Bubonic Plague DBQ

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The Impact of the Bubonic Plague in Europe One of the largest epidemic events in history, the Bubonic Plague had a devastating effect on European society. It is believed to have begun in China, and it reached European soil in 1347, when it struck Constantinople (Document 1). It was carried by infected fleas that spread the disease between humans and rats. A symptom of the plague was the development of large, dark swellings called “buboes” on the victim’s lymph nodes. By the time the plague left, Europe’s population had been reduced by almost half. The devastation as a result of the plague may seem shocking, but there were several important factors that contributed to its deadliness. To begin, the Bubonic Plague spread fairly fast. It entered …show more content…

According to The Decameron, “neither the advice of physicians nor the power of medicine appeared to have any value or profit” when it came to treating the disease (Document 2). The source of the Plague was vaguely understood, but there were many misconceptions among the general populous. Many people took the plague to be a religious sign. A painting by Giovanni Sercambi around the year 1400 depicts the Angel of Death shooting arrows down at the people below, showing how the Plague struck some people but missed others (Document 3). Additionally, the nursery rhyme “Ring A-Round the Rosy” refers to the rosary beads which Catholics believed would provide God’s help (Document …show more content…

The population decline as a result of the Plague was like nothing the world had ever experienced before. It really demonstrated the importance of valid medical knowledge in treating diseases. However, I think the content of Document 3 may not be accurate because the author, Giovanni Sercambi, was born in 1348, the same year that the Plague reached his birthplace of Florence. For this reason, I feel like his depiction of the Black Death may not be true to the actual beliefs of people at the time. The only way he could have known about the Plague would be through word of mouth and other stories from the time, which isn’t the same as experiencing it firsthand. In addition, Document 4 may contain inaccurate information as well. For one thing, it was written 22 years after the Black Death occurred, which is enough time for many of the details to be forgotten or confused. Also, it was adapted, edited, and translated several times, creating a disparity between it and the original document. An additional source would be useful in order to provide a more well-rounded and wider perspective. An additional document would help by allowing for additional cross-examination of texts to look for reliability, thus eliminating inaccurate

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the bubonic plague had a devastating effect on european society. it was carried by infected fleas that spread the disease between humans and rats.
  • Explains that the bubonic plague spread fairly fast. it entered the mediterranean on june 30, 1347 and only took six months to reach messina in sicily. after 18 months, it hit london, england.
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