The Black Death discusses the causes and results of the plague that devastated medieval Europe. It focuses on the many effects it had on the culture of medieval Europe and the possibility that it expedited cultural change. I found that Robert S. Gottfried had two main theses in the book. He argued that rodent and insect life cycles, as well as the changing of weather systems affect plague. He claimed that the devastation plague causes is partly due to its perpetual recurrences. Plague ravaged Europe in cycles, devastated the people when they were recuperating. As can be later discovered in the book, the cycles of plague consumed the European population. A second thesis, which he described in greater detail, was that the plagues expedited the process of cultural change. The plagues killed a large percentage of each generation, leaving room for change. The Black Death covers the affects that numerous plagues had on the culture. The cycle of the plagues struck each generation. After a plague ravaged Europe from 599-699, plague killed in 608, 618, 628, 640, 654, 684-686, 694-700, 718, and 740-750. In the early stages of the above series, intervals are apparent. These intervals demonstrate the cycles of the rodent and insect life. Robert S. Gottfried also argues, rightfully so, that plague may have hastened cultural change. Along with plagues came the need for a cure. Plague destroyed the existing medical systems, and was replaced by a modern heir. Previous to the plague, scientists based their knowledge on early scientists such as Hippocrates and Galen. Scientists knew little about what they were doing. The medical community was divided into five parts. These divisions were physicians, surgeons, barber-...
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...r in the book. Gottfried also made it obvious that others supported his theories. At the end of each important point, he marked it with a number corresponding to the reference in the back of the book. In conclusion, The Black Death successfully proves that a great deal of tragedy in the 13th century had much to do with animals in the environment. It also conveyed that plague accelerated the progress of culture, bringing the need for modern medicine. Gottfried makes it apparent that man did not understand enough about the environment to prevent plague, maybe a message to the world today. Dense population, as Gottfried suggested, breeds plague. Early plague has educated us, and we should focus on this, plague seems to be inevitable with certain circumstances and lack of knowledge. Not only did Gottfried educate us on the past, but may have prepared us for the future.
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