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The Black Death Essay

1631 words - 7 pages

The Black Death
Ashford University
World Civilizations I
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 1347, trading ships docked at the Sicilian port of Messina after a long journey through the Black Sea (Black Death, n.d.). Greeters, who were waiting anxiously for goods discovered something horrific. Many sailors on the ships were dead and the rest ...view middle of the document...

Sadly, immunizations did not exist as well. Witches and spirits were believed to be causes of this deadly plague during the medieval times. Many believed the only cure for this plague were herbs, tonics and spells. Other believers blamed the cause of the plague on punishment from gods. Other theories included poison in wells, air was contaminated, and planets were shifting. In any event, strange attempts to escape the wrath of the plague occurred causing an additional decline in the population and drastic changes in organized religion (Zapotoczny, 2006).
Skepticism was brought toward religious hierarchy and to the authorities that could find a cure to this deadly plague. Jews, lepers and outsiders sustained injuries as they were viciously attacked for poising the wells and air, which is a false accusation. Those with skin blemishes such as acne, lesions or psoriasis were accused of being lepers. Leprosy is believed to be caused by an inner-soul defect that led to the genocide of lepers. The Jewish communities were less affected because of the separation from general population. Jews also believed in rabbinical law that called for a more hygienic lifestyle. Many people began to blame the Jews for the creation of this plague because of their “alternative” lifestyle. This resulted in crushing massacres of the Jewish communities. The Pope of the Catholic Church and political authorities condemned these massacres; however because of the fury of the mobs this was unsuccessful (Zapotoczny, 2006).
Different religious groups began to grow because of the Extreme alienation with the church. The order of “Flagellants” is an example of a group that grew largely during the start of the plague. Political figures and church officials were not to fond of these groups.
Members would go out in pairs and scatter the streets beating one another one another for atonement of sins. This was also knows as self-flogging. These members were also viewed as carriers of the disease (Flagellants, 2010). Some with the disease used it as a weapon as they would steal from others and attack property and homes. Others chose to mock religion in hopes of appeasing Satin which is known as the Black Mass. Monasteries began to suffer because of the suffered because of the helpfulness offered to the sick and dying. Replacement of clergy because of severe shortages led to new clergy members not as trustworthy as veterans (Zapotoczny, 2006).
Europe’s population continued to decline at a rapid rate as the social and economic Europe’s social and economic anatomy endured fatal consequences. The few survivors left to larger towns and cities were they found the plague spreading just as fast. The duration of this plague continued because of the new citizens already being infected before arriving to their new home. New citizens in cities facilitated the movement of the plague between communities, and contributed to the longevity of the plague in larger...

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