligern in Campania to relieve the siege of Cumae. However, Narses laid an ambush and crushed the joined forces. Teia was killed during the two-day long battle while Aligern escaped (but surrendered a few months later.)
This last stand ended the Ostrogothic Kingdom in Italy. The Goths were allowed to peacefully return to their homes and resettle in present-day Austria.
Taking advantage of the Byzantine and Ostrogothic war, the two Frankish-Alemanni dukes, brothers Lothair and Buccelin, crossed the Alps from Germany with a force of 75,000 men. In the Po Valley, they won an easy victory over a much smaller Byzantine force at Parma where they also were joined by remnants of the Gothic armies, bringing the total strength of the invaders to about 90,000 men. Narses marched north to harass the Franks but was not strong enough to engage them in battle.
In Samnium (Southern Italy) the brothers divided their forces. Lothaire went down the east coast and then returned to the north to spend the winter in the Po Valley. Buccelin followed the west coast into Calabria, where he spent the winter while his army was seriously wasted by attrition warfare and starvation.