Every year millions of people die. People die either from natural causes or from another source like murder. Cancer and AIDS are the number one diseases leading to death in the 21st century. (Jueneman 1) However, they have not always been the leading diseases. Around as early as 542 AD, a deadly disease broke out in Constaniople and quickly spread around the world within a few hundred years. This disease in considered the worst natural disaster in history. The Bubonic plague, also known as the Black Death, is historically the disease that has caused the most deaths and caused China, Europe, and India to shortly stop trade altogether.
History has been filled with many disasters. The Bubonic plague has been responsible for three of those disasters. The first disaster, The Plague of Justinian, occurred in Constaniople in 542. This specific outbreak killed an estimated 70,000 people in two years. At its peak, 1,000 people died each week, and many more were infected but recovered successfully. This was the first time Bubonic plague became known to society. This would not be the last time the plague would strike.
In 1346, the second and most devastating case of Bubonic plague erupted. (Janis 1) This specific case of plague originated in Kaffa, a cathedral town on the Crimean Coast and spread to China then quickly westward to India. Soon traders from India sailed to Europe and infected almost the entire continent. (Ziegler 121) This case was the most famous because of the large number of deaths affiliated with its outbreak. An estimated twenty five million people, one third of Europe’s population, perished during the plague’s four years of existence. (Janis 1) Government, trade, and commerce in Europe almost came to a halt. The Black Death caused the depopulation of about 1,000 villages in England. (Janis 2) In one case, in Alexandria, Egypt, the first two weeks of the plague 100-200 people died each day. Soon after, as many as 2,000 people died each day and the number increased each week. During this time, the Roman Catholic Church lost some influence on its people.