Clysma (Greek: Κλῦσμα, Κλειυσμα) was an ancient city and bishopric in Egypt. It was located at the head of the Gulf of Suez. Clysma was founded or rebuilt by the Roman Emperor Trajan in the second century AD to protect travelers and merchants as it lay at the junction of roads from Sinai, Palestine, and Egypt.

In response to an appeal for aid, in c. 525, Byzantine emperor Justin I had Clysma provide twenty vessels to the king of Ethiopia in his war with the king of Himyar. The Plague of Justinian likely first entered the Eastern Roman Empire through the port of Clysma, and then spread to Pelusium, where it was first reported in mid-July 541.

Clysma in "The Fake Pandemic"[]

Quaestor Tribonian made Clysma his base of operations when he prevented the arrival of the plague predicted by Martinus Paduei. He'd initially wanted Pelusium as his headquarters, until he arrived there and realized Pelusium had no access to the Red Sea.[1]

Peter, the Roman naval commander, was cynical about Tribonian's proposal to shut down sea trade in the fourth, fifth, and sixth indictions (that is the years 540, 541, and 542), as shutting down trade would kill the town. Tribonian assured Peter that there would be more imperial ships in the Red Sea proper. He also made it clear to Peter that if there was any interference with the communications between Clysma and the imperial ships, he would hold Peter responsible.[2]


  1. Lest Darkness Fall & Timeless Tales Written in Tribute (second edition), pgs. 388-391, loc. 5085-5122, ebook.
  2. Ibid. pgs. 400-401, loc. 5252-5269.