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The Black Plague Time Period Scope of Damage Social Disruption.

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Presentation on theme: "The Black Plague Time Period Scope of Damage Social Disruption."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Black Plague Time Period Scope of Damage Social Disruption

2 Black Plague Plague outbreaks common in Europe
Black Death- refers to outbreak of 1347 arguably contributed to anxiety, social tension

3 Outbreak- anonymous account
“Realizing what a deadly disaster had come to them, the people quickly drove the Italians from their city. But the disease remained, and soon death was everywhere. 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, and monasteries and convents were soon deserted, as they were stricken , too. Bodies were left in empty houses, and there was no one to give them Christian burial.”

4 Agnolo di Tura of Siena “The mortality in Siena began in May. It was a cruel and horrible thing. It is impossible for the human tongue to recount the awful truth. Indeed one who did not see such horribleness can be called blessed. The victims died almost immediately. They would swell beneath the armpits and in the groin, and fall over while talking. Father abandoned child, husband wife. None could be found to bury the dead for love or money. And they died by the hundreds both day and night, all were thrown in ditches and covered with dirt. All believed it was the end of the world.

5 Population figures 1100: 48 mill. 1200: 59 mill 1300: 70 mill

6 Mortality rates In five years, 25 million died
1/3 of the population of Europe Paris 800/day Vienna 600/day Pisa 500/day Across Europe death rates from %

7 Map

8 Plague cycle

9 The Culprit

10 Bubonic Plague - by contact
black swelling size of apple under armpit and in groin pus and blood oozes from buboses spreading of boils over body black blotches on skin from internal bleeding severe pain death within 5 days

11 Pneumonic plague - air borne
no bubos or boils fever, spitting of blood coughing and heavy sweating death comes within 24 hours recorded instances of people going to bed well, and dying by morning


13 Cures? No concept of contagion medicine: astrology & humours
lancing boils ineffective flagellation and prayer

14 Flagellants

15 Contemporary account “While the plague was still active and spreading from town to town, men uprose and began a new sect on their own authority. Stripped to the waist, they gathered in large groups and bands and marched in procession through the crossroads and squares of cities and good towns. They formed circles and beat upon their backs with weighted scourges, rejoicing in loud voices and singing hymns. They flogged their shoulders and arms, scourged with iron points so zealously as to draw blood.” (Jean de Venette)

16 Dance of Death Hans Holbein 1538



19 Alphabet of death (Holbein)


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