The Impact of the Black Death during the 14th Century - Essay Example

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Clients Name Name of Professor Name of Class Date The Impact of the Black Death during the 14th Century During the 14th century the lands of Europe and adjacent regions were infected with a plague that created social, economic and cultural shifts and changes because of the uncontrolled spread of a disease that wiped out significant portions of the population…
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The Impact of the Black Death during the 14th Century
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Download file to see previous pages Cultural changes occurred as people had to cope with the consequences of the plague, creating a situation where changes occurred in order to combat the disease through means that reflected beliefs and traditions. The effects of the plague were written about through firsthand accounts of its devastating effects by Henry Knighton. He relates that in one day 1312 persons died from the disease. In relating the devastating effects of the disease in regard to how the affects reached farther than just human mortality, he reports that the sheep populations were also affected, creating a sense of the expanding ripples of effects that spread throughout all of human existence as the disease became an enemy to fight against and try to prevail. Knighton reports that the Scots believed that the disease was a condemnation of the English who seemed to have caused the wrath of God. However, soon the disease reached the Scottish shores and five thousand Scots were dead from the disease.1 One of the prominent theories on how the disease began its travels across the known world was through the use of a disease as a biological weapon. Allegedly, the Mongols during their siege of Caffa in Crimea hurled dead bodies, rotting with disease, into the holds of their enemies.2 From there, the disease began to proliferate and travel through trade routes as individuals and vermin carried the disease. A key understanding was made during the development of the plague in regard to the epistemology of disease control. According to Walsh, “Global shipping traffic has long served as a conduit for disease.3 The plague was spread through maritime routes, the rats on board the ships carrying fleas that transmitted the plague.4 While full understanding of how disease was spread was not understood, it was understood how this disease was traveling from place to place, but finding a way to contain the disease was not as easily grasped. In Venice, however, ships were quarantined in order to prevent the spread into the city, but this was not successful and even Venice eventually fell to the disease.5 It was during the period of time of the Black Plague that the term quarantine was coined in regard to efforts to contain the spread of the disease.6 The impact of the plague was harsh, quick and severe, impacting regions through decimations of populations that significantly changed the course of human development in the Western world. As an example, the art world was detrimentally affected as both artists and clients of artists were lost, thus changing the landscape. The first half of the 14th century had seen a great deal of activity, the world of art beginning to experience an expansion in style which was halted during the first breakout of the plague in 1348 and again in 1361. Central Italy was the core of the explosion in art advancement, but during this time it was stalled as it was also one of the worst areas hit by the plague.7 Death became personified in many of the works of the period, stalking the population through imagery that suggested that there was an intent behind the spread of the disease as it ravaged populations and spread across continents. A preoccupation with death is visibly evident in the artwork of the period as well as the literature.8 It can be said that it was during this time that death became known as a cruel specter in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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