First record of quarantine was…


The first recorded instance of quarantine was:
A. 14th century (Plague)
B. 19th century (Cholera)
C. 6th century (bubonic plague)

Recently, my Inns of Court group gave a presentation on the law of Quarantine. Through vignettes set on a BART train, we explored how the ancient law of quarantine is applied to our modern society. We touched on the world history of quarantine, bringing it to our present day and community. The players were Judge Joyce Cram, Ret., Commissioner Don Green, Ret., Nancy Allard, Wally Hesseltine, Kristen Howe, Rodney Marraccini, Lisa Mendes, Jennifer Sommer and myself.

Here is a sample of the interesting information we studied. For an automatic reminder of the next question and answer please subscribe to my blog on my Home Page. See “Receive Free Tips & Updates” in the lower right-hand corner.

The first recorded instance of quarantine was:
A. 14th century (Plague)
B. 19th century (Cholera)
C. 6th century (Bubonic Plague)

• A.D. 549: Byzantine emperor Justinian enacts law to isolate people arriving from plague-infested regions
• A.D. 583: Council of Lyons restricts lepers from associating with healthy people
• A.D. 600: China has well-established policy to detain plague-stricken sailors and visitors who arrive in Chinese ports
• 1179: Third Lateran Council decrees living arrangements for lepers, separating them from society
• 1200: Europe has 19,000 leprosaria to house lepers
• 1300s: Several European and Asian countries begin enforcing quarantines of infected persons by encircling them with armed guards. Those caught escaping are returned, sometimes executed
• 1348: Venice establishes world’s first institutionalized system of quarantine. Council of Three has power to detain ships, cargoes and people for up to 40 days.

Answer: C. 6th century (Bubonic Plague)

Putting aside Quarantine for a minute, Mediation is one of the best ways to resolve disputes. For an experienced Mediator to help negotiate a resolution to your dispute contact Ken Strongman (

Ken Strongman, MediatorAbout the Author: Ken Strongman ( has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator.  He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment.  He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.

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