Black death


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  • Dead Bodies being collected in Mersailles, France
  • Doctor w/ primitive gas mask
  • Mass grave of plague victims uncovered on an island near Venice, Italy
  • Same mass grave
  • Exhumed skull of possible vampire in Italy, jaw forced open with a brick
  • Jews being burned alive, German manuscript
  • Jews being burned alive
  • Pieter Brughel’s “March of Death”
  • Black death

    1. 1. Chapter 10: Europe in the Middle Ages: A.D. 1000-1500 The Black Death
    2. 2. Black Death..cont• Black Death: Outbreak of bubonic plague that struck Europe from 1347 through 1351.• It was the first cycle of European plague epidemics that continued until the early 18th century• The term Black Death is not used to describe the plague until much later in history.
    3. 3. Black Death..cont• The exact origin of where the Black Death originated from is debatable, however most historians believe the black death originated somewhere in Asia• The plague had spread west into the Middle East via trade routes west from China• It is believed that Genoese & Venetian traders brought it to Europe from Egypt in 1347• Or brought from the Black Sea port of Caffa
    4. 4. Black Death…cont• Italy: The first Western European country the Black Death reached• The Black Death was carried by rodents, in particular the fleas on rodents, and then transmitted to humans
    5. 5. Black Death..cont• Contemporary doctors and theologians believed there were two main causes of the Black Death• 1) Imbalance of the body’s humors, fluids• Emotional, dietary, or external factors like noxious orders could result in sickness, death• Individuals were to eat moderately & avoid anything that
    6. 6. Black Death..cont• 2) God’s judgement on a sinful humanity• Flagellants: Term for those who would ritually beat themselves as penance for their own & others’ sins• These flagellants would hold processions through towns that lasted as long as 33 days, each day representing one year in the life
    7. 7. Black Death..cont• Overall, European population declined by about 1/3, an estimated 25 million people died between 1347 & 1352• In many European cities population may have declined by 50% or more• Larger towns declined drastically, as their workforces & merchant classes either died or fled
    8. 8. Black Death..cont• Another effect of the Black Death was the rise of intolerance towards outsiders or non-Christians• Jews were accused of deliberately poisoning the water supply or air, and therefore, many were viciously attacked• Persecutions only ended when the deaths from the plague began to decline
    9. 9. Black Death..cont• The Black Death had a profound influence on the art & music of the time• Many paintings were filled with images related to death, such as skelatons• Grim Reaper: Character who came to symbolize the one who brings death during the Black Death
    10. 10. Economic Effect of the Black Death• Wealth concentrated in the hands of survivors• Wage increases, especially for skilled artisans• Profits for landlords & merchants declined
    11. 11. Black Death..cont• Governments were forced to adjust to the social disruption caused by the plague• Governments attempted to regulate the movement & price of foods & wages• Peasants’ Revolt of 1351: Reaction to the attempt by landlords to collect higher fees from tenant farmers• According to some, the Black Death helped bring the end