In medieval times, people were terrified by thoughts of hell and purgatory. Religious tensions were on the rise, which caused an overwhelming sense of worry about the afterlife amongst the people. The average life span back in the middle Ages was short, those individuals that were able to make it out of their twenties were considered fortunate. Life expectancy dramatically decreased when the bubonic plague manifested itself. The pestilence took over the lives of almost every individual in continental Europe. The Black Death impacted the process of dying by ensuring that death would be painful for all that encountered it and made the inevitability of their fate apparent to everyone whether they were believers or not. The Black Death also caused people to start acting harshly toward the dying or dead; out of a lack of reverence, thirst for money and pure selfishness.
For the individuals that lived in Europe from 1348-1353, death by or because of the bubonic plague was extremely painful. “The Black Death was an epidemic of bubonic plague; a disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis that circulates among wild rodents” (Benedictow). The process of dying for a person that had contracted the plague was very systematic. Once an individual had it, they were already dead. The disease would manifest itself “with swelling in the groin and armpits. The lumps varied in size, some reaching the size of an ordinary apple and others that of an egg” (Boccaccio). In Florence the lumps were referred to as “gavoccioli” (Boccaccio) but most just referred to them as “buboes”, “hence the name bubonic plague” (Benedictow). For a lot of people the pain they suffered was both physical and emotional. They were in physical pain because of the heada...
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...o exploit the dying. “The beccamorti [literally vultures] who provided their service, were paid such a high price that many were enriched by it…Servants, or those who took care of the ill, charged from one to three florins per day and the cost of things grew.” (Coppo Stefani). Unfortunate to say, most of those people spent time accumulating money that neither they nor their family members ever had a chance to spend.
In a time of desolation, very few people were able to come together. Most acted as though the only way to survive was through setting themselves apart. Selfishness became the trend anywhere that the plague appeared. Roles were abandoned and people were left to die alone. They understood that for many, death was inevitable and the Black Death revealed that even when there is pain and suffering all around, self-preservation will always take over.
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- Between the years 1346 and 1353, Europe faced one of history’s deadliest pandemic, The Bubonic Plague, also known as The Black Death. With its quick spread across Europe, the plague is estimated to have taken the lives of 75-200 million people. The bacterium Yersina pestis, found in rat fleas, is traced back to be the main source of transmission of the plague disease. The Black Death left a mark in the development of the western world politically, socially, economically and culturally. Ultimately, the plague affected the course of European history forever.... [tags: Black Death, Yersinia pestis, Bubonic plague]
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