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Plague

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					Plague, People, and Population:
   The Great Mortality of the 14th Century
Today
• Origins and Transmission
• Contemporary perceptions
• Disease in a Global Age
Key Points
• Bubonic plague originated in China (1330s)and
  traveled quickly along trade routes across
  Eurasia (crossed Europe by 1349) – born of new
  contacts

• Plague disrupted social, economic, political,
  religious, and kinship bonds – yet societies
  nonetheless recovered over time

• Global connectedness still spreads disease as
  well as fostering cultural, economic, and
  intellectual interaction
Plague in Humans
“Black Death” is a modern term:
contemporaries spoke instead of
the Great Mortality, the Big/Great
Death, or simply “the sickness”
Plague in South and East Asia in 1890s sparked
scientific interest in the disease (ie, Swiss
biologist Alexander Yersin)
Yersinia Pestis
Cross-Cultural Exchange under the
Mongols
Ibn Khaldun – 14th-century scholar
from North Africa (like Ibn Battuta)
• Claimed that civilizations contain the seeds of their
  own collapse, and identified the pattern of historical
  interaction between dynamic nomadic peoples and
  stagnant sedentary societies

• Population growth will be checked, even if by
  catastrophe
“. . . Dust you are and unto dust you shall return,
  rotten corpse, morsel and meal for worms.”
The danse macabre in 14th/15th-
century artwork
Scapegoating of Jewish communities for
plague / accusations of poisoning
Flagellants: processions of self-
inflicting penitents (also attack Jews)
Noteworthy Outbreaks of Plague
       • 540-590 C.E.: Justinian’s Plague
   • 1330s: China (began in the Gobi Desert)
           • 1347…: The Black Death
         • 1366: The “Children’s Plague”
         • 1665: last outbreak in England
      • 1720-1721: last outbreak in France
           • 1885-1894: Asia and India
             • 1924-1925: Los Angeles
             • 1954, 1963, 1994: India
 • 1990-on: Madagascar (antibiotic resistant)
              • 2002: New York City

				
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posted:8/24/2012
language:English
pages:27