What is the Black Death
Naming of the Black Death
Spreading of the Black Death
Migration of the Black Death
Consequences of the Black Death
WHAT IS THE BLACK DEATH
The Black Death was one of the most devastating
pandemics in human history, It was first struck Europe in
the mid-14th century (1347–50), killing about a third of
Europe's population, an estimated 34 million people. It
probably killed 30-50% of the population of England.
NAMING OF THE BLACK DEATH
• Medieval people called the catastrophe of the 14th century either the
"Great Pestilence"' or the "Great Plague“. Writers contemporary to
the plague referred to the event as the "Great Mortality". Swedish
and Danish chronicles of the 16th century described the events as
"black" for the first time
• Because of a striking symptom of the disease, in which sufferers'
skin would blacken due to hemorrhages under the skin it was called
“The Black Death”
Populations in crisis
• In Europe, the Medieval Warm Period ended sometime towards the end of the
13th century, bringing the "Little Ice Age” and harsher winters with reduced
harvests. In northern Europe, new technological innovations such as the
heavy plough and the three-field system were not as effective in clearing new
fields for harvest as they had been in the Mediterranean because the north had
poor clay soil, and the potato, otherwise ideal for Northern Europe, was an
American crop unknown in Europe at the time.
Food shortages and rapidly inflating prices were a fact of life for as much as a
century before the plague. Wheat, oats, hay and consequently livestock were all
in short supply. Their scarcity resulted in malnutrition, which increases
susceptibility to infections due to weakened immunity. Consistently high fertility
rates, at five or more children per woman throughout Europe, resulted in high
population growth rates and contributed to food shortages. In the autumn of
1314, heavy rains began to fall, followed by several years of cold and wet
The already weak harvests of the north suffered and the seven-year famine
ensued. In the years 1315 to 1317, a catastrophic famine, known as the Great
Famine, struck much of northwest Europe. It was arguably the worst in
European history, reducing the population by perhaps more than 10 percent.
Infection and migration
• The plague disease, generally thought to be caused
by Yersinia pasties, is enzootic (commonly present) in
populations of fleas carried by
ground rodents, including marmots, in various areas
including Central Asia, Kurdistan, Western Asia, Northern
India and Uganda.
• In October 2010, medical geneticists suggested that all
three of the great waves of the plague originated in China.
In China, the 13th century Mongol conquest caused a decline
in farming and trading. However, economic recovery had
been observed in the beginning of the 14th century. In the
1330s a high frequency of natural disasters and plagues led
to widespread famine, starting in 1331, with a deadly plague
arriving soon after.
• There appear to have been several introductions into Europe. It
reached Sicily in October 1347 carried by twelve Genoese
galleys, where it rapidly spread all over the island.
• Galleys from Caffa reached Genoa and Venice in January 1348, but it
was the outbreak in Pisa a few weeks later that was the entry point
to northern Italy.
• Towards the end of January, one of the galleys expelled from Italy
arrived in Marseille.
• From Italy, the disease spread northwest across Europe, striking
France, Spain, Portugal and England by June 1348, then turned and spread east
through Germany and Scandinavia from 1348–50.
• Finally it spread to north-western Russia in 1351. The plague spared some parts
of Europe, including the Kingdom of Poland and isolated parts of Belgium and
• Contemporary accounts of the plague are often varied or imprecise.
The most commonly noted symptom was the appearance
of buboes in the groin, the neck and armpits, which oozed pus and
bled when opened.
• Other symptoms were fever, vomiting, sneezing and coughing
• The lucky people died in a day or 2 ,others suffered for 5 to 6 days
or maybe more
Causes of the black death
• In 1894, during an outbreak of disease in Hong Kong and India known as
the Third Pandemic, bacteriologists Alexander Yersin and Shibasaburo Kitasato,
working independently of each other, identified the bacteria that caused plague.
• This bacterium came to be called Yersinia pestis, when Yersin showed it to be
the causative agent of the plague in India.
• Working backwards, Yersin determined that plague was the cause of the Black
Death as well, due to the medieval records of large tumours.
• Yersinia Pasties is usually transmitted from rodent to flea to rodent. Humans
are normally only targeted by fleas when there are no rodents left. When a flea
bites a healthy rodent, the blood from the rodent goes directly to the flea's
stomach, easing hunger.
• But when a flea bites a rodent infected with Y. Pasties, the bacterium-riddled
blood gets stuck in the flea's foregut. The bacteria will grow, engorging the flea.
• The flea constantly feels hungry because nothing is getting to its stomach. In
response to hunger pangs, the flea feeds greedily on more rodents. It spreads
the disease by regurgitating the infected blood into healthy rodents. When the
rats start to die off, fleas swarm the remaining rodents. Finally, when all the
rats have died, the fleas turn to people.
WHAT PEOPLE THOUGHT
People in medieval England had no idea about germs. They had their
• Some people thought it was an act of God and their whole life was
• Some people thought it was a curse if an evil spirit
• Others blamed the poor and Jews as they thought that they
In the time of the black death too many people died. Actually half of the
population of England died….
• It took the king and rich people time to release that it could effect
them too till Princess Joan , the daughter of the king died
In the Black Death too many people died which actually made
life better for the survivors in different ways…
• Before the Black Death poor people were forced to do
everything without anything in return but after the black
death they could ask for extra wages and better treatment
• It speeded up the break down of the feudal system which
was introduced by King William I and peasants had more
After that came Wat Tyler and people which made revolts and
too many events happened and it led up to peasants revolt
which was ended and the poor people became under the
control of the lords again….
Plague travels the south of England.
Plague hits London
Parliament decided to stop meeting
Plague spreads into east Anglia, coast, whales
Plague hits North and Ireland
The scots raid Durham while England is weak
The plague hits Scotland and eases of in
Plague comes back
Population started to rise again