The Black Death
For Mrs. Waterbury – Gifted Ed
May 7, 2008
The Black Death
§ What was the
§ Could you avoid it?
§ What caused it?
§ Where did it
What was the Black Death?
n The black death was a
plague that almost wiped out
n If you had the black death
you would often throw up
and get bubo's (large
n If you got the black death
there was no way you could
n Once you showed signs of
the plague, you were isolated
from your family.
Could you avoid it?
There was really no way to avoid
the plague, but medieval people
had their own remedies:
n Keep mint or pennyroyal on your
n Keep clothes in a cedar chest
n Use plenty of soap.
n Go to an isolated villa to avoid
contact with plague victims.
n Get armies to do your bidding
n Bloodletting – cut a vein or artery
to let the “BAD” blood out.
If we went back in time, we would:
n Keep some clean clothes tightly folded and bound up in cloth treated with mint or
pennyroyal, preferably in a cedar chest far from all animals and vermin.
n At the first whisper of plague in the area, flee any populated town or village and head for
an isolated villa, far from any trade routes, with your cedar chest.
n Vigilantly clean every last corner of your villa, killing all rats and burning their corpses.
n Use plenty of mint or pennyroyal to discourage fleas.
n Allow no cats or dogs to come near you.
n Once away from all human contact, wash in extremely hot water, change into your clean
clothes, and burn the clothes you traveled in.
n Keep a minimum distance of 25 feet from any other human being to avoid catching any
pneumonic form spread through breathing and sneezing.
n Bathe in hot water as frequently as you can.
n Keep a fire burning in your villa to ward off the bacillus, and stay as close to it as you can
stand, even in summer.
n Have your armies burn and raze to the ground any nearby houses where plague victims
n Pray to the deity or the saint of your choice frequently and fervently.
n Stay where you are until six months after the most recent nearby outbreak.
What caused the Black Death?
n A flea bit a rat that was
infected with the plague.
n The flea later bit a
n The flea regurgitated the
rats blood into the
n The human got the
Where did it spread?
n There was a very serious
outbreak of the plague in
Europe in the 1300s.
n It targeted England,
France, Germany and
n One out of every 3 people
in Europe died from it.
n Its main target was
n The flagellants were very
religious people who
thought that the plague
was caused by evil spirits
in their body.
n They thought if they
whipped themselves or
each other, the could drive
the evil spirits out.
n They really only hurt
n It didn’t keep them from
getting the plague!
The Black Death – a video
n http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/black-death.htm info on the black death
animated map of black death path in Europe
n http://www.awesomestories.com/disasters/stories/black_death/images/swollen.node.jpg -
picture of nodes
n http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/med/marchione.html the account of a person who lived
through the plague
&blnSearchInit=true&Ntt=black+death&Nr= info on the black death
n http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/perez/drawings/plague.gif - picture of man on rat
n http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubonic_plague - info and picture of a flea
n http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/48/Flagellants.png - info and picture of
n http://www.gii.in/wallpapers/data/media/80/Grim-Reaper-Tattoos-2.jpg front picture
n http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/science/medicine/plague.htm - where it spread