2What was the Black Death? Oh God, what terrible disease has arrived at my village? We are all sick with swellings and fever. The lucky ones are those that die, for who can survive this illness and be left to pick up the pieces of this mad world. Surely God is listening to my prayers. I am writing this in hope you heed my warning and remove yourself from all mankind. I am dying… and you may be next…Press play to listen to this text.
5How did the plague spread? There were two types of plague:1.) Bubonic plague was the more common and was carried in the bloodstream of rats. Fleas bit the rats and became infected. They then hopped onto other rats or humans, bit them and passed on the disease.2.) Pneumonic plague was less common, but more deadly. It was caught by breathing in the germs released when an infected person coughed or sneezed.
6What did people believe caused the plague? “In the month of August 1348, after the evening sun began to set, a very bright star appeared above Paris … The star seemed much nearer the earth than stars usually are … it seemed to me … that the star stayed in one place … At last darkness fell. Then to the amazement of all of us, the star split up into many different rays. It shed these rays towards the east, over Paris. The star then completely disappeared.”Description of the plague reaching France by Jean de Venette, friar.What does this source tell you about how people thought the plague began? Why did many people blame God?
7What did people believe caused the plague? Sent by God to punish them for their sins.The movements of the planets.Being close to infected people.Bad smells.
8What were the causes? Look at sources F to J on page 120: Make a list of all the different causes of plague you can find in these sources.Why do you think there were so many different explanations of the causes of the Black Death?Which explanation came closest to the real cause of the Black Death?