The Black Death Or Bubonic Plague

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The Black Death The Black Death, or bubonic plague, has been, by far, one of the most destructive, widespread, epidemics in history. Between the years 1346 and 1353, through commerce, the spread of bacteria, and bad hygiene, the Black Death came about in Europe, eventually eradicating between seventy-five and two-hundred million Europeans. It has been concluded that the Black Death originated in the dried up plains of Central Asia, and was spread through trade routes such as the silk road. In the mid 1300’s, when the merchants of Asia transported this disease through oriental rat fleas, it spread, causing the death of approximately thirty to sixty percent of Europe’s population. This plague lasted until the late fourteenth century, and reoccurred …show more content…
The king of France declared, in 1345, that the heavens were the cause of this pestilence. This was the first, and most commonly, accepted theory for the cause of the plague at the time, and it wasn’t until the reoccurring outbreaks that it was suspected to be a real disease. Hygiene at the time was below average, with grimy streets, diseased animals, and parasites everywhere; it wasn’t until the nineteenth century that people thought it was important to stay clean. With the badly kept condition of Europe, the Black Death spread quickly and easily. Fleas, that traveled through rats and other rodents on Asian ships, carried Yersinia pestis, a bacteria containing the bubonic plague. When a flea is infected with Yersinia pestis, they react with aggressive feeding behavior and tend to infect their host, the rats, with the bacteria. These rats, then carry the disease through the shabby country, infecting the people as well. According to George Deaux’s translation of written reports from the fourteenth century, one of the Genoese traders that carried these rats on their ships said, “Alas! our ships enter the port, but of a thousand sailors hardly ten are spared. We reach our homes; our kindred and our neighbors come from all parts to visit us. Woe to us for we cast at them the darts of death! Whilst we spoke to them, whilst they embraced us and kissed us, we scattered the poison from our lips. Going back to their homes, they in turn soon infected their whole families, who in three days succumbed, and were buried in one common grave. Priests and doctors visiting the sick returned from their duties ill, and soon were numbered with the dead.” They seemed to have been aware that they carried the disease, and did so intentionally, adding to the spread of the

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