HISTORY 2186 LECTURE 2JAN 11, 2016Disease Panics in the Old World1.The History of Epidemic Diseasea.Smallpoxb.Bubonic plaguec.Cholera2.Long-Term Preconditions 3.Short-term Triggers4.Scapegoats5.Divine Retribution-Black death = One of the most lethal epidemics in history o14thcentury-Connection between pestilence/religion/superstitionoDifficult to find the lines between them oAll connected Course Readings:-Big-picture ideas/themesoDon't get hung up on detail -How do the readings intersect with what comes up in lecture?Disease/Epidemics -Represents the threat to individual at intimatelevel – attack on person oIntimate tf strong reactions in people-Epidemic is easy to track/map-Quantifiable– easy to understand the spread -Unlike natural disasters, epidemics strike differentiallyoStrike certain ppl based on social/cultural/economic reasons oCreates bad feelings between groups in society oBring out social tension – lead to violence and set ppl against each other -Constantin human history oFinancial – capitalist oStrike all societies at all times, diff contextso*closest we can get to universal panic -Interested in how nature of disease affects how ppl respond to it 1.History of Epidemic Disease-Not the only diseases out there – society has always been hit by disease-Life for most of human history = ‘nasty brutish and short’-1400s – life expectancy was mid-30
oDisease was rife, fact of life -BUT not all diseases created panic -Many of the most prolific killers worked without creating alarmoMeasles – one of the biggest killers but rarely created public panic -In India, same time bubonic plague and malaria – but more panic over bubonic plague even though malaria killed moreA. Smallpox-Entered population from rodents-Terrifying symptoms -Seen in art for centuries-Spread by inhalation of viral material/bodily fluidsoTf easy to transmit oCan be carried on inanimate objects (blankets)-Symptoms were like flu (fever) vomitting mouth sores and rash lesions or postules pain becomes acute as it spreads postules break and pus oozes patient emits smell -Eradicated in 1980 -1stmajor outbreak = Athens in 430 BCE oPart of the reason for fall of Greek empire -Wherever it turned up, killed many-1200s – Iceland -16thcentury – Mexico (7 mill ppl in a decade) -Not just a disease of the poor oKilled 6 reigning monarchs – killed any1 it came into contact with B.Bubonic Plague / Black Death-Also bc of rodents opassed to humans bc of fleas, which ingest bacterium from rodent, and pass it onto humans by biting them-“Black Death” bc it attacked throat, lungs, chest pains, uncontrollable violent-Victims died within 3 days-As it spread, causes fingers and toes/hands/feet, to rot -1strecorded outbreak = Plague of Justinian(542 AD)o45 mill ppl around the worldoFIRST catastrophic disease event oReshaped the western world (Europe 70 mill 25 mill) Wiped cities out Essentially put back into stone age oTrade/travel ceased o
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- Spring '16
- Bubonic Plague