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The Black Death 1347 and on - - -. The Black Death - Structure Introduction Forms of Disease and Transmission Path of the Plague Recurrences Efforts to.

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Presentation on theme: "The Black Death 1347 and on - - -. The Black Death - Structure Introduction Forms of Disease and Transmission Path of the Plague Recurrences Efforts to."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Black Death 1347 and on - - -

2 The Black Death - Structure Introduction Forms of Disease and Transmission Path of the Plague Recurrences Efforts to stop the Plague Quotes on the Black Death Consequences: Economic Social and Psychological Religious Music and Art

3 Introduction Epidemic Disease Divider betw. Central and late Middle Ages Illustration From the Toggenburg Bible, 1411

4 3 Forms of the Disease  Bubonic Plague. painful lymph node swellings, buboes  Septicemic Plague. also called “blood poisoning”, attacked the blood system  Pneumonic Plague. attacked the respiratory system

5 The Bubonic Plague Painful lymph node swelling, called buboes In groins and armpits Oozing pus and blood Damage to the skin and underlying tissue Dark blotches = acral necrosis  Black Death!

6 The Bubonic Plague A plague victim reveals the telltale buboe on his leg. From a 14 th Century illumination.

7 Symptoms of the bubonic Plague Swellings “egg  apple” Fever of degrees F Headaches and Aching joints Nausea and vomiting (of blood) General feeling of malaise Swellings expanding until they burst  death following soon after Whole process: 3-5 days NB: People who didn’t develop swellings invariably died. People with swellings might have a chance. Mortality Rate : % If 40% of population was getting infected, and 80% of them died = mortality rate of 32%

8 The Pneumonic Plague Second most commonly seen form of the Black Death

9 The Pneumonic Plague  Infected the lungs.  Symptoms:  Slimy sputum tinted with blood (Sputum = saliva mixed with mucus excreted from the respiratory system)  Sputum became free flowing  1-7 days for symptoms to appear  Mortality Rate : 90-95%

10 The Pneumonic Plague Airborne transmission – added to its danger! Through bacteria in droplets of saliva coughed up by sick persons Inhaled by bystanders New infection starts directly in the lungs or throat.

11 The Septicemic Plague Attacked the blood system (Blood Poisoning) Fevers Skin turns deep shades of purple due to DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation)

12 The Septicemic Plague  In its most deadly form, DIC causes a victim’s skin to turn dark purple, almost black = The Black Death.  Victims died the same day symptoms appeared. Mortality Rate : close to 100%. No treatment even today

13 Transmission of the Bubonic and Septicemic Plague Direct contact with a Flea The Bacteria (Yersinia pestis) carried by rodents Fleas infest animals, primarily rats Then move to human hosts The oriental rat flea, Xenopsylla cheopis

14 The Rat Flea The flea drinks rat’s blood The bacteria multiplies inside the flea The flea’s stomach is blocked The flea is very hungry The flea voraciously bites a host = a human The flea is unable to satisfy its hunger The flea continues to feed Infected blood carrying the plague bacteria is flowing into the human’s wound The rat dies The flea dies of starvation The human dies

15 The Path of the Plague Erupted in Gobi Desert, late 1320’s Epidemic in Europe in 6 th century but dormant since then Reached the shores of Italy in 1348 Spread in every direction, primarily westward Lasted 3 years


17 The Path of the Plague Traveled on trade routes and caravans Generally from south to north And east to west Passing through Italy France England Germany Denmark Sweden Poland Finland Greenland

18 Preexisting Conditions War – Civil War in China Little Ice Age at beg. Of 13 th century The Great Famine in Northern Europe Typhoid Epidemic Pestilence, maybe anthrax, hit the animals of Europe in 1318 Unemployment, famine, disease

19 The Path of the Plague The progress of the plague coincides with the medieval trade routes Iceland, North Finland, and North Sweden had no plague Norway 1348 (Oslo, Bergen) Denmark 1348, from Jutland to the islands, and then on to Sweden

20 Recurrences Every 5-7 years Next plague: 1360 = The Pest of the Children Italian Plague Great Plague of Vienna in 1679 Great Plague of London – one of the last major outbreaks Resembles modern day Ebola

21 Efforts to Stop the Plague Cities were hardest hit Isolation – healthy and sick Quarantine Isolation of incoming ships Here: a reproduction of a peasant’s hovel

22 Efforts to stop the Plague Scents - incense and aromatic oils Sound – church bells Sound – cannons Talismans Here: burial in coffins

23 Efforts to stop the Plague Quarantine was the best method Avoiding the sick The wealthy fled to the countryside (Isaac Newton) Pope Clement VI in Avignon sat between two large fires to breathe pure air. The plague bacillus is destroyed by heat, so this worked!

24 The Flagellants Flagellants – self-flogging to atone for sins. Popular after disillusionment with the church’s reaction to the Black Death Outside the Church

25 The Flagellants Christians - and an angry Deity. Bands wandering through towns and countryside Public penance. Inflicted all kinds of punishment upon themselves Sacrifice for the sins of the world – like Jesus

26 The Flagellants Society disapproved Tendency to kill Jews and clergymen who opposed them Condemned by the Pope in 1349 Reappeared in times of plague into the 15 th century

27 Quotes on the Black Death Boccacio: The victims “ate lunch with their friend and dinner with their ancestors in paradise” Samuel Pepys: “Realizing what a deadly disaster had come to them the people quickly drove the Italians from their city… Fathers abandoned their sick sons. Lawyers refused to come and make out wills for the dying. Friars and nuns were left to care for the sick…Bodies were left in empty houses, and there was no one to give them a Christian burial.”

28 Consequences for Populations Approx. 25 million deaths in Europe Between one third and one half of European population died % of villages depopulated 45-75% of Florence died in one year In Venice, 60% died over 18 months

29 Consequences for Population Urban populations recovered quickly Rural populations recovered slowly Friars took a couple of generations to recover Pre-plague population reached in the 1500s or 1600s Later period of Middle Ages was characterized by chronically reduced population

30 Consequences for Population 1348: Gaza: dead Aleppo: 500 dead per day Damascus: 1000 dead per day Syria: total of dead Lower mortality rate in the Middle East of less than one third of population

31 Economic Consequences Shortage of laborers  rising wages for peasants and artisans Valuable artisan skills disappeared Oversupply of goods  prices dropped For the living, standard of living rose! Landlords stopped freeing their serfs  serfs revolting and leaving the land The oppressed demanded fairer treatment

32 Economic Consequences The great equalizer Lack of sufficient law enforcement personnel Promoted lawlessness People tried their luck

33 Religious Consequences Persecutions of the Jews – scapegoats Massacres and burnings By 1351, 60 major and 150 smaller Jewish communities had been exterminated Lepers were also targeted Jews expelled, moved to Poland & Lithuania

34 Religious Consequences Church lost prestige, spiritual authority, leadership Promised cures, treatment, and explanations No answers to the people Revolt against the church Severe shortage of clergy – functioned as nurses and consequently died. The church targeted the Jews for persecution – had killed Jesus and brought sin to the world

35 Music and Art Culture turned morbid Sense of death – impending & inevitable Death is a game, like chess! Dance of death – death is random Everyone suffered Despair

36 Music and Art Danse Macabre = the dance of death: skeletons mingling with the living (here: Hans Holbein the Younger) Shocking juxtapositions Written language almost lost Coffins had pictures of corpses on the lid New creativity in motives

37 The Children Ring a-round the rosy = rosary beads give you God’s help Pocket full of posies = used to stop the odor of rotting bodies through to cause the plague Ashes, ashes! = the church burned the dead when burying became too laborious We all fall down! = dead  Children suffered mentally and physically  Children were not thought worth the trouble to raise!

38 And Now? The bubonic Plague still exists Quite common among rodent populations A cure is known today – but the disease moves very quickly The Plague is still with us Hythe Ossuary, remains of victims of the Black Death

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