The search for the origin of the black plague

ShareCompartir A person wearing a hat, a mask suggestive of a bird beak, goggles or glasses, and a long gown. The clothing identifies the person as a "plague doctor" and is intended as protection. Descriptions indicate that the gown was made from heavy fabric or leather and was usually waxed. The beak contained pungent substances like herbs or perfumes, thought at the time to purify the air and helpful in relieving the stench.

The search for the origin of the black plague

The number of deaths was enormous, reaching two-thirds or three-fourths of the population in various parts of Europe. It has been calculated that one-fourth to one-third of the total population of Europe, or 25 million persons, died… Origin and incidence Having originated in China and Inner Asia, the Black Death decimated the army of the Kipchak khan Janibeg while he was besieging the Genoese trading port of Kaffa now Feodosiya in Crimea With his forces disintegrating, Janibeg catapulted plague-infested corpses into the town in an effort to infect his enemies.

It reached Bristol almost immediately and spread rapidly throughout the southwestern counties of England. London suffered most violently between February and MayEast Anglia and Yorkshire during that summer.

There were recurrences of the plague in —63, —71, —75,and Modern research has suggested that, over that period of time, plague was introduced into Europe multiple times, coming along trade routes in waves from Central Asia as a result of climate fluctuations that affected populations of rodents infested with plague-carrying fleas.

Oriental rat fleaOriental rat flea Xenopsylla cheopisprimary vector for the transmission of the bacterium Yersinia pestis between rats and humans. Towns, where the danger of contagion was greater, were more affected than the countryside, and within the towns the monastic communities provided the highest incidence of victims.

Even the great and powerful, who were more capable of flight, were struck down: Canterbury lost two successive archbishops, John de Stratford and Thomas Bradwardine; Petrarch lost not only Laura, who inspired so many of his poems, but also his patron, Giovanni Cardinal Colonna. The papal court at Avignon was reduced by one-fourth.

Whole communities and families were sometimes annihilated. A cessation of wars and a sudden slump in trade immediately followed but were only of short duration. A more lasting and serious consequence was the drastic reduction of the amount of land under cultivation, due to the deaths of so many labourers.

This proved to be the ruin of many landowners. The shortage of labour compelled them to substitute wages or money rents in place of labour services in an effort to keep their tenants.

There was also a general rise in wages for artisans and peasants.

Consequences

These changes brought a new fluidity to the hitherto rigid stratification of society. Black DeathPlague victims during the Black Death, 14th century.

Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine The psychological effects of the Black Death were reflected north of the Alps not in Italy by a preoccupation with death and the afterlife evinced in poetry, sculpture, and painting; the Roman Catholic Church lost some of its monopoly over the salvation of souls as people turned to mysticism and sometimes to excesses.

Anti-Semitism greatly intensified throughout Europe as Jews were blamed for the spread of the Black Death. A wave of violent pogroms ensued, and entire Jewish communities were killed by mobs or burned at the stake en masse.

The economy of Siena received a decisive check.Black Death and The Plague - the plague is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis.

Origin and incidence

The Black Death is one huge plague event (pandemic) in history. Bring fact-checked results to the top of your browser search.

Learn More. Plague. died from plague during the Black Death. Black Death Plague victims during the Black Death, 14th century open-field or woodland) origin, striking individuals and occasionally breaking out in villages and rural areas where Yersinia is kept in a constant.

“Black Death” or the Great Plague.

The search for the origin of the black plague

The second pandemic, widely known as the “Black Death” or the Great Plague, originated in China in and spread along the great trade routes to Constantinople and then to Europe, where it claimed an estimated 60% of the European population (Benedictow, ).

Entire towns were wiped out. “Black Death” or the Great Plague The second pandemic, widely known as the “Black Death” or the Great Plague, originated in China in and spread along the great trade routes to Constantinople and then to Europe, where it claimed an estimated 60% of the European population (Benedictow, ).

Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria known as Yersinia pestis.; Plague has a high fatality rate and has been described for centuries.

In the Middle Ages, plague was known as the "Black Death."It caused the death of 60% of the population of Europe during a pandemic (an epidemic of human disease that has spread through a large .

Black death definition, a form of bubonic plague that spread over Europe in the 14th century and killed an estimated quarter of the population. See more.

Origins Of The Black Death Traced Back To China, Gene Sequencing Has Revealed