The Black Plague Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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under the skin after death causing the body to look black. This is where the plague received one of its many names, The Black Death (Platt 101). To this day, there is a popular nursery rhyme that arose from the plague. Ring around the rosy, Pocket full of poseys, Ashes, ashes, We all fall down. “Ring around the rosy” refers to the rosary beads that people used to pray to protect themselves from the disease. The smell of death was so strong, that people would carry flowers (poseys) in their pockets to help hide the stench. “Ashes, ashes” is a reference to the funeral pyres that were used to burn the infected bodies, and “we all fall down” is a direct reference to all the deaths. There are two ways of transmitting the Black Plague. An infected flea from a rodent who in

turn transmits the disease to humans is one way. Another way is inhaling the germ that has been coughed out by a human or animal plague victim (Gregg 109). The plague’s death toll was one hundred thirty seven million victims, and at its worst it killed two million people a year. Traders from the Italian city of Genoa carried the plague to their homeland and in the next few years it spread with alarming speed across Europe. In the first complete week of July it claimed seven hundred twenty five lives; in the second week, one thousand eighty nine lives; the third week, one thousand eight hundred forty three victims; and two thousand ten lives were lost in the fourth week. The immediate impact of the Black Death was the loss of one third to one half of the population of Europe in

about four years (Gregg 126). The decrease in population had a lasting effect on the commercial lives of Europeans. Always the first casualty of every recession is the building industry, and the building in Medieval England would never again be as extravagant as it was in the half century before the Black Plague. The loss of common laborers contributed to the chaos. It is said that the severe labor shortage that continued for over a century after the plague contributed largely to the loss of buildings. The Plague not only killed, but also stimulated people’s desire to go on pilgrimages, therefore there was no-one to maintain the city buildings (Platt 170-171). Many of Europe’s most important scholars and thinkers, as well as doctors died during the plague. Medieval medicine

failed in the face of the Black Plague. This massive failure marked the beginning of the professionalization of medicine, one of the most far reaching consequences of the Black Plague (Platt 177). Bibliography Work Cited Bunson, Matthew. Middle Ages. New York: Facts on File Inc., 1995. Cozine, Phyllis. The Black Death. San Diego: Lucent Books, Inc., 1997. Gregg, Charles T. Plague. New York. Charles Scribner & Sons, 1978. Nardon, Don. Life on A Medieval Pilgrimage. San Diego. Lucent Books Inc., 1997. Platt, Colin. King Death. Buffalo. University of Toronto Press, 1996 Zeigler, Phillip. The Black Death. New York. Harper & Row