Final Paper Black Death

Final Paper Black Death - The Black Death David Dolinger...

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The Black Death David Dolinger HIS 103 Laura Guardino March 26, 2012 Often termed The Dark Ages, the Middle Ages was a time of discovery, inventions, and substantial trade. Trading was extremely exciting during this time and ships from around the world would stop in China’s ports to trade. The returning ships and goodies aroused excitement at the ports. Imagine gathering at the docks preparing to greet the ships looking forward to items brought from faraway 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.). The greeters, eager to see what was brought back were greeted with a horrifying discovery. Most of the sailors aboard the ships were dead and those alive were approaching death quickly. Along with the items from
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China came rats infected by fleas, the source of the bubonic plague. This plague, simply known as the Black Death had a profound effect on European history creating a series of religious, social, and economic upheaval in the midst of killing over half of Europe’s population. Sweeping over Europe and Asia, the Black Death was named after a symptom of the disease, called acral necrosis. The sufferers were overcome with fevers, could not keep food down, and delirious from pain. Even stranger, mysterious black boils oozing blood and pus is the cause of the plague’s name. The Black Death was indiscriminate and became a devastating epidemic, ravaging cities causing widespread hysteria and death. Authorities quickly ordered the fleet of ships out of the ports but to no avail. The plague continued for the next five years killing more than 20 million people in Europe, almost one third of the continent’s population (Distinct Clones, 2010). Historic records attribute the Black Death to an outbreak of bubonic plague. Germs called yersenina pesis transmitted to humans by rat fleas from infected rats spread the plague from place to place, human-to-human (Distinct Clones, 2010). Antibiotics did not exist during this time period and would not have worked; the plague was a virus, not a bacterial infection. In addition, immunizations for such viruses did not exist. In the medieval times, viruses as this were thought to be caused by bad luck, witches, and the like. Rituals, tonics, and herbs were the only medicine known. Different beliefs regarding the cause of the plague included punishment from God, followers of different religions had poisoned the wells, victims contaminated the air, and some thought the planets shifted. 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).
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The Black Death led to skepticism toward religious officials and authorities who could not cure plague victims and banish the disease. Vicious attacks on Jews, lepers, and outsiders
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This note was uploaded on 04/06/2012 for the course ENG125 ENG 125 taught by Professor Guardino during the Spring '12 term at Ashford University.

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Final Paper Black Death - The Black Death David Dolinger...

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