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Natural Disasters of the 14 th Century. The Great Famine (1315-1317) The Black Death (1346-1351). 14 th Century Disasters: Human and Natural . Avignon Papacy Great Schism Hundred Years War Great Famine Black Death. Consequences. Europe experiences tremendous strains

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natural disasters of the 14 th century

Natural Disasters of the 14th Century

The Great Famine (1315-1317) The Black Death (1346-1351)

14 th century disasters human and natural
14th Century Disasters: Human and Natural
  • Avignon Papacy
  • Great Schism
  • Hundred Years War
  • Great Famine
  • Black Death
  • Europe experiences tremendous strains
  • Become aware of new vulnerabilities
  • Famine and plague cause millions of deaths
  • Many challenge old institutions
  • Many more doubt traditional values
  • Calamities altered the path of European development
the great famine of 1315
The Great Famine of 1315
  • 800 to 1300 AD - the total production of Europe had increased steadily
  • local food shortages - people did die of starvation
  • standard of living in Western Europe had risen even while the population had steadily increased
14th century
14th century
  • the population so large that the land could provide enough resources only under the best of conditions
  • no margin for crop failures or harvest shortfalls
  • climate underwent a slight change, cooler and wetter summers and earlier autumn storms
  • Wet spring 1315, 1316, 1317
  • Europeans malnourished
  • 10-15% die of pneumonia, bronchitis, tuberculosis, and other sicknesses
  • Fewer mouths to feed
  • Nobles and peasants alike suffer
  • Recovery begins by 1325
what fairy tales suggest
What Fairy Tales Suggest

The Mouse Tower of Bingen

Hansel and Gretel

an essay on population
An Essay on Population
  • Thomas Malthus (1766-1834),
  • Arithmetic vs geometric increase
  • the population of a region will eventually increase until there are not sufficient resources to support it
the black death of 1347 1351
The Black Death of 1347-1351
  • revival of commerce and trade = more movement of people
  • merchants travelled to regions from which they could bring both profitable wares and contagious disease
  • hot water a luxury and personal hygiene substandard
the disease
The Disease
  • transmitted primarily by fleas and rats
  • three forms:
    • bubonic [infection of the lymph system 60% fatal]
    • pneumonic [respiratory infection -- about 100% fatal]
    • septicaemic [infection of the blood and probably 100% fatal]
impact on the church
Impact on the Church
  • Church can’t protect Christians from the ravages of the plague
  • The Avignon Papacy “The Babylonian Captivity”
  • The Great Schism
  • Conciliarism
  • Councils of Pisa (1409) and Constance(1415)
personal paths
Personal Paths
  • Brethren of the Common Life
  • Mystics
  • Reforming Princes
  • Heretics
    • Wycliffe who’s protected
    • Jan Huss who’s NOT
images and rhymes
Images and Rhymes

Ring around the rosie,A pocketful of posie,Ashes, ashesAll fall down!


 "How many valiant men, how many fair ladies, breakfast with their kinfolk and the same night supped with their ancestors in the next world! The condition of the people was pitiable to behold. They sickened by the thousands daily, and died unattended and without help. Many died in the open street, others dying in their houses, made it known by the stench of their rotting bodies. Consecrated churchyards did not suffice for the burial of the vast multitude of bodies, which were heaped by the hundreds in vast trenches, like goods in a ships hold and covered with a little earth."

Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron

the effects of the plague
The Effects of the Plague
  • new attitudes toward death, the value of life, and of one\'s self
  • growth of class conflict
  • loss of respect for the Church
  • emergence of a new pietism (personal spirituality)
  • new cultural vigor in Europe
  • national languages, rather than Latin, were the vehicle of expression
  • Giovanni Boccaccio\'s The Decameron,