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The historian, Barbara Tuchmann wrote in her book, The Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14c, that, when the gap between the ideal and the real [in a society]

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Presentation on theme: "The historian, Barbara Tuchmann wrote in her book, The Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14c, that, when the gap between the ideal and the real [in a society]"— Presentation transcript:

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2 The historian, Barbara Tuchmann wrote in her book, The Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14c, that, when the gap between the ideal and the real [in a society] becomes too wide, the system breaks down. We will assess the validity of this thesis by analyzing the major political, economic, social, and intellectual forces that contributed to a breakdown of society in the late 14c and early 15c.

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4 The Culprits Oriental Rat Flea

5 The Famine of  By 1300 Europeans were farming almost all the land they could cultivate.  A population crisis developed.  Climate changes in Europe produced three years of crop failures between because of excessive rain.  As many as 15% of the peasants in some English villages died.  One consequence of starvation & poverty was susceptibility to disease.

6 1347: Plague Reaches Constantinople!

7 The Symptoms Bulbous Septicemia Form: almost 100% mortality rate.

8 From the Toggenburg Bible, 1411

9 Lancing a Buboe

10 The Disease Cycle Flea drinks rat blood that carries the bacteria. Flea’s gut clogged with bacteria. Bacteria multiply in flea’s gut. Flea bites human and regurgitates blood into human wound. Human is infected!

11 Medieval Art & the Plague

12 Effect on Art and Music People's attitudes towards music and art changed as they began to see the depression surrounding them. The horrific nature of the Black Death was reflected in the realistic depictions of human suffering and carnage as well as the symbolic use of the skeleton.

13 Medieval Art & the Plague Bring out your dead!

14 Medieval Art & the Plague An obsession with death.

15 Boccaccio in The Decameron The victims ate lunch with their friends and dinner with their ancestors.

16 The Danse Macabre

17 Macabre Word History: The word macabre is an excellent example of a word formed with reference to a specific context that has long since disappeared for everyone but scholars. Macabre is first recorded in the phrase Macabrees daunce in a work written around 1430 by John Lydgate. Macabree was thought by Lydgate to be the name of a French author, but in fact he misunderstood the Old French phrase Danse Macabre, "the Dance of Death," a subject of art and literature. In this dance, Death leads people of all classes and walks of life to the same final end. The macabre element may be an alteration of Macabe, "a Maccabee." The Maccabees were Jewish martyrs who were honored by a feast throughout the Western Church, and reverence for them was linked to reverence for the dead. Today macabre has no connection with the Maccabees and little connection with the Dance of Death, but it still has to do with death.

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19 Its Origins If the plague had just stayed in one city, the containment might have spared Europe. Unfortunately, the plague spread when people fled to other cities. It is believed the plague originated in Asia, and moved west with Mongol armies and traders. The plague traveled on trade routes and caravans. Its path of death was generally from south to north and east to west passing through Italy, France, England, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Finland, and eventually reaching Greenland.

20 Attempts to Stop the Plague A Doctor’s Robe “Leeching”

21 Attempts to Stop the Plague Flagellanti: Self-inflicted “penance” for our sins!

22 Attempts to Stop the Plague Pograms against the Jews “Jew” hat “Golden Circle” obligatory badge

23 Death Triumphant !: A Major Artistic Theme

24 A Little Macabre Ditty “A sickly season,” the merchant said, “The town I left was filled with dead, and everywhere these red flies crawled upon the corpses’ eyes, eating them away.” “Fair make you sick,” the merchant said, “They crawled upon the wine and bread. Pale priests with oil and books, bulging eyes and crazy looks, dropping like the flies.”

25 A Little Macabre Ditty (2) “I had to laugh,” the merchant said, “The doctors purged, and dosed, and bled; “And proved through solemn disputation “The cause lay in some constellation. “Then they began to die.” “First they sneezed,” the merchant said, “And then they turned the brightest red, Begged for water, then fell back. With bulging eyes and face turned black, they waited for the flies.”

26 A Little Macabre Ditty (3) “I came away,” the merchant said, “You can’t do business with the dead. “So I’ve come here to ply my trade. “You’ll find this to be a fine brocade…” And then he sneezed……….!

27 The Mortality Rate 35% - 70% 25,000,000 dead !!!

28 Question 1 What were the political, economic, and social effects of the Black Death?? At the end include how you are affected by the information you learned. Question 2 Is the following thesis true, does it apply? “when the gap between the ideal and the real [in a society] becomes too wide, the system breaks down.”


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