THE BLACK DEATH: BRING OUT YOUR DEAD!. The Great Plague 1348-1350 AD. THE BLACK DEATH. Watch the video clip Bring out your dead – Monty Python and the Holy Grail. What are your thoughts on the video clip?. THE BLACK DEATH. Ring Around the Rosie Pocket Full of Posies Ashes, Ashes
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THE BLACK DEATH:BRING OUT YOUR DEAD!
The Great Plague 1348-1350 AD
Watch the video clip Bring out your dead – Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
What are your thoughts on the video clip?
THE DISEASE REACHES ITALY
FIRST THEN SPREADS NORTH
The Black Death starts
in China/Mongolia then
spreads to Europe along
the trade routes
HOW ARTIST VIEWED THIS PERIOD
*The population between the tenth and fourteenth centuries increased by over 300%.
*By the mid 1300’s the population of Europe was over 75 million people.
*This burst in population was in part due to better technology. New plows and other innovations in agriculture, such as crop rotation, helped increase food output to sustain a higher population.
*Many serfs became not as dependent on the farm and could move leading to the increase in the size of cities.
PROBLEMS IN THE CITIES AND TOWNS:
1. Houses lacked plumbing, running water, or bathrooms. Chamber pots were used and then emptied into the streets. Walls of castles and houses were stained with human excrement.
2.The streets had a single trench that ran down the center so when it rained it would carry away the waste. This water emptied into nearby lakes and rivers used for drinking water.
2. Wealthier families had cesspools that often leaked into the water supply. In addition, the graveyards within the town presented a problem because of decaying bodies leaked into the water supply as well,
3. In addition to the filth medieval towns and cities were home to dogs, swine, and rats.
4. Before the plague these towns and cities experienced diseases like cholera, smallpox, and influenza.
What Is Plague?
2. CAUSATION / TRANSMISSION
1-The Black death is caused by Yersinia Pestis, a bacteria that lives in the digestive track of fleas. There the bacteria thrives and multiplies.
2-The flea is a parasite that survives by sucking the blood of its host. In this case, the host was usually the common black rat.
3-As the flea feeds, the bacteria continues to multiply until it causes a blockage. Then the flea vomits. Consequently, this occurs when the flea is feeding. Therefore, the flea vomits into the blood stream of the host releasing some of the plague causing bacteria.
4- Eventually the bacteria invades the nervous system of the rat and soon the rat dies. The flea must then seek a new host and since the rats lived very close to humans in medieval Europe the fleas would then bite the humans to make a new host.
Three types of Plague:
1. Pneumonic Plague: This type of plague infected the lungs of the victim. After a three day period of incubation, the person would get a fever and a terrible cough that produced blood. Coma would soon follow. This strain is rare but 95% fatal. This was transmitted from human to human by coughing.
2-Septicaemic Plague: The rarest of the three forms. The bacteria multiply rapidly within the bloodstream of the victim, causing an intense rash all over the body within hours of the infection. Death occurs within a day and in 100% fatal.
3-Bubonic Plague: This is the most common form of plague and what we know as the “Black Death”. The incubation period of this plague is anywhere from three to eight days. The bacteria multiply in the lymph nodes of the victim causing swelling on the neck, groin, and/or armpits. These swellings are called buboes, thus the term bubonic.
The bacteria then moves into the blood stream and attacks the organs. Under the skin the blood vessels break and cause the skin to change colors (darker and darker until almost black). Often blood would ooze from the skin and bowels. Urine would turn black or red. Fatality rates were 50% - 60%.
When the outbreak of plague hit Paris, King Philip VI asked the physicians at the University of Paris to look into the causes. They thought the plague was caused by an upset alignment of the stars and the sun.
THEORIES ON HOW TO PREVENT THE PLAGUE:
1. People were told not to sleep during the day
2. Diets of broth were recommended
3. Fires were believed to drive away the pestilence and people were told to keep warm.
This last point worked as the fires kept away the fleas. Pope Clement VI, living in Avignon, sat in his closed room for months between two large fires. He survived the plague.
Medieval Doctors believed the body was made up of four humors: yellow bile, black bile, blood, and phlegm. These four made up the four elements found on earth: fire, earth, air, and water. When someone contracted the plague doctors believed the persons body was out of balance between these four areas. Doctors had two ways to rebalance the body:
1. Bloodletting- The buboes were cut open to release blood.
2. The person was forced to vomit
Medieval treatment for the Black Death:
1. Drink melted gold
2. Swallow blood from a victim that survived the plague
3. Place on the buboes the blood from a pigeon or one month old puppy
4. Magic – ABRACADABRA worn around the neck on a triangular piece of paper.
Medieval Medical Worker – Note the mask that
was suppose to ward off the plague.
The Black Death, or bubonic plague is not extinct. It still infects thousands of people all across the world each year. Even though there is a vaccine today, if not treated quickly, the bubonic plague can be just as deadly as it was in the Middle Ages.
3. Today in the United States if you contract the bubonic plague you have a one out of seven chance of death.
4. Between 1901 – 1904, 122 people died in an outbreak of the plague in the San Francisco area.
5. In 1925, at least 33 people died of the plague in Los Angeles.
6. Between 1980 and 1994, 18,739 cases of plague were reported to the World Health Organization.
7. In 1994, a plague epidemic broke out in India and as many as 5,000 were infected with between 50 – 300 deaths.
What changes in the 1300’s could have helped prevent this catastrophe?
One deck hearts/clubs/spades only
Bring Out Your Dead! Recreating the black Death in the Classroom – Bell, Book and Camera Productions
Gottfried, Robert S. The Black Death: Natural and Human Disasters in Medieval Europe. New York: The Free Press, 1983