Contrasting: Black Death and Johan Nider Essay

Submitted By jeedsy123
Words: 870
Pages: 4

Boccaccio: The Decameron-Introduction
The Decameron is a summary of accounts and experiences of the black plague in Florence, Italy in 1348. This excerpt happened to be written by Giovanni Boccaccio during the epidemic. Boccacio starts out explaining how susceptible people were to the plague. Boccacio defines the plague almost as if it was a domino effect, contagious and strikes almost anyone to death. However, Boccacio claims that there were many ways to get around and keep oneself alive and that was to maintain clean hygiene-a term people in the 13th century Europe failed to understand, or simply staying away and avoiding contact with the plagued individual. No laws were even put in place, he claims that people were abandoned. The bodies of corpses filled the streets and the stench had polluted the towns. People were also seemed to be morally inept since death was upon them. Interestingly, Boccacio states that the symptoms of the plague were different in part where it had spread. Some hit with a swarm of blood from the nose, a swelling in the groin or beneath the armpit and some even came in different shapes and sizes. People believed the black plague was a form of punishment from god for all who have sinned or betrayed him.

Johan Nider on Joan of Arc
In this excerpt written by Johan Nider on Joan of Arc, Nider is depicted as a “zealous witch finder”. The document begins by questioning if good men have been betrayed by witches back then. The response is then directed at Joan who was spotted by a man by the name of Heinrich Kaltyseren in the city of Cologne, Germany. Joan is described as a women who wandered the town in men’s clothing and almost a manly figure-which had come off as strange to many people living at the time back then. She was unceasingly told by the saints that she had been selected by God to reestablish France and offer her support to the Dauphin Charles (the King of France) and that she must wear men's clothing, bear arms, and fight in the army in an attempt to restore Orleans back to the French and had also succeeded. However, after the battle had ended she was captured by the English, and after a year of imprisonment she was scorched at the stake as a ‘witch’ in 1431 (with no evidence supporting if she was indeed a witch). It almost seemed like the English loathed Joan because of her supernatural capabilities like the example cited in the document about her cutting a napkin into pieces then restoring it back into one piece. It seemed like the English or all men at this time were misogynistic when it came to women who rebelled against the church.
Columbus’ letter to the King and Queen of Spain, 1494
This excerpt is a letter written by Christopher Columbus. The message was directed to the King and Queen of Spain in 1494 about Columbus’ voyage to the Islands of Espanola. Columbus provides insight to the king and queen on how the Island of Espanola should governed. He supplied various policies that he believed would make his journeys there with soon to be Spanish colonists systematic and unrestricted from illegitimate activities. He wanted to make it clear to the Spanish people, who wanted to travel there to settle and hunt for the gold they all thought was available there, that there was going