Plague. A word that has struck fear in the hearts of man since the
earliest of times. It has also lead to some of the greatest historical events and
stories of our time. The ancient cities of Rome and Athens, in their downfall,
were finished off by pestilence. The Bubonic Plague, also known as The
Black Death, devastated Europe in the 14th century, starting a new age. The
great warrior Ivan the Terrible was stricken with disease, and driven mad.
During the 'exploration' of the new world, Cortes's greatest ally against the
Aztecs was smallpox. Napoleon's Grand Army was defeated by the
Russians, and typhus. Queen Victoria spread hemophilia to her heirs,
leading to the illness of the only son of Czar Nicholas, and the fall of
monarchy in Russia.1 All the events are horrible in every way, but have
struck a chord with people around the world. Perhaps it is our inherent
So, the question is, if these events happened once, why
can't they happen again?
Let us take a look at the most horrible, so far, of the plagues: The
Black Death. It took Europe by storm from approximately 1345 to 1361.
It would also make small comebacks throughout the next 400 years, but never
like it did the first time. It also reached into Africa, China, Russia, and the
Scandinavian countries. It was truly a worldwide pandemic. But, it has a
secondary effect that not many people are aware of. The colonies of
Greenland, settled by the Vikings, were stricken by the plague and they soon
disappeared. It is known that these colonies kept in contact with 'Vinland',
which was near New Foundland, in Canada. The Vikings had already
discovered North America! But, alas, with these colonies all dead, Greenland
was forgotten, and not...