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Black Death Essay

2511 words - 10 pages

One could only imagine the fear the people in Europe experienced after learning of so many deaths across the land. Hearing of an illness heading towards you, a plague so severe, that it would end up causing a third of the population in Europe to parish. Originating in China in 1347 making its way to Europe in 1348, The Black Death is one of the worlds’ deadliest occurrences in history. The researcher will cover how the illness made its way to Europe, how the Church was effected, and what the doctors thought to be the blame for the illness and their frugal attempts for a cure. The social and economic ramifications of the plague will also be addressed.
During the timeframe of 1333-1345, there were droughts followed by famine in China where numerous deaths occurred. Not only were there crop eating locust but a number of natural disasters were taking place. Both humans and animals suffered together. The rats there, having nothing to eat started moving south into India and stowed away in materials going to market in the Crimea. People died from a mysterious illness there (Martin, S.).
Muslim traders blamed the Christian traders for the deaths. They attacked the trading station at Tama and the Christians retreated to their trading station Kaffa. The Muslims were dying in great numbers and the commanders thought the Christians should suffer too so they began to catapult dead bodies over the walls of Kaffa. The Christian traders would carry the bodies as quickly as they could and throw them into the sea. It became a daunting task and after a couple of days of enduring this, they boarded their ships and sailed away. Unbeknownst to them, they were carrying The Plague with them (Martin, S.).
The Black Death arrived in Europe as a recession was being experienced. The cloth trade had declined, cultivated food prices hit bottom and starvation was felt everywhere. The ships carrying the Christian traders pulled into Messina, a port in Sicily. This would be the end for Europe. Messina was one of the major ports where trading occurred in Italy. Instead of finding silk, furs, manufactured goods, and spices aboard, the dockworkers found dead or dying sailors. The smell from the blood and pus that permeated from the black boils on the bodies was putrid (Lerner, R. E.).
The ships were put out to sea within a couple of days but the damage had already been done. The towns’ people came down with the illness and so did anyone who ventured onto those drifting vessels. The Black Death had arrived. The ships carrying the plague came into port in Genoa and Venice before it was realized they were the ones that caused so many people to suffer in Messina. An immigration mandate was passed, forcing people who were returning to Venice from the East to be quarantined for 40 days. The significance of this figure was that Christ had spent that many days suffering in the wilderness. In Milan, if anyone in your family came down...

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