Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Bubonic Plague

During the Ancient and Medieval world plague was one of the most feared diseases. The biggest epidemic of the Bubonic Plague was during the 1300's in France, England, Germany, and Italy. One out of every three people were killed. People back then did not know how it was spread which, in turn was a contributing factor to the rate at which it spread.

The Bubonic Plague first began with aching limbs, and vomiting of blood. Then the lymph nodes would begin to swell, found within your armpits, neck, and groin. The lymph nodes would swell for three to four more days until they burst. How quick the disease spread, the excruciating pain, and the awful appearances of the people, all made the plague even worse.

The plague was also known as the "Black Death" because the skin of the infected people would turn a dark gray color. It began in China’s Gobi Desert, and it killed about 35 million people living there. When sailors traveled to Asia infected rats returned with them and were back inside Europe. Fleas living on the infected blood would then carry it to the European people.

Merchant ships traveled from Asia on the Black Sea. They arrived in port at Messina, Italy. The disease spread as far as England within a year. The reason it spread so quickly was due to the fact many did not know why it was spreading. The people thought that if they all gathered together to pray they would find healing. They were in fact completely wrong.

By being so close to each other for so many amounts of time the disease spread much more rapidly. If people had avoided contact with each other the death count would have been much lower. Now we have a cure but death still exist due to the Bubonic Plague.

McKitterick, Rosamond. Times Medieval World. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

Guy, John. Medieval Life. London: Ticktock Media Limited, 2001.