the black death paper

Submitted By xoxodanielleee
Words: 1273
Pages: 6

Matt Wilson
Dr. Jones
February 8, 2010

During this period people were getting very sick from the Black Death or bubonic plague. Everyone was dying at such a fast rate people starting living like there was no tomorrow because they never could tell when it was going to be their last day. They stopped grieving about the death of friends, family, and neighbors because everyone was dying so fast and so closely together. The Black Death brought out the worst in people because people were living for the day, their attitudes toward life had changed, Christians blamed Jews for the plague, and the flagellants groups. There were two different views on this, Italian people thought that if they stayed sober and self-denying mode of living considerably reduced the risk of infection. Italian people formed themselves into groups and lived in isolation from everyone else. They avoided speaking to the outsiders, rejected to receive news of the dead or sick, and entertained themselves with music. “Others took the opposite view, and maintained that an infallible way of warding off this appalling evil was to drink heavily, enjoy life to the full, go round singing and merrymaking, gratify all of one’s cravings whenever the opportunity offered, and shrug the whole thing off as one enormous joke”(Boccaccio, 75). This was the second view on the Black Death. These people went from bar to bar drinking all day and all night. They did their drinking in private houses and the conversation in these houses had to be pleasant and entertaining. These houses were easy to find, people behaved as though their days were numbered. They treated their belongings and their own persons with equal abandon. Most houses had become common property, and any passing stranger could make themselves at home just as the owner would have. These people did whatever they could to stay away from the sick. During spring of 1348, pogroms against Jewish communities coincided with the plague in Languedoc and Catalonia. The belief that enemies of Christianity could be responsible for the disease through poisoning of air, water, or food. A letter from April 7, 1348, communicated that poor men and beggars had confessed under torture to spreading the plague through poison. Those men were later executed. “Even though these alleged burning at the stake — suggests the antiheretical procedures of the Inquisition. Technically Jews were exempt from the Inquisition, although relapsing Jewish converts were subject to it from the latter half of the thirteenth century”(King Philip VI of France, 140). The death penalty was imposed upon Jews once they confessed to well poisoning. The Jews had no hope in saving themselves from the death penalty so they confessed because they feared torture. In the beginning of spring in 1348 the plague begun. The symptoms were in both men and women. Bubos were swelled up areas on a lymph node. They were mainly found on the groin and armpit. Some were egg-shapes while others were the size on an apple. They came in different sizes. Some were big and some were small. The disease would begin to spread. It appeared all over the body. The symptoms later changed. People began to get dark bruises all over their body. “But what made this pestilence even more severe was that whenever those suffering from it mixed with people who were still unaffected, it would rush upon these with the speed of a fire racing through dry or oily substances that happened to be placed within its reach”(Boccaccio, 32). This diseased seemed to transfer the sickness to anyone touching the clothes or other objects that were handled by its victims. Christians marched the streets in a war-like manner. The Christians violently broke down and destroyed the gates of the streets. All at once the Christians started shouting “kill the traitors” in loud raucous voices. They broke into Jews homes with lances, stones, and bow and arrows. “Like hypocritical robbers, they carried off all their goods and