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Black Death. Socio-Historical Impacts Albert Camus.

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Socio historical impacts albert camus
Socio-Historical Impacts Albert Camus

  • "A pestilence isn't a thing made to man's measure; therefore we tell ourselves that pestilence is a mere bogy of the mind, a bad dream that will pass away. But it doesn't always pass away and, from one bad dream to another, it is men who pass away, and the humanists first of all, because they have taken no precautions.”

    Albert Camus, The Plague

  • “There have been as many plagues as wars in history; yet always plagues and wars take people equally by surprise.”

    Albert Camus, The Plague


Socio historical impacts

Socio-Historical Impacts

foster scale measures the death toll as well as the emotional and physical impact that disasters take on a population.

the Black Death falls two-tenths of a point shy of the being the worst disaster in history:

1. World War II (11.1)

2. the Black Death (10.9)

3. World War I (10.5)


Socio historical impacts cont
Socio-Historical Impacts (Cont.)

  • Social unrest inevitably followed incidences of Plague. In 1368, popular uprisings following in the wake of the Black Death overthrew no less than three regimes in Italy, including the Nove, one of Italy's most durable political regimes, having ruled since 1287. (The Black Death: End of a Paradigm, Samuel K. Cohn, Jr.)

  • Ignorance and fear played a large part in the formation of many wives-tales and superstitions surrounding the Black Death, particularly in the outbreak in Italy in the mid fourteenth-century.


Pestilence and persecution
Pestilence and Persecution

  • During the fourteenth century outbreak of the Black Death, many Europeans believed that the virus was caused by, among other things, astrological forces, earthquakes unleashing putrid air from the depths of the earth, and the poisoning of wells by Jews as possible events responsible for the Black Death's emergence (Bennett and Hollister 2006 / Medieval Europe: A Short History)


Pestilence and persecution cont
Pestilence and Persecution (Cont.)

  • Jews were required to be ritually clean and therefore abstained from using public wells. Because of this Jews were accused of intentionally poisoning these wells and in turn causing the outbreak of plague.

  • Subsequent incidences of the Black Death would prove to be somewhat less chaotic affairs. a fifteenth-century outbreak of plague in Poland would see Jews participating alongside Christians in processions to forestall the plague (The Black Death: End of a Paradigm, Samuel K. Cohn, Jr.)


Socio historical impacts the emergence of reason
Socio-Historical Impacts The Emergence of Reason

  • Plague was gradually beginning to cause a shift in attitudes towards medical professionals. Evidence for this is shown in the diaries of Giovanni Morelli, who advised his heirs that, "observing diligently the remedies of valiant doctors" was the best way to stave off the fatal contagion. This assertion, made in the early fifteenth-century Florence, contrasts heavily with the more superstitious and religiously guided advice that was prevalent in 1348, from chroniclers such as MatteoVillani.

  • Villani claimed that medical professionals were only interested in hastening their patients death and making a quick profit. Despite Villani's assertions, the fifteenth-century saw a dramatic rise in doctors' salaries in Florence and probably elsewhere in Europe following the plague.


The emergence of reason cont
The Emergence of Reason (Cont.)

  • Gatari chroniclers in Padua pointed to war as a likely instigator to plague's appearance in 1405. War, they suggested, forced peasants and animals into the cities, resulting in overcrowding and unhygienic conditions, thereby resulting in outbreaks of the Black Death. (The Black Death: End of a Paradigm, Samuel K. Cohn, Jr.)


Shadows of doubt
Shadows of Doubt

  • There is still some debate today as to whether the Black Death that ravaged Florence in 1348, was in fact the bubonic plague, Y. pestis. The reasons for this doubt is that bubonic plague, unlike pneumatic plague is not an airborne pathogen. Bubonic plague requires a host carrier in order to spread from victim to victim and is therefore not nearly as contagious as, for example, the influenza virus.

  • Furthermore the swelling of the lymph nodes, or buboes, that gives Bubonic plague its name, is a common symptom of several infections, including malaria, small pox, mumps, and influenza, among others. Therefore, the disease's most commonly described trait could in fact be very misleading.