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The Black Death


The Black Death 1347 and on - - - The Black Death - Structure Introduction Forms of Disease and Transmission Path of the Plague Recurrences Efforts to stop the Plague ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Black Death

The Black Death
  • 1347 and on - - -

The Black Death - Structure
  • Introduction
  • Forms of Disease and Transmission
  • Path of the Plague
  • Recurrences
  • Efforts to stop the Plague
  • Quotes on the Black Death
  • Consequences
  • Economic
  • Social and Psychological
  • Religious
  • Music and Art

  • Epidemic Disease
  • Divider betw. Central and late Middle Ages
  • Illustration
  • From the
  • Toggenburg
  • Bible, 1411

3 Forms of the Disease
  • Bubonic Plague.
  • painful lymph node swellings, buboes
  • Septicemic Plague.
  • also called blood poisoning, attacked the
    blood system
  • Pneumonic Plague.
  • attacked the respiratory system

The Bubonic Plague
  • Painful lymph node swelling, called buboes
  • In groins and armpits
  • Oozing pus and blood
  • Damage to the skin and underlying tissue
  • Dark blotches acral necrosis ? Black Death!

The Bubonic Plague
  • A plague victim reveals
  • the telltale buboe on
  • his leg. From a 14th
  • Century illumination.

Symptoms of the bubonic Plague
  • Swellings egg ? apple
  • Fever of 101-105 degrees F
  • Headaches and Aching joints
  • Nausea and vomiting (of blood)
  • General feeling of malaise
  • Swellings expanding until they burst ? death
    following soon after
  • Whole process 3-5 days
  • NB People who didnt develop swellings
    invariably died. People with swellings might
    have a chance.
  • Mortality Rate 30-75
  • If 40 of population was getting infected, and
    80 of them died mortality rate of 32

The Pneumonic Plague
  • Second most commonly seen form of the Black Death

The Pneumonic Plague
  • Infected the lungs.
  • Symptoms
  • Slimy sputum tinted with blood
  • (Sputum saliva mixed with mucus excreted
  • from the respiratory system)
  • Sputum became free flowing
  • 1-7 days for symptoms to appear
  • Mortality Rate 90-95

The Pneumonic Plague
  • Airborne transmission added to its danger!
  • Through bacteria in droplets of saliva coughed up
    by sick persons
  • Inhaled by bystanders
  • New infection starts directly in the lungs or

The Septicemic Plague
  • Attacked the blood system (Blood Poisoning)
  • Fevers
  • Skin turns deep shades of purple due to DIC
  • (disseminated
  • intravascular
  • coagulation)

The Septicemic Plague
  • In its most deadly form, DIC causes a victims
    skin to turn dark purple, almost black The
    Black Death.
  • Victims died the same day symptoms appeared.
  • Mortality Rate close to 100.
  • No treatment even today

Transmission of the Bubonic and Septicemic Plague
  • Direct contact with a Flea
  • The Bacteria (Yersinia pestis) carried by rodents
  • Fleas infest animals, primarily rats
  • Then move to human hosts
  • The oriental rat flea, Xenopsylla cheopis

The Rat Flea
  • The flea drinks rats blood
  • The bacteria multiplies inside the flea
  • The fleas stomach is blocked
  • The flea is very hungry
  • The flea voraciously bites a host a human
  • The flea is unable to satisfy its hunger
  • The flea continues to feed
  • Infected blood carrying the plague bacteria is
    flowing into the humans wound
  • The rat dies
  • The flea dies of starvation
  • The human dies

The Path of the Plague
  • Erupted in Gobi Desert, late 1320s
  • Epidemic in Europe in 6th century but dormant
    since then
  • Reached the shores of Italy in 1348
  • Spread in every direction, primarily westward
  • Lasted 3 years

(No Transcript)
The Path of the Plague
  • Traveled on trade routes and caravans
  • Generally from south to north
  • And east to west
  • Passing through
  • Italy
  • France
  • England
  • Germany
  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • Poland
  • Finland
  • Greenland

Preexisting Conditions
  • War Civil War in China 1205-1353
  • Little Ice Age at beg. Of 13th century
  • The Great Famine 1315-1322 in Northern Europe
  • Typhoid Epidemic
  • Pestilence, maybe anthrax, hit the animals of
    Europe in 1318
  • Unemployment, famine, disease

The Path of the Plague
  • The progress of the plague coincides with the
    medieval trade routes
  • Iceland, North Finland, and North Sweden had no
  • Norway 1348 (Oslo, Bergen)
  • Denmark 1348, from Jutland to the islands, and
    then on to Sweden

  • Every 5-7 years
  • Next plague 1360 The Pest of the Children
  • Italian Plague 1629-1631
  • Great Plague of Vienna in 1679
  • Great Plague of London 1665-1666 one of the
    last major outbreaks
  • Resembles modern day Ebola

Efforts to Stop the Plague
  • Cities were hardest hit
  • Isolation healthy and sick
  • Quarantine
  • Isolation of incoming ships
  • Here a reproduction of a peasants hovel

Efforts to stop the Plague
  • Scents - incense and aromatic oils
  • Sound church bells
  • Sound cannons
  • Talismans
  • Here burial in coffins

Efforts to stop the Plague
  • Quarantine was the best method
  • Avoiding the sick
  • The wealthy fled to the countryside (Isaac
  • Pope Clement VI in Avignon sat between two large
    fires to breathe pure air. The plague bacillus
    is destroyed by heat, so this worked!

The Flagellants
  • Flagellants
  • self-flogging to atone for sins.
  • Popular after disillusionment with the churchs
    reaction to the Black Death
  • Outside the Church

The Flagellants
  • Christians - and an angry Deity.
  • Bands wandering through towns and countryside
  • Public penance. Inflicted all kinds of punishment
    upon themselves
  • Sacrifice for the sins of the world like Jesus

The Flagellants
  • Society disapproved
  • Tendency to kill Jews and clergymen who opposed
  • Condemned by the Pope in 1349
  • Reappeared in times of plague into the 15th

Quotes on the Black Death
  • Boccacio The victims ate lunch with their
    friend and dinner with their ancestors in
  • Samuel Pepys Realizing what a deadly disaster
    had come to them the people quickly drove the
    Italians from their city Fathers abandoned their
    sick sons. Lawyers refused to come and make out
    wills for the dying. Friars and nuns were left
    to care for the sickBodies were left in empty
    houses, and there was no one to give them a
    Christian burial.

Consequences for Populations
  • Approx. 25 million deaths in Europe
  • Between one third and one half of European
    population died 1348-1350
  • 25 of villages depopulated
  • 45-75 of Florence died in one year
  • In Venice, 60 died over 18 months

Consequences for Population
  • Urban populations recovered quickly
  • Rural populations recovered slowly
  • Friars took a couple of generations to recover
  • Pre-plague population reached in the 1500s or
  • Later period of Middle Ages was characterized by
    chronically reduced population

Consequences for Population
  • 1348
  • Gaza 10.000 dead
  • Aleppo 500 dead per day
  • Damascus 1000 dead per day
  • Syria total of 400.000 dead
  • Lower mortality rate in the Middle East of less
    than one third of population

Economic Consequences
  • Shortage of laborers? rising wages for peasants
    and artisans
  • Valuable artisan skills disappeared
  • Oversupply of goods ? prices dropped
  • For the living, standard of living rose!
  • Landlords stopped freeing their serfs? serfs
    revolting and leaving the land
  • The oppressed demanded fairer treatment

Economic Consequences
  • The great equalizer
  • Lack of sufficient law enforcement personnel
  • Promoted lawlessness
  • People tried their luck

Religious Consequences
  • Persecutions of the Jews scapegoats
  • Massacres and burnings
  • By 1351, 60 major and 150 smaller Jewish
    communities had been exterminated
  • Lepers were also targeted
  • Jews expelled, moved to Poland Lithuania

Religious Consequences
  • Church lost prestige, spiritual authority,
  • Promised cures, treatment, and explanations
  • No answers to the people
  • Revolt against the church
  • Severe shortage of clergy functioned as nurses
    and consequently died.
  • The church targeted the Jews for persecution
    had killed Jesus and brought sin to the world

Music and Art
  • Culture turned morbid
  • Sense of death impending inevitable
  • Death is a game, like chess!
  • Dance of death death is random
  • Everyone suffered
  • Despair

Music and Art
  • Danse Macabre the dance of death skeletons
    mingling with the living (here Hans Holbein the
  • Shocking juxtapositions
  • Written language almost lost
  • Coffins had pictures of corpses on the lid
  • New creativity in motives

The Children
  • Ring a-round the rosy rosary beads give you
    Gods help
  • Pocket full of posies used to stop the odor of
    rotting bodies through to cause the plague
  • Ashes, ashes! the church burned the dead when
    burying became too laborious
  • We all fall down! dead
  • Children suffered mentally and physically
  • Children were not thought worth the trouble to

And Now?
  • The bubonic Plague still exists
  • Quite common among rodent populations
  • A cure is known today but the disease moves
    very quickly
  • The Plague is still with us
  • Hythe Ossuary, remains of victims of the Black