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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