The Origins Of The Black Death Essays

The Origins Of The Black Death Essays

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The origins of the Black Death can be traced back to the Gobi Desert of Mongolia in the 1320s. The cause of this sudden eruption of the plague is not exactly known. From the desert, it spread out in all directions. Of most importance was the spread eastward to China. China suffered an emergence of bubonic plague during the early 1330s. During the expansion of trade during the Early and High Middle ages, trade routes with China were strengthened and ventured greatly. European traders, particularly those from the Italian city states, traveled the Black Sea region regularly. Surviving documents show that one group of traders from Genoa arrived in Sicily In October of 1347, fresh from a voyage to China. This was most likely the introduction of the plague to European lands. Along with the Chinese goods on board, the traders carried the bacterium yersinia pestis in the rats on board as well as in some of the sailors themselves. The Black Death had arrived in Europe.

From Sicily, the plague spread at an alarming rate. The speed at which it spread and killed, as well as the horror which accompanied the diseased, caused a panic in the Italian population. Families were forced to abandon members who were sick. Lawyers refused to form wills for the dying. Entire monasteries were wiped out when they attempted to care for the dying, which caused great fear in charitable organizations. Other European countries looked toward Italians as being the cause of the plague, and there were many incidences of healthy Italian travelers and traders being exiled from villages or even killed out of fear of the plague spreading outside Italy. These measures proved futile, and the plague spread farther and farther north. Wherever trade routes existed, normally...


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...ense population of merchants and active lifestyle within the city states. For example, the city state of Florence was reduced by 1/3 in population within the first six months of infection. By the end, as much as 75% of the population had perished, which left the economy in shambles. Widespread death was not limited to the lower classes. In Avignon, 1/3 of the cardinals were dead. Overall, 25 million people died in just under five years between 1347 and 1352. It is important to realize that the plague had not entirely vanished, only the primary epidemic. Recurrences of bubonic plague occurred every so often and had a traumatic effect on population even then. The plague did not entire vanish as we know it until the late fifteenth century, which allowed for populations to finally begin to rise to the heights that they were at before the Horseman of Death came to Europe.

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Origins Of The Black Death Essay

- Origins of the Black Death could be traced back to the Gobi desert of Mongolia in the early 1320s’. The plague was not known for its disastrous effects until it spread eastward into China in the early 1330s’. During that time the growth of trade was at its prime, trade routes with China were strengthened and ventured greatly. European traders traveled the Black Sea regularly trading with China and other regions. Surviving documents at the time were discovered shining light on were the spread of the plague started in Europe....   [tags: Black Death, Yersinia pestis, Bubonic plague]

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