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The Black Death.

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1 The Black Death

2 Key questions There are 3 questions that will be asked during the course of the lesson; 1. What is the “Black Death”? 2. What caused the Black Death? 3. What were the consequences? Most people infected lasted no more than 5 days. Only 5% of people with disease lived.

3 The plague arrives Historians think that the plague arrived in England during the summer of During the following autumn it spread quickly through the south west. Few villages escaped. Churchyards were full with bodies. The plague spread quickly during the winter of to the north of England. By 1350, nearly the whole of Britain was infected with the plague. At the end of 1350 nearly two and a half million people were dead! Total death from Black Death 25 million people.

4 Where did the Black Death come from?

5 What were the symptoms of the plague?

6 Black Death Boils develop. Fever could reach 110 degrees.
Odor was really bad from the disease. Body tissue begins to die and you know it. You would begin to smell your own body’s death.

7 Black Death Began to bury bodies. Many people were dying. Buried people in mass graves. Ran out of land to bury. Started to throw dead into rivers and oceans. Polluted the water systems. Finally began to burn the dead bodies. Bodies were pilled on top of one another.

8 What caused the plague? The question that you are probably thinking is this; Q: Who or what caused the Black Death? A: This is your answer! The Oriental Rat Flea!

9 How was the plague transmitted?
We now know that the most common form of the Black Death was the BUBONIC PLAGUE! This disease was spread by fleas which lived on the black rat. The fleas sucked the rat’s blood which contained the plague germs. When the rat died the fleas jumped on to humans and passed on the deadly disease.


11 Cures? Medieval people did not know about germs causing disease. They did not understand that plague was spread by rats and fleas. They thought that people’s bodies were poisoned. If the swellings burst and the poison came out people sometimes survived. It seemed sensible to draw out the poison.

12 Medieval cures The swellings should be softened with figs and cooked onions. The onions should be mixed with yeast and butter. Then open the swellings with a knife. Headaches: Use herbs or flowers like lavender Or sage. Vinegar: used to kill the disease but did not work.

13 Medieval cures Take a live frog and put its belly on the plague sore. The frog will swell up and burst. Keep doing this with further frogs until they stop bursting. Some people say that a dried toad will do the job better. Vomiting: mint or wormwood. Wormwood was a bitter herb. Did not work. Another cure: Burning trash. Did not work.

14 Question How useful do you think these medieval cures actually were? Did they help at all or were they more harmful? Black Death returned to Europe in 1655.

15 The Black Death 1998 In India Black Death was discovered in two villages. 20 people died as the result of the disease. 2003. Eastern Arizona and Western New Mexico. Black Death discovered. 1896 Cause of Black Death discovered. In Middle Ages no one knew what caused it.

16 The Black Death Black Death came from China on rats that were in ships. Cities of Florence and Venice were hit the hardest. Cities were in Italy. Eastern Europe not affected. Why? No trade routes existed in that region. Infected fleas would get on goods and were carried by horse or wagon to villages.

17 Black Death Average of 400 people per day died in some areas.
Flagellants: Religious group who went from village to village beating themselves with whips to purge sin from their lives. The open wounds did more to spread the disease.

18 Black Death

19 Black Death Flagellants: Began to blame the Jewish people for the plague. Flagellants went for town to town beating, killing and burning at stakes all Jewish people they came in contact with, men, women and children. Flagellants: Brought fear to all people they came in contact with.

20 Black Death Flagellants went to German town named Strauss berg and killed entire population of Jewish people. No one was exempt from the Flagellants. In 1620, both religious and civil authorities stopped them.

21 Black Death Remember “Ring around the rosy a pocket full of poesies.
People would wear flowers on them to keep down the smell of death. People would not bathe for up to 6 months. Afraid that bathing would attract the disease. Also did blood letting or used leaches.

22 Blood Letting

23 Leech

24 The Black Death Do you remember the old children’s rhyme
“Ring around the Rosie a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes all fall down?” This deals with the Black Death. The ring was around the infection, posies were used to smell instead of smelling death, ashes used to be a chew because of the sneezing

25 The Black Death You usually died or all fall down.
Doctors would wear a hood that looked like a birds head. Reason: kept flowers or herbs in the beak to keep out the smell of rotting flesh. Doctors believed: If you looked at a dying person, you would contact the disease. Would place a red colored class in the eye area.

26 Black Death 1300 60 to 75 million population “Little Ice Age”
1347 Sicily Many died within 24 hours Within 5 years 25 million dead

27 Black Death cont. No one knew why Response of the people Caused by
Religious Smells Brick up homes Caused by Fleas on Rats

28 Results of Black Death Fewer people to work on manors so peasants asked for higher wages. Peasants left villages to work at other places. Gave more freedom to peasants. The plague gave way to the growth of guilds or unions. Serfdom was on the way out.

29 Black Death Lords and ladies had to work their own land.
Quote: “the smell of death was all over Europe.”

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