Black Death Essay

Words: 995
Pages: 4

eatLandon Wood
AP World History
1 November 2012
AP World History Book Report
Summary: The Black Death, by Philip Ziegler, covers the epidemic that spread throughout Eurasia around 1348. The book mostly focuses on England and how the disease affected this area. The book also covers other portions of Europe such as France, Italy, and Germany but not as in depth. Ziegler uses the research of many historians to piece together what occurred during this time of grief. Ziegler starts off the book explaining the origins and nature of the plague. He explains how the tartar attacked the port city of Genoa by catapulting diseased corpses in the city’s compound. The Genoese decided to flee and went further north, which caused the spread of
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Ziegler uses fiction in some parts of the book as well. He sets the scene with a village in Europe and describes it as if it went through the plague. In my opinion, Ziegler did this because he wanted to help people have a better picture of Europe at this time. I also feel like he needed his own originality in this book and creates a story to take another point of view. Evaluation of Argument: Ziegler pieces together evidence very well but does not use it to argue or disprove in this book However, there is one section where he uses evidence to disprove an opinion and bring up his own opinion. Ziegler argues that many accounts of the Black Plague give false numbers on the amount of people that died. Many sources of medieval chronicles state that tens of thousands of people died in cities across Europe, but Ziegler said that this is impossible because if these numbers were correct, the total population in Europe at that time would be too large. Ziegler then proves that around one third of the population was actually killed and uses church records to prove this statement. Using how many deaths and changes in the churchmen, Ziegler was able to extrapolate an accurate number and prove his theory. Personal Assessment: I believe the Black Death by Philip Ziegler is a relatively good book. It does its job and gives a vast amount of information. I liked how Ziegler incorporated a fictional section to simulate what it was like in a village of