The Epidemic Of The Plague Essay

The Epidemic Of The Plague Essay

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According to historic records, a horrific disease began in China around 1347 spreading in Italy through routes of trade, human contact, and animals occupying heavily populated areas (Enclyclopædia Britannica, 2015). Merchant vessels unintentionally emitted the infected rats onto the shores of Messina in Sicily while unloading cargo. Thus, causing the disease to spread amongst Northern Europe. More properly known as the Bubonic plague, it was carried by infected rats who were bitten by plaque-ridden fleas. The plague was caused by the bacillus Yersinia pestis, which resided in the stomach lining of fleas. Scientists believe this would induce vomiting by blocking their digestive tract (Enclyclopædia Britannica, 2015). When they bit their rodent hosts, thousands of bacilli would transfer to the bloodstream. The fleas would often seek new blood and jump off the rodent hosts after it’s death to a human. This infected their new victim with one bite. Symptoms of the plague are detectable within several days. The victims skin turned a dark violet in various places before inflamed blisters appeared, eventually popping. Other indicators included projectile vomiting and other flu-like symptons. At that time, people believed it spread through the air.
According to Olea and Christakos (2005), “it was estimated that, when it was over, the epidemic had killed at least 25 million people, or approximately one-fourth of the population of Europe”. As the number of residents per village increased, more individuals were susceptible for becoming ill. However, it was also dependent upon the number of contacts they encountered. Many other elements factored into how individuals in villages struck ill; urban mixture and the geography of the area in rela...


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...h gave rise to expressing the citizen’s fear, slight optimism, and journey for salvation. Realizing once could near death at any moment, many acknowledged the dire necessity to seek salvation in traditional methods from the Church. For those who believed the plague was a manifestation of God’s frustration with mankind, they sought to be redeemed. The plague stimulated a reaffirmation of the Christian faith, also encouraging a fresh vitality to the religious art. Praying to St. Sebastian allowed Christians during the Renaissance era to seek a holy redeemer which pleaded with God in the interest of the plague stricken people. In finding additional and alternative prayer outlets, the depictions of martyred Sebastian parallel demonstrations of Christ. Saint Sebastian acts as a living attraction for ‘plague’ arrows away from humanity and embedding them into his own flesh.

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