The Black Death Essay

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Dawnsheri Arroyo-Reyes Mr. Shipp Western Civilization I February 29, 2012 The Black Death of the 14th Century The Black Death, also known as the Great Dying, was one of the most mysterious, disastrous pestilence in history during the fourteenth century in Europe, killing more than one third of Europe’s population, estimated 20 million people in four years. Historians believed that the plague began in 1346 when the Mongolians attacked the Christians in Caffa, a trading route in the Black Sea. The Mongolians fought for Caffa in hopes that they would capture it as a trading route. They soon realized that they were fighting an unseen enemy, a pestilence that infested their soldiers. The Mongolians used another tactic. They catapulted their own dead soldiers who died of the plague, into the town of Caffa. The Mongolians did this believing that the corpse would spread the plague. This was the first known spread of the Black Death. The plague will spread through the trading routes of Western Asia, North Africa and Southern Europe between 1346-1350. In 1346 the first known outbreak of the plague was struck in Caffa in the Black Sea from Northern Mongolia. In 1347 the outbreak then struck Sicily and spread in Europe to London in 1348, followed by Scandinavia and Russia in 1350. Was the plague a punishment from God or spread by rats? These were the questions that the desperate people asked in order to seek answers of the mysterious plague. In October 1347, Genoese trading ships arrived at Messina, Sicily from Caffa, a seaport in the Black Sea. As the traders came to greet the Genoese sailors, what they found abroad the ships was astonishing. The sailors were ill, with fever, covered in boils, and dark blotches from bleeding underneath their skin. What the traders and sailors didn’t know was that along with the trading

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