The Black Death : A Devastating Disease Essay

The Black Death : A Devastating Disease Essay

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The Black Death was a devastating disease that wiped out almost half the population across Eurasia during the 14th century. Some people began to write about their experiences during the Black Death including Ibn al-Wardi, Boccaccio, and Jean de Venette. Ibn al-Wardi’s account is the only comprehensive account of the Black Death in the Middle East that has survived, he lived in Aleppo, Syria and he would actually die from the plague in 1349 (Ibn al-Wardi, p. 445). Boccaccio lived in Florence, Italy where the Black Death arrived during the spring of 1348 (Boccaccio, para. 1). Jean de Venette lived in France when the plague appeared in the summer of 1348 when France was also dealing with famine and war (Jean de Venette, p.48). All three accounts were eyewitnesses and are able to give a lot of detail about the plague itself, h the accounts also differentiate from one another because of cultural differences and beliefs.
All three of the sources understood that the Black Death was not a local illness and that it was a rapidly spreading disease throughout the world. Ibn gives the most detailed account of the geographical scope and origin of the disease. With the disease beginning in Central Asia and making its way to the trade routes of Crimea and into Byzantium. He is able to gather so a lot of information about the disease through Muslim merchants who returned from Crimea to Syria. The plague originated in “… the land of darkness.”(Ibn al-Wardi, p. 448) with it starting fifteen years ago in China. He then goes into a very detailed account of the journey of the plague from China all the way to Alexandria in Upper Egypt. He was able obtain these details of the plague from information he gathered from Muslim merchants. (Ibn al-Wardi, p....


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...ighting the plague began in France. (Jean de Venette, p. 48). It’s interesting what they chose to symbolize the plague and how differently their choices are from one another.
These three accounts tell of the Bubonic plague and how it affected their cities and lives. It also shows how different the cultures were in parts of Eurasia and how they tried to handle the plague. In the Middle East it was strongly believed the plague was sent by God while in Europe there were a multitude of theories. All three accounts give great documentation of the plague and its origins, symptoms, who it infected, and how the people reacted to the epidemic. The Black Death killed tens of millions of people over Eurasia in a very short amount of time and these authors were able to give documentation of the disease, allowing people a glimpse into their lives during the Bubonic plague.


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