Black Death

Essay by KarrizzmaCollege, UndergraduateA, November 2014

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

HUMA 1301


Have you ever been interested in apocalyptic scenarios and wondered if one would ever happen during your lifetime? Naturally, everything would probably be riddled in death, chaos, and ultimately the collapse of life as you knew it. Such an event happened to the Europeans in 1347 with the outbreak of the bubonic plague, also known as the Black Death. In the following essay I will be discussing what the bubonic plague is, how people handled the situation, and finally how it affected the economy. First, I will discuss what exactly the bubonic plague is.

To understand what the Black Death is, you must first understand how the people in Europe got it. "The plague was carried to Europe by flea bearing black rats" (Fiero, 360) on commercial vessels. In the early stages of the disease it was usually spread by "the bite of either the infected flea [from the black rat], or the host rat; in its more severe stages, it was passed on by those infected with the disease" (Fiero, 360).

The symptoms of the disease were pretty obvious and came quickly. "The initial symptom, [is] a blackish, often gangrenous pustule at the point of the bite…" (Gottfried, 8). In addition to a fever, victims would develop a buboes (an abscess) "…that began in the lymph glands of the groin or armpits of the afflicted [which] slowly filled with pus, turning the body a deathly black…" (Fiero, 360). Thus, the term "Black Death" had spawned because a few short days after the appearance of the boils, the victim would die. In addition, "the hemorrhaging [caused by the swollen lymphatic glands] produces cell necrosis and intoxication of the nervous system, ultimately leading to neurological and psychological disorders…" (Gottfried, 8). However, back then then people...