2The Black Death - Structure IntroductionForms of Disease and TransmissionPath of the PlagueRecurrencesEfforts to stop the PlagueQuotes on the Black DeathConsequences:EconomicSocial and PsychologicalReligiousMusic and Art
3Introduction Epidemic Disease Divider betw. Central and late Middle AgesIllustrationFrom theToggenburgBible, 1411
43 Forms of the Disease Bubonic Plague. painful lymph node swellings, buboesSepticemic Plague.also called “blood poisoning”, attacked the blood systemPneumonic Plague.attacked the respiratory system
5The Bubonic Plague Painful lymph node swelling, called buboes In groins and armpitsOozing pus and bloodDamage to the skin and underlying tissueDark blotches = acral necrosis Black Death!
6The Bubonic Plague A plague victim reveals the telltale buboe on his leg. From a 14thCentury illumination.
7Symptoms of the bubonic Plague Swellings “egg apple”Fever of degrees FHeadaches and Aching jointsNausea and vomiting (of blood)General feeling of malaiseSwellings expanding until they burst death following soon afterWhole process: 3-5 daysNB: 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%
8The Pneumonic PlagueSecond most commonly seen form of the Black Death
9The Pneumonic Plague Mortality Rate : 90-95% Infected the lungs. Symptoms:Slimy sputum tinted with blood(Sputum = saliva mixed with mucus excretedfrom the respiratory system)Sputum became free flowing1-7 days for symptoms to appearMortality Rate : 90-95%
10The Pneumonic Plague Airborne transmission – added to its danger! Through bacteria in droplets of saliva coughed up by sick personsInhaled by bystandersNew infection starts directly in the lungs or throat.
11The Septicemic Plague Attacked the blood system (Blood Poisoning) FeversSkin turns deep shades of purple due to DIC(disseminatedintravascularcoagulation)
12The Septicemic Plague Mortality Rate: close to 100%. 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
13Transmission of the Bubonic and Septicemic Plague Direct contact with a FleaThe Bacteria (Yersinia pestis) carried by rodentsFleas infest animals, primarily ratsThen move to human hostsThe oriental rat flea, Xenopsylla cheopis
14The Rat Flea The flea drinks rat’s blood The bacteria multiplies inside the fleaThe flea’s stomach is blockedThe flea is very hungryThe flea voraciously bites a host = a humanThe flea is unable to satisfy its hungerThe flea continues to feedInfected blood carrying the plague bacteria is flowing into the human’s woundThe rat diesThe flea dies of starvationThe human diesThe Rat Flea
15The Path of the Plague Erupted in Gobi Desert, late 1320’s Epidemic in Europe in 6th century but dormant since thenReached the shores of Italy in 1348Spread in every direction, primarily westwardLasted 3 years
17The Path of the Plague Traveled on trade routes and caravans Generally from south to northAnd east to westPassing throughItalyFranceEnglandGermanyDenmarkSwedenPolandFinlandGreenland
18Preexisting Conditions War – Civil War in ChinaLittle Ice Age at beg. Of 13th centuryThe Great Famine in Northern EuropeTyphoid EpidemicPestilence, maybe anthrax, hit the animals of Europe in 1318Unemployment, famine, disease
19The Path of the PlagueThe progress of the plague coincides with the medieval trade routesIceland, North Finland, and North Sweden had no plagueNorway 1348 (Oslo, Bergen)Denmark 1348, from Jutland to the islands, and then on to Sweden
20Recurrences Every 5-7 years Next plague: 1360 = The Pest of the ChildrenItalian PlagueGreat Plague of Vienna in 1679Great Plague of London – one of the last major outbreaksResembles modern day Ebola
21Efforts to Stop the Plague Cities were hardest hitIsolation – healthy and sickQuarantineIsolation of incoming shipsHere: a reproduction of a peasant’s hovel
22Efforts to stop the Plague Scents - incense and aromatic oilsSound – church bellsSound – cannonsTalismansHere: burial in coffins
23Efforts to stop the Plague Quarantine was the best methodAvoiding the sickThe 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!
24The Flagellants Flagellants – self-flogging to atone for sins. Popular after disillusionment with the church’s reaction to the Black DeathOutside the Church
25The Flagellants Christians - and an angry Deity. Bands wandering through towns and countrysidePublic penance. Inflicted all kinds of punishment upon themselvesSacrifice for the sins of the world – like Jesus
26The Flagellants Society disapproved Tendency to kill Jews and clergymen who opposed themCondemned by the Pope in 1349Reappeared in times of plague into the 15th century
27Quotes 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.”
28Consequences for Populations Approx. 25 million deaths in EuropeBetween one third and one half of European population died25% of villages depopulated45-75% of Florence died in one yearIn Venice, 60% died over 18 months
29Consequences for Population Urban populations recovered quicklyRural populations recovered slowlyFriars took a couple of generations to recoverPre-plague population reached in the 1500s or 1600sLater period of Middle Ages was characterized by chronically reduced population
30Consequences for Population 1348:Gaza: deadAleppo: 500 dead per dayDamascus: 1000 dead per daySyria: total of deadLower mortality rate in the Middle East of less than one third of population
31Economic Consequences Shortage of laborers rising wages for peasants and artisansValuable artisan skills disappearedOversupply of goods prices droppedFor the living, standard of living rose!Landlords stopped freeing their serfs serfs revolting and leaving the landThe oppressed demanded fairer treatment
32Economic Consequences The great equalizerLack of sufficient law enforcement personnelPromoted lawlessnessPeople tried their luck
33Religious Consequences Persecutions of the Jews – scapegoatsMassacres and burningsBy 1351, 60 major and 150 smaller Jewish communities had been exterminatedLepers were also targetedJews expelled, moved to Poland & Lithuania
34Religious Consequences Church lost prestige, spiritual authority, leadershipPromised cures, treatment, and explanationsNo answers to the peopleRevolt against the churchSevere 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
35Music and Art Culture turned morbid Sense of death – impending & inevitableDeath is a game, like chess!Dance of death – death is randomEveryone sufferedDespair
36Music and ArtDanse Macabre = the dance of death: skeletons mingling with the living (here: Hans Holbein the Younger)Shocking juxtapositionsWritten language almost lostCoffins had pictures of corpses on the lidNew creativity in motives
37The 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 plagueAshes, ashes! = the church burned the dead when burying became too laboriousWe all fall down! = deadChildren suffered mentally and physicallyChildren were not thought worth the trouble to raise!
38And Now? The bubonic Plague still exists Quite common among rodent populationsA cure is known today – but the disease moves very quicklyThe Plague is still with usHythe Ossuary, remains of victims of the Black Death