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Why was the Black Death so Terrifying?. 1066–1500. This icon indicates the slide contains activities created in Flash. These activities are not editable. For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation. Learning objectives. This presentation covers:

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Why was the black death so terrifying

Why was the Black Death so Terrifying?

1066–1500

This icon indicates the slide contains activities created in Flash. These activities are not editable.

For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation.


Learning objectives

  • This presentation covers:

  • What the Black Death was.

  • How medieval people thought it was spread.

  • How the disease was really spread.

  • What actions were taken to stop the spread and whether they were successful.


Oh God, what terrible disease has arrived at my village? We are all sick with swellings and fever. The lucky ones are those that die, for who can survive this illness and be left to pick up the pieces of this mad world. Surely God is listening to my prayers. I am writing this in hope you heed my warning and remove yourself from all mankind. I am dying… you may be next…


What was the Black Death? are all sick with swellings and fever. The lucky ones are those that die, for who can survive this illness and be left to pick up the pieces of this mad world. Surely God is listening to my prayers. I am writing this in hope you heed my warning and remove yourself from all mankind. I am dying… you may be next…

The Black Death is also known as the plague. In the fourteenth century it spread rapidly across Europe and caused a massive reduction in population.

People who caught the disease had swellings on their bodies, sometimes as big as eggs. Then the black spots would appear, which gave the disease its name.

A medieval description of the plague:

“…emergence of certain tumours in the groin or armpits, some of which grew as large as a common apple. Black spots appeared on the arm or the thigh…”


The spread of the plague are all sick with swellings and fever. The lucky ones are those that die, for who can survive this illness and be left to pick up the pieces of this mad world. Surely God is listening to my prayers. I am writing this in hope you heed my warning and remove yourself from all mankind. I am dying… you may be next…


How did the plague spread? are all sick with swellings and fever. The lucky ones are those that die, for who can survive this illness and be left to pick up the pieces of this mad world. Surely God is listening to my prayers. I am writing this in hope you heed my warning and remove yourself from all mankind. I am dying… you may be next…

There were two types of plague:

Bubonic plaguewas the more common and was carried in the bloodstream of rats. Fleas bit the rats and become infected. They then hopped onto humans, bit them and passed on the disease.

Pneumonic plaguewas more deadly. It was caught by breathing in the germs when an infected person coughed or sneezed.


Symptoms of the plague are all sick with swellings and fever. The lucky ones are those that die, for who can survive this illness and be left to pick up the pieces of this mad world. Surely God is listening to my prayers. I am writing this in hope you heed my warning and remove yourself from all mankind. I am dying… you may be next…


How did the plague get to Britain? are all sick with swellings and fever. The lucky ones are those that die, for who can survive this illness and be left to pick up the pieces of this mad world. Surely God is listening to my prayers. I am writing this in hope you heed my warning and remove yourself from all mankind. I am dying… you may be next…

The Black Death travelled along trading routes. Merchants ships frequently had rats on board. The rats which got on the boats in China and India, where it is thought the disease began, transferred the disease to the sailors on board, who transferred it to people working at the docks where they landed.


“In the month of August 1348, after the evening sun began to set, a very bright star appeared above Paris … The star seemed much nearer the earth than stars usually are … it seemed to me … that the star stayed in one place … At last darkness fell. Then to the amazement of all of us, the star split up into many different rays. It shed these rays towards the east, over Paris. The star then completely disappeared.”

Description of the plague reaching France by Jean de Venette, friar.

What does this source tell you about how people thought the plague began? Why did many people blame God?


What did people believe caused the plague? to set, a very bright star appeared above Paris … The star seemed much nearer the earth than stars usually are … it seemed to me … that the star stayed in one place … At last darkness fell. Then to the amazement of all of us, the star split up into many different rays. It shed these rays towards the east, over Paris. The star then completely disappeared.”

Sent by God to punish us for our sins.

The movements of the planets.

Were any of these ideas correct?

Being close to infected people.

Bad smells.


How did people try to prevent the plague? to set, a very bright star appeared above Paris … The star seemed much nearer the earth than stars usually are … it seemed to me … that the star stayed in one place … At last darkness fell. Then to the amazement of all of us, the star split up into many different rays. It shed these rays towards the east, over Paris. The star then completely disappeared.”

It was thought that by bleeding people, they could get rid of the bad blood which caused the plague.

Flagellantswere people who believed that if they whipped and hurt themselves, God would take pity on them.

“[Toads] should be placed on the plague boil. The toad will swell and draw out the poison of the plague to its own body…”

Guy de Chauliac

Do you think that any of these methods would work?


Stages of the plague to set, a very bright star appeared above Paris … The star seemed much nearer the earth than stars usually are … it seemed to me … that the star stayed in one place … At last darkness fell. Then to the amazement of all of us, the star split up into many different rays. It shed these rays towards the east, over Paris. The star then completely disappeared.”


Plague doctor to set, a very bright star appeared above Paris … The star seemed much nearer the earth than stars usually are … it seemed to me … that the star stayed in one place … At last darkness fell. Then to the amazement of all of us, the star split up into many different rays. It shed these rays towards the east, over Paris. The star then completely disappeared.”


The effects of the Black Death to set, a very bright star appeared above Paris … The star seemed much nearer the earth than stars usually are … it seemed to me … that the star stayed in one place … At last darkness fell. Then to the amazement of all of us, the star split up into many different rays. It shed these rays towards the east, over Paris. The star then completely disappeared.”

These coffins show the percentage of priests dying from the Black Death in Exeter, Norwich and Ely.

49%

48%

50%

Norwich

Exeter

Ely

Although it is impossible to discover how many people died from the Black Death, it is estimated that around 1 in 3 people in England died as a result of the disease.

Why do you think that a higher percentage of priests died than ordinary people?


Was the Black Death a complete disaster? to set, a very bright star appeared above Paris … The star seemed much nearer the earth than stars usually are … it seemed to me … that the star stayed in one place … At last darkness fell. Then to the amazement of all of us, the star split up into many different rays. It shed these rays towards the east, over Paris. The star then completely disappeared.”

Some good things did come out of the Black Death.

In many areas, villages were deserted, so there was more good land for people to grow crops on.

In many areas, village populations were greatly reduced, so villagers could ask for higher wages, and serfs could demand their freedom.


“At Woodeaton there were only two farmers left and they would have gone away if the abbot had not made a new agreement with them to reduce their work service…” from the records of Eynsham Abbey, c.1385.

“As soon as masters accuse their workers of bad work … they leave quickly and find jobs in new places at higher wages. Masters dare not upset their workers…” from Introduction to a Law, 1376.


Effects of the Black Death would have gone away if the abbot had not made a new agreement with them to reduce their work service…”


The Black Death: multiple-choice questions would have gone away if the abbot had not made a new agreement with them to reduce their work service…”