The Black Death

The Black Death

Length: 1109 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Black Death was one of the deadliest pandemic that hit Europe in history. The Black Death first emerged in the shores of Italy in the spring of 1348 (Gottfried,1). The plague came from several Italian merchant ships which were returning to Messina. Several sailors on board were dying of an unknown disease and a few days after arriving in Messina, several residents within and outside of Messina were dying as well (Poland 1). The Black Death was as deadly as it was because it was not limited by gender, age, or species. The Black Death was also very deadly because it could attack in three different forms: the bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic plague.
Even though the bubonic plague can not be transmitted among humans, it was the most common of the three plagues. The bubonic plague occurs when fleas feed on the blood of infected rodents, which are usually rats (Poland 1). The bacterium that causes the infection is known as Yersenia Pestis. The fleas then pass the bacteria when they bite a human or when materials infected with Yersenia pestis directly enters the body through a wound. The names of this plague come from the swellings, also known as buboes, that appeared on a victim’s neck, armpits, or groin (Gottfried,1).The lymph nodes suddenly become painful and swollen with pus especially in the groin. Later, the skin splits and oozes pus and blood. Blood also comes out of the victim’s urine which, like the rest of the symptoms, smells horribly. These swellings (also known as tumors) could be as small as an egg or as big as an apple. Even though some people survived this disease, others would have a life expectancy of a week.
The septicemic plague was transmitted in the same way as the bubonic plague. The septicemic plague was transmitted with direct contact with a flea bite. The only three hosts in which the disease could live in were in humans, rats, and fleas (Inspecta 1). Inside the rat flea, the bacteria Yersenia pestis multiply inside the flea which in turn, blocks the flea’s stomach causing it to be very hungry. As a result, the flea starts biting the host vigorously which in turn would spread the plague to the host. Since the bacterium is still blocking the flea’s stomach, the flea would still be hungry and therefore it would continue to bite other humans until it starves to death.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Black Death." 16 Oct 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Death Of The Black Death Essay

- The Black Death The Black Death, was a plague that killed over half of the population in Europe during the middle of the 14th century. A bacterial infection carried by fleas and rats traveled by boat directly from the east to Europe. As a result, of the rats and fleas landing in Europe people started getting sick and within a week they were dead. The conditions of Medieval life made it easier for the disease to spread. The dirty and overcrowded cities enabled the disease to spread not only to people but animals too....   [tags: Black Death, Bubonic plague, Plague]

Research Papers
710 words (2 pages)

The Death Of The Black Death Essay

- The definition of history is the study of the past events, particularly in human affairs. One major event that occurred in the 14-century resulted in death. The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in deaths of an estimated people and peaking Europe in the 14-century. In my essay, I will be discussing the overall affects that the Black Death caused and … The Black Death first appeared in Europe in the year 1346. In addition to that statement, it believed that the Black Death emerged in the plains of Central Asia (Benedictow.) As time went by, it made its way to the Silk Road and eventually reached Crimea by the middle of 14-century (Ibeji.) Crim...   [tags: Black Death, Yersinia pestis, Bubonic plague]

Research Papers
1052 words (3 pages)

Essay on The Death Of The Black Death

- In Middle Aged Europe, feudalism and the Catholic Church dominated what was left of a central government. People lived without leadership, and those who did turned only to small based feudal Lords with little power. This led to a serious lack of intellectual activity and many of the Europeans during this era were considered to be, “wallowing in their own filth.” As a result, the Black Death spread rampantly after its initiation in 1348. Several accounts of the disease portrayed it as a horrendous, deadly and disgusting disease that preyed on every man woman and child....   [tags: Black Death, Middle Ages, Italy, Pope]

Research Papers
1320 words (3.8 pages)

The Black Death: The Deadliest Pandemic Essay

- The Black Death was one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Hundreds of thousands of people suffered a painful death that dramatically decreased the population in and around Europe. A disease so deadly and quick spreading greatly sacred the people of this time. Nothing like this had ever been encountered in the past. People looked for many explanations for this pandemic and to this day, one has yet to be found. The greatest differences in the opinions of the cause were influenced through religion....   [tags: Black Death, ]

Research Papers
1244 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about The Black Death

- The Black Death was one of the most widespread infectious diseases in human history. It is said to be the most devastating and catastrophic plague to ever hit the world, exterminating tens of millions of people from different communities in all Europe and Asia, exclusively targeting elderly individuals and those who had a constant contact with bacteria contaminated materials and animals. Very little was known about the condition and the risks of this disease, which caused panic and anxiety that everyone who had a family member suffering in bed felt....   [tags: Black Death, Bubonic plague]

Research Papers
1500 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Black Death : The And Great Mortality

- Do you know what Black Death is. Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people and peaking in Europe in the years 1346–53. Black Death had different names. Today, it 's best known as the Black Death or the bubonic plague. Medieval people called it "the blue sickness," La pest (the Pestilenc), and the Great Mortality. The name bubonic comes from the Medieval Latin word bubo via Italian Bilbo meaning a pustule, growth, or swelling....   [tags: Black Death, Bubonic plague]

Research Papers
1855 words (5.3 pages)

The Black Death : A Devastating Disease Essay

- The Black Death was a devastating disease that wiped out almost half the population across Eurasia during the 14th century. Some people began to write about their experiences during the Black Death including Ibn al-Wardi, Boccaccio, and Jean de Venette. Ibn al-Wardi’s account is the only comprehensive account of the Black Death in the Middle East that has survived, he lived in Aleppo, Syria and he would actually die from the plague in 1349 (Ibn al-Wardi, p. 445). Boccaccio lived in Florence, Italy where the Black Death arrived during the spring of 1348 (Boccaccio, para....   [tags: Black Death, Bubonic plague, Plague]

Research Papers
1645 words (4.7 pages)

The Impact Of Black Death On Society Essay

- The Black Death plagues had disastrous consequences for Europe in the 14th century. After the initial outbreak in Europe, 1347, it continued for around five years and then mysteriously disappeared. However it broke out again in the 1360s and every few decades thereafter till around 1700. The European epidemic was an outbreak of the bubonic plague, which began in Asia and spread across trade routes. When it reached Europe, a path of destruction began to emerge. Medieval society was tossed into disarray, economies were fractured, the face of culture and religion changed forever....   [tags: Black Death, Bubonic plague, Plague]

Research Papers
902 words (2.6 pages)

The Black Death Essay

- The Black Death has affected this world for many years. The first recorded outbreak of the plague was in central Asia. From there, it is believed that the plague spread via the Silk Road, eventually reaching Africa, Europe, and other parts of Asia. The first major pandemic, the Justinian Plague, was recorded in the 6th century during the Byzantine Empire. The plague would appear to come and go through out the ages, wreaking havoc where it could. The next major pandemic was recorded in Europe, where it was called the Black Death....   [tags: Black Death, Yersinia pestis, Bubonic plague]

Research Papers
1043 words (3 pages)

The Black Death By John Aberth Essay examples

- John Aberth, in his compilation of primary documents relating to the Black Death, presents seven categories that describe the impact of this pandemic. Within the book, there are viewpoints from scholars, theologians, Christians, Muslims, artists, and everyday day individuals and each present differing opinions and responses to the horrors of plague. Those responses, while personal, allow for an insight into the mindset of someone experiencing the Black Death. People responded by breaking social and organizational norms; blaming the divine and cosmic; and seeing death in a new way....   [tags: Black Death, Middle Ages, Paris]

Research Papers
873 words (2.5 pages)

The septicemic plague can be a complication by itself or a complication of bubonic or pneumonic plague (Labor 1). When the septicemic plague attacks by itself, its effects are the same as that of the bubonic plague only that the host does not develop buboes. Once inside the host, the bacterium starts to multiply in the blood. Some symptoms would be fever, chills, prostration, abdominal pain, shock, and bleeding into skin and other organs. Fortunately, the septicemic plague, like the bubonic plague, does not spread from person to person.
The pneumonic plague occurs when Yersenia pestis infects the lungs. Unlike the bubonic plague which can not be spread from person to person, the pneumonic plague can be transmitted through the air. There are many ways a person may contract the pneumonic plague. One is through breathing aerosolized bacteria which could happen in a bioterrorist attack. Another way to obtain the pneumonic plague was to breath in Yersenia pestis spread in the air from another person already infected with the pneumonic plague which would serve as an open door to Yersenia pestis. However, for a person to obtain it in this form, they would have to be in direct and close contact with the ill person
or animal for respiratory transmission (Labor 1). Finally, a person could obtain the pneumonic plague if he or she had either the bubonic or septicemic plague untreated or the bacteria spread to the lungs. Compared with the mortality rate of the untreated bubonic plague (50%), the untreated pneumonic plague’s mortality rate is of 100% because this disease focuses primarily on attacking the lungs.
After three years with the Black Death spreading all through Europe, about half of Europe’s population had fallen to this disease. The healthy were horrified with this disease that they barely made contact with each other if, at all.
One citizen avoided another; hardly any neighbor troubled about others, relatives never or hardly ever visited each other. Moreover, such terror was struck into the hearts of men and women by this calamity, that brother abandoned brother, and very often the wife her husband. What is even worse and nearly incredible is that fathers and mothers refused to see and tend their children, as if they had not been theirs… (Gottfried 3)
The Black Plague not only affected people physically but it also affected them mentally altering their moral stamina and makes them think they are on their own: Times of plague are always those in which the bestial and diabolical side of the human nature gains the upper hands. Nor is it necessesary to be superstitious or even pious to look upon great plagues as a conflict of the terrestrial forces with the development of mankind…(Ziegler 259)
The total deaths caused by the Black Plagues still unknown. Many have debated it was as high as 40% to as slow as 30% or as high as 45% to 23% (Ziegler 226). Giovanni Boccaccio described how easy one could get this plague in this quote:
How many valiant men, how many fair ladies, breakfast with their kinfolk and the same night supped with their ancestors in the next world! The condition of the people was pitiable to behold. They sickened by the thousands daily, and died unattended and without help. Many died in the open street, others dying in their houses, made it known by the stench of their rotting bodies. Consecrated churchyards did not suffice for the burial of the vast multitude of bodies, which were heaped by the hundreds in vast trenches, like gods in a ships hold and covered with a little earth.
Today, wild rodents in certain areas around the world are still infected with the plague. Outbreaks still continue to happen in communities as well in cities. These usually happen because of infected rats or fleas found in homes. There are about ten to fifteen persons infected with the plague per year in the United States. However, there are around 1,000 to 3,000 cases of the plague per year in the world (Dennis 1). Even though the Black Death has slowed down, a pandemic can still occur with the blink of an eye if we are not careful.
Return to