The Black Plague Essay example

Submitted By Tyler505050
Words: 1226
Pages: 5


In central Asia in 1338 a drought or an earthquake disturbed the balance of nature. The plague slowly spread to man through rats and the fleas on the rats. It spread quickly as it moved along trade routes in the blood of infected rats. With it came the plague spreading through China the south in to India. Living in Europe in the middle of the 1300’s would have been heartbreaking and dreadful. Not only were the living condition very poor but there was an unknown disease that was wiping out a large percentage of Europeans people. No explanation would make a person feel safe from catching it or dying with it. The people of Europe just lived their lives as best they could realizing that nothing they do could ever stop this. They did not have the power to stop this it was far too beyond them. This unknown disease is known as the Black Plague. The plague was passed among many rodents by fleas. Most of the rodents were rats. Fleas living on the rat‘s blood would eject the disease into the rat causing it to die quickly. When there were no rats left around, the flea would search for a new host, such as a human. When an infected flea bit the human the bacteria multiplies quickly causing death within a few Days. One a person obtains this disease they can easily spread it among other humans by coughing or sneezed in to the air or by human fleas. The plague had struck other parts of the world before it was first reported in Europe. The disease had been found in China and throughout India around 1332. Nomadic horsemen may have carried the plague westward between China and the Black Sea, where it apparently spread into Russia. Rumors had spread to Europe about the strange and terrible things happening in the East. Europeans began fearing this plague not knowing of its origin or cause. Eventually, the same unusual things started to occur in Europe and the plague was then reported to be in Europe. As the bubonic plague spread across Europe it was called many names. Italians were dying by the thousands so they called it the Great Death. The Spanish called it Moroccan Fever, while Moroccans called it Mountain Fever. Most Europeans called it the Italian Fever or Italian Pestilence. It was not until later when the plague was called the Black Death. Black in Latin means dreadful, unlucky, and gloomy. This and because of black spots on the skin of many plague victims led the people to associate the word black with the plague. There are two reasons that made Europe ripe for the spread of the plague. The negative reason was the living conditions of majority of the people. Most peasants and serfs lived in small villages of windowless thatched wooden huts. It would not be too bad if the people knew of sanitation. They dumped their wastes into rivers from which they drank. They also dumped them into nearby fields where livestock graze and livestock slept under the same roof as the people. Washing was a similar problem. People rarely washed themselves or their clothes. Flea’s, lice and other vermin were part of life and to be endured with. Most rats were ignored which was not good because they were major carriers of the disease. Many of the doctors of the time were amazed at the horrible disease. Physicians were stumped about cure or even remedies of this illness. The only advice they could offer is to get away from it and start off new somewhere else. Many physicians followed their own advice and deserted areas where the plague was to be found. Many doctors told patients that the disease came because of a corrupted or polluted atmosphere. There were a few attempts of doctors finding a remedy. Gui de Chauliac recommended a variety of pills, purges, and bleeding. These are all known as medieval remedies. Chauliac seemed to think on the brighter side of things. All the doctors lacked one important connection: the spread of plague between the rats. This connection had been noticed earlier by others. An extremely high fever, chills, and…