This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Black Death Essay

2416 words - 10 pages

Maria Rodriguez
November 12,2010
History 101

The Black Death. By Philip Ziegler. (New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2009. Print.)
“This book contains virtually no original research. It is an attempt to synthesize in a single readable but reasonably comprehensive volume the records of the contemporary chroniclers and the work of later historians, each treating some tiny aspect of this enormous subject.”
Philip Ziegler, Preface.
A series of natural disasters in the Orient during the middle ages brought one of the most devastating periods of death and destruction in European history. Without a doubt the Black Death was one of the major scourges of the fourteenth ...view middle of the document...

In the course of the propagation, the plague had pneumonic and septicemic mutations, making it more lethal.
Throughout this explanation he not only gives details about its beginnings and enormous propagation, but he also analyzes how it manifested in different parts of the continent. Ziegler thought the effect of the catastrophe was both more interesting and important for the audience he intended to reach. There were many reactions to the disaster and he shows the crisis that medieval man suffered. The epidemic did not just have a demographic impact in Europe; it had also a psychological impact in society for more than a century. “In the Middle Ages the plague was not only all-destroying, it was totally incomprehensible. Medieval man was equipped with no form of defense-social, medical or psychological-against a violent epidemic of this magnitude. His baffled and terrified helplessness in the face of disaster will be above all the theme of this book” (p.17). The inability of the medieval mind to understand the issue they were facing is reflected in some of the people’s reactions.
No or little medical knowledge existed in the middle ages, at least to cope with the force of the plague. There are some chronicles that show medieval men “seem to have taken refuge in frenetic gaiety” (P.83). The lack of medical knowledge made people tried anything to help them escape the disease or at some point, when the plague was unstoppable, from their fear of death. “The standards of society were relaxed; debauchery was common; thrift and continence forgotten; the sacred rules of property ignored; the ties of family and friendship denied; let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we shall die” (P.83). The uncertainty and lack of medical knowledge had a major impact on the social structure and it became disintegrated.
The “ Brotherhood of the Flagellants” the movement of religious people originated in Eastern Europe, is other example Ziegler uses to show the readers how terrified the medieval society was. These men put themselves to extreme mortification to save their souls. In the eyes of these men the movement was designed to induce God to relent, because they thought the plague was his direct punishment for them. The Flagellants satisfied the hope of many German peasants “ If the Plaque was already rife then the visit offered some hope that God might be placated, if it had not yet come then the penance of the Flagellants was a cheap and possibly useful insurance policy.” (P.92). Some even started to believe they had a supernatural power, that Flagellants could heal the sick or drive out devils.
The next example the author uses to show his main argument, about medieval helplessness, is the persecution of the Jews during this particular period. He opens his argument with an excellent quote: “When ignorant men are overwhelmed by forces totally beyond their control and their understanding it is inevitable that they will search for some...

Other Essays Like The Black Death

Will HIV and AIDS as the Black Death of the Twenty-First Century

1081 words - 5 pages Will HIV and AIDS as the Black Death of the Twenty-First Century According to an article on BBC World Service, published on 25th October, 2001, the Black Death claimed 25 million lives in Europe and Asia between the 13th and 17th century. Now nearly 400 years later the British Medical Journal reports an estimated 65 million deaths from AIDS by the end of the decade. Obviously these figures are rough estimates, however

Religious Rationale For The Plague In Rosemary Horrox’S The Black Death

960 words - 4 pages Religious Rationale for the Plague in Rosemary Horrox’s The Black Death After the September 11th, 2001 attacks, prominent religious figures claimed that depraved American lifestyles were to blame for the bombings; Protestant leader Jerry Falwell came forth and stated that the attacks were a manifestation of God’s irritation at impious people. This attitude stems from a reaction to contemporary events, but possesses roots that date back to

Black Death

2462 words - 10 pages The Black Death was one of the worst natural disasters. A disastrous plague touched down in Europe in the fall of 1347 A.D and swept across it throughout the mid- fourteenth century having several negative and positive effects on Europe’s culture, politics, population and economy. Almost one-third of Europe’s population died. Although many see the effects of the plague only negative, I will talk about some positive effects as well. But first

Black Death

2294 words - 10 pages improve their lives. Events ranging from the Hundred Years War to the Black Death, and up until the beginning years of the Renaissance, changed the lives of the peasantry dramatically, all for the better. Before the Black Death reached Europe, peasants’ lives were very difficult. They usually never left the manor on which they served without the master’s permission. It was illegal for them to even move to another city or manor, if they so desired

Black Death

997 words - 4 pages Impact of Black Death HIS 103 World Civilizations Donnie Burnette April 4th 2011 The Impact of Black Death Black Death was known by several names such as Black Death, the Bubonic

Black Death - 1229 words

1229 words - 5 pages Black Death, outbreak of bubonic plague that struck Europe and the Mediterranean area from 1347 through 1351. It was the first of a cycle of European plague epidemics that continued until the early 18th century. A cycle of ancient plagues had preceded these plagues between the 6th and 8th centuries AD; another cycle of modern followed them, but less deadly, plagues that began in the late 19th century and continue in the 20th century. The term

Black Death - 1348 words

1348 words - 6 pages The Black Death, also known as the Black Plague, or the Bubonic Plague killed one third of the population of Europe during its reign in the 13th and 14th centuries. The arrival of this plague set the scene for years of strife and heroism. Leaving the social and Economic aspect in a standstill. The phantom of death became a subject of art, music and folklore and it influenced the consciousness of the people. The impact of this mass killer


1860 words - 8 pages There have been many killers in the history of the world. There have been serial killers, there have been murders. But none of them can compare to these two killers. Aids and The Bubonic Plague(The Black Death) They have been the worse killers because when they strike, we have no way of curing them. Both of these diseases are fatal. There is no cure for them. That is what makes these two so frightening and scary. We have no idea where these two

Black Rage Summary

869 words - 4 pages taking when he spoke publicly on the relentless attacks on African Americans that they have experienced on their intelligence, looks, and potential from a society that values whiteness. Doing that could’ve resulted in things like early death or prison but he did it anyway because he had so much love for black people. The constant attacks affected how blacks looked at themselves. Malcolm believed that if black people felt the love that motivated

A comparision of the Black Cat and the Cask of Amontillado

451 words - 2 pages Edgar Allen Poe, the author of "The Black Cat" and "The Cask of Amontillado", wrote both short stories in similar ways, but at the same time the two are very different.The Black Cat and The Cask of Amontillado are very similar in some ways. Both include a lot of symbolism. In the Black Cat, the narrator calls his cat Pluto, to symbolize death and the underworld, and in The Cask of Amontillado, the coat of arms and the Montresor family motto are


467 words - 2 pages threats on Malcolm X's life, he continued to preach this "new religion" until his assassination in 1965. The cause of death was being shot to death in the most unlikely place, Harlem. Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis ,Tennessee (shot by a sniper, James Earl Ray). After his death, Dr.. King came to represent black courage and achievement, and the ability of Americans to address and overcome racial dividing. Reminiscences of his criticism of U.S. foreign policy and his soaring oratory calling for racial justice.

Related Papers

The Black Death Essay

1631 words - 7 pages The Black Death Ashford University World Civilizations I Todd HIS 103 February 21, 2012 The Black Death Another name for the Middle Ages is “The Dark ages” which was an era of inventors, discovery and trade. China’s ports were a renowned place for traders as many would travel around the world to trade goods. at the docks, thousands of people eagerly waiting for ships to return looking for goods from distant places. In October

The Black Death 6 Essay

2403 words - 10 pages The Black Death Alicia A Davis World History 103 Georganne Gabrielli October 29, 2009 The Black Death Many hundreds of years ago, at a time when people feared the unknown, a darkness descended on the middle ages in the form of a plague that decimated thousands- both animal and human alike-creating chaos and terror and without the knowledge of how it began or how to end it the people desperately searched for medical

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

The Black Death Changing History Essay

1465 words - 6 pages The Black Death Changing History Throughout the course of history, historians have separated the years from around 800-1500, and tagged those seven centuries as The Medieval Era. During this time period, a plethora of events occurred with a fair share of highs and lows. One of the famous events of the Medieval Era was the Black Death which killed many of Europe’s civilization. However, shortly following this era, with the passing of the