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In the examination of mass deaths in the course of history, it can be said that the Black Death is one of the worst natural killers of all time, eradicating more than 30% of the European population and about 50% of the English population (Zapotoczny 1; Holmes 249; Byrne 237)…
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Download file to see previous pages Death because the bubonic strain is typified by “large, inflamed lymph nodes around the neck, groin and armpits” that would turn black with the progression of the disease (Hayden, “History of The Black Death”). The spread of the disease was fast and crossed countries and continents within months as rat fleas feeding on infected black rats, causing the fleas to hunger for more sources of blood, were transported through ships that sailed from the East to the West (Hayden, “History of The Black Death”). Combined with the unsanitary conditions of the cities back then and contagion became inevitable. “The violence of this disease was such that the sick communicated it to the healthy who came near them, just as a fire catches anything dry or oily near it” (“The Black Death, 1348”). This was evidenced by black flags that were hung on villages and towns that were infected by the plague; almost everywhere these black flags were seen flying in the air (Butler, “The Black Death and its Impact (c.1300-1450)”).
The rapid devastation of village and city populations created an aura of doom and fear—experiences that were never forgotten and gotten over with. Entire families died; survivors did not even have time to mourn their loved ones as the fear of contacting the disease was all-consuming (Holmes 249). People were forced to throw their loved ones in mass graves of ditches without a proper burial ceremony and even a hastened prayer (Holmes 249; James, “Black Death: The lasting impact”). “And there were those who had been so poorly covered with earth that dogs dragged them from there and through the city and fed on corpses” (qtd. in Holmes 249). Experiences like this are etched into the memory of the people and has inadvertently affected the psyche and morale of not only the individual, but of populations worldwide. This has resulted to a change in the way of living, especially for the peasants who were affected greatly as they did not have the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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