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The Black Death Essay

901 words - 4 pages

Who knew that in the 1300s, plague would strike along the trade routes (Doc 1) to the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, killing nearly one-third of the population it exposed to it in just five short years? Many during this time period would say that God, not only knew, but also was the one responsible for bringing the plague known as the “Black Death, Great Pestilence, or even the Great Plague;” it was a combination of three different plagues from three different bacterial strains: bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic (Background Essay). No matter which type one was affected by, it almost always led to a death, agonizing death. When Europe and the Middle East were struck with the Black ...view middle of the document...

Therefore, one should not pray for the plague to be lifted, but instead “devoutly accept the divine act” (Doc 4). In addition, the Muslims never blamed anyone for the plague (Doc 10). Although they were not as common, there were non-religious opinions about the cause of the plague, and European Christians and the Middle Eastern Muslims agreed on many of them. The miasma, impure air, carried by the wind (Doc 5) was one possible cause that seemed logical. However, there were a few that did not seem as believable: the conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars, excessive clothing and outrageous fashion, etc (Doc 5).
Due to the plague, Christians and Muslims led different lives and their lifestyles began to change. Not only is this due to the magnitude (“The hand of the Almighty strikes repeatedly, to greater and greater effect. The terrible judgment gains in power as time goes by.” (Doc 4)) and swiftness of death (“The maximum of survival after the spitting of blood was fifty hours.” (Doc 3)) but also to the horrifying nature of death. “They died by the hundreds, both day and night, and all were thrown in those ditches and covered with earth…And so many died that all believed it was the end of the world.” (Doc 3) As a result, Christians became more inclined than before to evil and wickedness (Doc 6). Priests even became more concerned with themselves, and they went to other benefices where they would receive larger stipends (Doc 6). Therefore, many parishes became unserved (Doc 6). The number of more depraved people continued to increase, and no form of...

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