The Black Death: The Later Middle Ages

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The Black Death In general, the later Middle Ages was a time of crisis and trouble throughout the world. The plague that is often referred to as the Black Death reached its height in the middle of the fourteenth century. This plague has erupted in the Gobi desert in the 1320's and it spread from there in every direction. In Europe and among the Asian nations there were severe population losses, with the population of China, for example, falling from around 125 million to 90 million during the fourteenth century. Through the 1340's the plague spread towards the west, reaching Constantinople in 1347, then Egypt where a thousand people a day died in Alexandria, and in Cairo seven thousand a day. The disease travelled by ship as well as by land, and by then end of 1347 it had affected Cyprus, Sicily and Italy. In the following year it reached Paris, England and Germany, with 1348 being the climax and the worst year of the plague. The disease tended to follow trade routes, and concentrate in cities. It came from the Near East, into the western Mediterranean, then into northern Europe and finally back into Russia. The medical term for the plague that became known as the Black Death is bubonic plague, and it was carried by rats and other rodents. Fleas infest the rodents then move on to humans and infect them, through…show more content…
Groups of people who were called flagellants went through the towns and countryside doing public penance, inflicting pain and punishment on themselves, as they tried to atone for the evil of the world. In general these groups of flagellants were thought strange and extreme, especially since they tended to turn their anger on Jews and on priests who did not approve of them. In October of 1349 the Pope condemned their extreme approach, and ordered that they be
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