Tuesday, 10 May 2016 13:48

THE BLACK DEATH

Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)
THE BLACK DEATH The spread of infection:1346-1348 In 1346 an unusually virulent strain of plague inflicts eastern Asia and China. It seems to have elements both of bubonic plague (carried by fleas, particularly those which live on rats) and of the pneumonic variety, in which the plague bacilli are spread on the breath of infected victims. This lethal blend of infection makes its way westwards through Asia during 1347. By the autumn of that year it affects Turkish tribes in the Crimea who are besieging Genoese merchants in a fortified trading post at Caffa (a port now known as Feodisiya). As part of their siege strategy, the Turks engage in one of history's most devastating acts of bombardment. Instead of using their heavy catapults to lob massive stones over the walls into Caffa, they load the siege engines with the corpses of plague victims. The terrified Genoese take to their ships, fleeing south through the Black Sea and home to Europe. Inevitably they take with them the plague. It would have continued its relentless spread westwards without this gruesome event. But the infected cannonballs speed the disease on its way - and provide an incident which has been retold in horror ever since. Sicily is the first part of Europe to be infected. The disease is there by October 1347. The international ports of Genoa and Venice see the symptoms in January 1348. During the rest of that year the disease spreads through most of Europe. The towns are the hardest hit, some much more severely than others. Florence is one extreme case. The suffering of its citizens has remained particularly vivid because Boccaccio, living in the city at the time, describes the horors of Everyday life and death in his introduction to the Decameron. Poisoned wells: 1348-1349 As Europe's citizens succumb in vast numbers to the plague, a rumour spreads that the cause lies in polluted water. The wells, it is said, have been deliberately poisoned by the Jews. The first massacres of Jews occur in France in the spring and summer of 1348. The situation rapidly becomes worse after a Jewish doctor, tortured on the rack at Chillon in Switzerland, says that he has poisoned wells with powder sent to him for the purpose by a rabbi in Spain. Basel burns all its Jews later that month. In November the hysteria spreads to Germany. In town after town during the next nine months, through Germany and up into Flanders, Jews are burnt in their tens of thousands (in addition to those dying anyway of the plague). Jews fleeing from this horror make their way mainly into Poland, where they are protected by the king, Casimir III. He is said to be influenced in the direction of tolerance by Esther, his Jewish mistress. This migration brings into Poland, and subsequently into Russia, large communities of Jews speaking Yiddish - their own version of German, developed in the medieval centuries. Northern Europe: 1348-1350 During 1348 the plague continues its relentless push northwards. It reaches England in the late summer, probably first by means of a ship from Calais which docks at Melcombe Regis in Dorset. A year later a ship from eastern England carries the disease across the sea to Norway. Sweden, in 1350, is the last kingdom to feel the effects. The results everywhere are devastating. As much as a third of Europe's population dies. Economies collapse (though the wages of the survivors rise appreciably), and fear and superstition become prevalent - reinforced by several further outbreaks of plague in subsequent decades. Even including the horrors of the 20th century, the Black Death is Europe's greatest disaster.
Read 845385 times Last modified on Tuesday, 10 May 2016 13:58

Latest from livesfun@meifeng

72596 comments

  • Comment Link Lane Tuesday, 12 December 2017 08:02 posted by Lane

    I blog quite often and I really appreciate your content.
    This great article has really peaked my interest. I am going to bookmark your site
    and keep checking for new information about once a week.
    I opted in for your RSS feed as well.

  • Comment Link Numbers Tuesday, 12 December 2017 07:39 posted by Numbers

    always i used to read smaller articles that as well clear their motive, and that is also happening with this article
    which I am reading now.

  • Comment Link Neal Tuesday, 12 December 2017 07:38 posted by Neal

    Pretty component to content. I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to claim that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Anyway I'll be subscribing in your feeds or even I fulfillment you get right of entry to persistently rapidly.

  • Comment Link Hilda Tuesday, 12 December 2017 07:38 posted by Hilda

    Hi there! This blog post could not be written much better!
    Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept preaching about this. I will send this post to him.
    Fairly certain he's going to have a very good read. I appreciate you
    for sharing!

  • Comment Link Frankie Tuesday, 12 December 2017 07:37 posted by Frankie

    This iss a topic that's near to my heart... Take care!
    Exactly where are your contact details though?

  • Comment Link Bryon Tuesday, 12 December 2017 07:37 posted by Bryon

    Link exchange is nothing else but it is simply placing the other person's
    web site link on your page at proper place
    and other person will also do same in favor of you.

  • Comment Link Shirley Tuesday, 12 December 2017 07:34 posted by Shirley

    Hello, i feel that i saw you visited my blog thus i got here to go
    back the choose?.I am attempting to find things to improve my site!I assume its ok to use a few of your
    concepts!!

  • Comment Link Ricky Tuesday, 12 December 2017 07:31 posted by Ricky

    Every weekend i used to pay a quick visit this web site,
    because i wish for enjoyment, since this this web site conations actually nice funny information too.

  • Comment Link Elissa Tuesday, 12 December 2017 07:29 posted by Elissa

    These are in fact great ideas in about blogging. You have touched some fastidious things
    here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  • Comment Link Coleman Tuesday, 12 December 2017 07:27 posted by Coleman

    Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google,
    and found that it is really informative. I'm going to watch out
    for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future.
    Numerous people will be benefited from your writing.
    Cheers!

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.