[45] The plague disease, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is enzootic (commonly present) in populations of fleas carried by ground rodents, including marmots, in various areas, including Central Asia, Kurdistan, Western Asia, North India, Uganda and the western United States. In crowded cities, it was not uncommon for as much as 50% of the population to die. [63][64] This theory is supported by research in 2018 which suggested transmission was more likely by body lice and human fleas during the second plague pandemic. 'Great Death'. "[52], Later in 2011, Bos et al. [8] In 2011, these results were further confirmed with genetic evidence derived from Black Death victims in the East Smithfield burial site in England. [21], The phrase 'black death' – describing Death as black – is very old. In Italy, the population of Florence was reduced from 110,000 to 120,000 inhabitants in 1338 down to 50,000 in 1351. [84] Nicephorus Gregoras also described in writing to Demetrios Kydones the rising death toll, the futility of medicine, and the panic of the citizens. The seventh year after it began, it came to England and first began in the towns and ports joining on the seacoasts, in Dorsetshire, where, as in other counties, it made the country quite void of inhabitants so that there were almost none left alive. Called the Great Mortality as it caused its devastation, this second great pandemic of Bubonic Plague became known as the Black Death in the … The Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality, or the Plague)[a] was the deadliest pandemic recorded in human history. [149] Baghdad has suffered severely from visitations of the plague, and sometimes two-thirds of its population has been wiped out. Pneumonic plague has a mortality rate of 90 to 95 percent. [148] Cairo suffered more than fifty plague epidemics within 150 years from the plague's first appearance, with the final outbreak of the second pandemic there in the 1840s. [111][h] In 1348, the disease spread so rapidly that before any physicians or government authorities had time to reflect upon its origins, about a third of the European population had already perished. A double line of fifteen-foot walls ringed the whitewashed compound, pierced on the waterside to permit the offloading of cargo from lighters. [127] In the Strasbourg massacre of February 1349, about 2,000 Jews were murdered. Less well known is that the plague continued to strike Europe, the Middle East and beyond for the next four centuries, returning every 10 to 20 years. It killed a total of 100,000 people in the city of Marseille, France. [150], The third plague pandemic (1855–1859) started in China in the mid-19th century, spreading to all inhabited continents and killing 10 million people in India alone. 'the black death'. The Black Death caused greater upheaval to Florence's social and political structure than later epidemics. [116] In the first outbreak, two thirds of the population contracted the illness and most patients died; in the next, half the population became ill but only some died; by the third, a tenth were affected and many survived; while by the fourth occurrence, only one in twenty people were sickened and most of them survived. Related: Black Death Likely Altered European Genes. The outbreaks have been shown to occur roughly 15 years after a warmer and wetter period in areas where plague is endemic in other species, such as. COVID-19 infects the mouth. [citation needed], Symptoms of the disease include fever of 38–41 °C (100–106 °F), headaches, painful aching joints, nausea and vomiting, and a general feeling of malaise. [57] Currently, while osteoarcheologists have conclusively verified the presence of Y. pestis bacteria in burial sites across northern Europe through examination of bones and dental pulp, no other epidemic pathogen has been discovered to bolster the alternative explanations. Mathematical modelling is used to match the spreading patterns and the means of transmission. [citation needed], As a result of the decimation in the populace the value of the working class increased, and commoners came to enjoy more freedom. When historians discuss "the plague" they are usually referring to this epidemic of bubonic plague caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. [93][e] Among many other culprits of plague contagiousness, malnutrition, even if distantly, also contributed to such an immense loss in European population, since it weakened immune systems.[96]. The symptoms of bubonic plague are first attested in a fragment of Rufus of Ephesus preserved by Oribasius; these ancient medical authorities suggest bubonic plague had appeared in the Roman Empire before the reign of Trajan, six centuries before arriving at Pelusium in the reign of Justinian I. The Black Death was the beginning of the second plague pandemic. Visit our corporate site. Geoffrey the Baker, Chronicon Angliae[80], Plague was reportedly first introduced to Europe via Genoese traders from their port city of Kaffa in the Crimea in 1347. [72] According to this theory, the disease may have travelled along the Silk Road with Mongol armies and traders, or it could have arrived via ship. This is an extract from an article originally appearing in All About History magazine. [32], Definitive confirmation of the role of Y. pestis arrived in 2010 with a publication in PLOS Pathogens by Haensch et al. NY 10036. [99] The historian al-Maqrizi described the abundant work for grave-diggers and practitioners of funeral rites, and plague recurred in Cairo more than fifty times over the following century and half. The Renaissance's emergence in Italy was most likely the result of the complex interaction of the above factors,[133] in combination with an influx of Greek scholars following the fall of the Byzantine Empire. The Black Death, Benedictow writes, was "the first disastrous wave of epidemics" of the Second Plague Pandemic. This great outburst of plague was the last recurrence of a pandemic of bubonic plague, following the devastating episodes which began in the early fourteenth century; the first known instance of bubonic plague in Marseille was the arrival of the Black Death in the autumn of 1347. In Mediterranean Europe, areas such as Italy, the south of France and Spain, where plague ran for about four years consecutively, it was probably closer to 75–80% of the population. [19] There were further outbreaks throughout the Late Middle Ages, and with other contributing factors[b] it took until 1500 for the European population to regain the levels of 1300. Tunis was then under attack by an army from Morocco; this army dispersed in 1348 and brought the contagion with them to Morocco, whose epidemic may also have been seeded from the Islamic city of Almería in al-Andalus. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, Data shows that the bacterium killed about 100,000 people in Marseille. [109], According to medieval historian Philip Daileader, it is likely that over four years, 45–50% of the European population died of plague. [60][61], Walløe complains that all of these authors "take it for granted that Simond's infection model, black rat → rat flea → human, which was developed to explain the spread of plague in India, is the only way an epidemic of Yersinia pestis infection could spread", whilst pointing to several other possibilities. Powerful city merchants wanted the silk and cotton cargo of the ship for the great medieval fair at Beaucaire and pressured authorities to lift the quarantine. Some historians argue that public health had improved to such an extent as to halt the spread of plague, especially through the systematic and effective use of sanitary legislation. Despite a significant number of deaths among members of the ruling classes, the government of Florence continued to function during this period. [8][d] They assessed the presence of DNA/RNA with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques for Y. pestis from the tooth sockets in human skeletons from mass graves in northern, central and southern Europe that were associated archaeologically with the Black Death and subsequent resurgences. It blamed the heavens, in the form of a conjunction of three planets in 1345 that caused a "great pestilence in the air" (miasma theory). The delegation also inspected all the cargo, crew and passengers, looking for signs of possible disease. Hubble telescope spots a 'Greater Pumpkin' in space for Halloween. [74][75] However, there is no clear historical evidence identifying these epidemics as plague. It suggested an alternative model in which "the disease was spread from human fleas and body lice to other people". At the onset of the plague, Nicolas Roze, who had been vice-consul at a factory on the Peloponnese coast and dealt against epidemics there, proposed his services to the local authorities, the échevins. [7] Due largely to Marseille's monopoly on French trade with the Levant, this important port had a large stock of imported goods in warehouses. During a two-year period, 50,000 of Marseille's total population of 90,000 died. [117] The Black Death killed about 40% of Egypt's population. Merchantmen were required to pass inspection at an island further out in the harbour, where crews and cargoes were examined.[9]. The city council of Marseille established a sanitation board, whose members were to be drawn from the city council as well as the doctors of the city. [120] On the other hand, in the quarter century after the Black Death in England, it is clear many labourers, artisans, and craftsmen, those living from money-wages alone, did suffer a reduction in real incomes owing to rampant inflation. [128] During this period many Jews relocated to Poland, where they received a warm welcome from King Casimir the Great. [59] Estimates of plague victims are usually extrapolated from figures for the clergy. The only medical detail that is questionable in Boccaccio's description is that the gavocciolo was an "infallible token of approaching death", as, if the bubo discharges, recovery is possible. [97], According to historian Geoffrey Parker, "France alone lost almost a million people to the plague in the epidemic of 1628–31. [111], Mid-14th century pandemic in Eurasia and North Africa, Spread of the Black Death in Europe and the. By [134][better source needed], Cairo's population, partly owing to the numerous plague epidemics, was in the early 18th century half of what it was in 1347. Related: Black Death Survey Reveals Incredible Devastation Wrought by Plague. [32] Many scholars arguing for Y. pestis as the major agent of the pandemic suggest that its extent and symptoms can be explained by a combination of bubonic plague with other diseases, including typhus, smallpox and respiratory infections. [109] Monks, nuns, and priests were especially hard-hit since they cared for victims of the Black Death. [37][38] This Y. pestis may have been different to more modern types, with bubonic plague transmissible by fleas first known from Bronze Age remains near Samara.[39]. Lodewijk Heyligen, whose master the Cardinal Colonna died of plague in 1348, noted a distinct form of the disease, pneumonic plague, that infected the lungs and led to respiratory problems. Mass graves were dug but were quickly filled. sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFHorrox1994 (, sfn error: no target: CITEREFBosSchuenemannGoldingBurbano (. Italy was particularly badly hit by the pandemic, and it has been speculated that the resulting familiarity with death caused thinkers to dwell more on their lives on Earth, rather than on spirituality and the afterlife.

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