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Diffusion: The Black Death in the 1300s Ronald Wiltse September 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Diffusion: The Black Death in the 1300s Ronald Wiltse September 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Diffusion: The Black Death in the 1300s Ronald Wiltse September 2006

2 I. Introduction A. Where we are : 1 We know the facts.

3 I. Introduction A. Where we are : 1 We know the facts. 2 We limit our concern to Europe.

4 I. Introduction A. Where we are : 1 We know the facts. 2 We limit our concern to Europe. 3 We may get bogged down in the details.

5 I. Introduction B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 1 The plague itself and the nature of its transmission

6 I. Introduction B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 2 the general curve of the transmission

7 I. Introduction B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 3 the effects of the plague

8 I. Introduction B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 4 Footnote: recurrences

9 I. Introduction C. Subsidiary issues 1 How do historians determine population? 2 Where are the crowded places?

10 II. Discussion A. Subsidiary issues first: 1 How do historians determine population? ► With one exception, censi are modern phenomena.

11 II. Discussion A. Subsidiary issues first: 1 How do historians determine population? ► Before: historians count hearths, view surviving baptism records.

12 II. Discussion A. Subsidiary issues first: 1 How do historians determine population? ► Therefore, population historians disagree about the statistics.

13 II. Discussion A. Subsidiary issues first: 1 How do historians determine population? ► Population compared with death numbers yields the death rate.

14 II. Discussion A. Subsidiary issues first: 1 How do historians determine population? Thus: Number who died (uncertain) divided by Population (uncertain) equals Death rate

15 II. Discussion A. Subsidiary issues first: 2 Where are the crowded places? ► towns and cities (most people rural; most danger urban)

16 II. Discussion A. Subsidiary issues first: 2 Where are the crowded places? ► towns and cities (most people rural; most danger urban) ► monastaries

17 II. Discussion B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 1 The plague itself and the nature of its transmission ► bacteria spread in two ways—fleas on black rats, breath

18 II. Discussion B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 1 The plague itself and the nature of its transmission ► bacteria spread in two ways—fleas on black rats, breath ► How? Traders, probably

19 II. Discussion B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 1 The plague itself and the nature of its transmission ► death rate: 25-67% ► the case of Florence (50+%)

20 II. Discussion B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 1 The plague itself and the nature of its transmission ► minority view: It was not Yersinia pestis, not spread by rats (cf. Iceland, where there were no black rats, and the difficulty of spread along Silk Route)

21 II. Discussion B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 2 the general curve of the transmission: broader than just Europe and the approaches to Europe

22 II. Discussion B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 2 the general curve of the transmission a. China and the Mongol world ► Outbreak occurred in the 1330s (Hubei Province)...In-depth studies of this are unknown. ►...reached the Black Sea by the Silk Road, specifically the Genoese port of Caffa, in the Crimean Peninsula.

23 Genoese Caffa is modern Stary Krym. (In addition, Mongols besieging Caffa catapulted dead plague victims over the wall). Today the Crimea is an autonomous republic in Ukraine.

24 II. Discussion B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 2 the general curve of the transmission b. Europe bla, bla, bla

25 II. Discussion B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 2 the general curve of the transmission b. Europe bla, bla, bla But notice the interesting maps ▼

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29 II. Discussion B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 2 the general curve of the transmission c. Islam ► Alexandria reached 1347 ► Mecca reached 1349 ► Islamic authorities decided that the best course was to do nothing, because fleeing would be more socially disruptive. ►Apparently, the death rate was similar to that of Europe, i.e., 25-67%

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31 II. Discussion B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 3 the effects of the plague

32 II. Discussion B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 3 the effects of the plague ► General: social unease

33 II. Discussion B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 3 the effects of the plague ► General: social unease (cf. Katrina)

34 II. Discussion B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 3 the effects of the plague Specifically European: ► farmland abandoned, resulting in more food (Why?) ► per acre production increased (Why?)

35 II. Discussion B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 3 the effects of the plague Specifically European: ► fewer workers meant higher wages ► English language gained currency

36 B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 3 the effects of the plague Specifically European: ►Roman Catholic Church’s power weakened ►Reputed effects on subsequent Eastern European history II. Discussion

37 B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 3 the effects of the plague Specifically European: ► social disorder and lasting concern for these inexplicable events ► Boccaccio set his Decameron in1348 ► Ring around the Rosy... II. Discussion

38 B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 3 the effects of the plague Specifically European:...And of course the ever popular II. Discussion

39 B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 3 the effects of the plague Specifically European:...And of course the ever popular ► increased persecution of Jews

40 II. Discussion B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 3 the effects of the plague Islamic effects: ► governments were weakened ► extensive social disruption ► some rural areas completely depopulated

41 II. Discussion B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 3 Footnote : some recurrences ► Italy (30 Years’ War troop movement)

42 II. Discussion B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 3 Footnote : some recurrences ► London (but not on London Bridge)

43 II. Discussion B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 3 Footnote : some recurrences ► Vienna 1679 ► Marseille ► Moscow 1771 ► Bagdad

44 II. Discussion B. What is important for students to know about the plague? 3 Footnote : some recurrences ► Third pandemic began in1855. All continents affected. The plague was especially severe in China and India. ► still endemic in India, rare in Europe and the United States

45 Fini* *culi, cula


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