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1512 woodcut of plague victim, apparently attended by a doctor and demons.

1512 woodcut of plague victim, apparently attended by a doctor and demons.

In the Middle Ages, no disease wreaked such havoc across Europe as bubonic plague. In this woodcut from 1512, a doctor and his assistants tend to a plague patient.

In the Middle Ages, no disease wreaked such havoc across Europe as bubonic plague. In this woodcut from 1512, a doctor and his assistants tend to a plague patient.

“The sudden arrival of the Black Death, while horrific, had effectively “thinned the human herd,” creating an abundance of food and opportunity, which, according to many historians, had been a primary catalyst for bringing about the Renaissance.” | chapter 41

“The sudden arrival of the Black Death, while horrific, had effectively “thinned the human herd,” creating an abundance of food and opportunity, which, according to many historians, had been a primary catalyst for bringing about the Renaissance.” | chapter 41

Triumph of Death Bubonic Plague Art -In the mid-1300s, approximately one quarter of the world’s population succumbed to the Black Death; 30-60% of Europe’s population lost their lives in a painful mess of black buboes and vomited blood.1 This devastation was captured in manuscripts, paintings and murals that survive to this day. Check out the Black Death through the eyes of the Medieval mind…

Triumph of Death Bubonic Plague Art -In the mid-1300s, approximately one quarter of the world’s population succumbed to the Black Death; 30-60% of Europe’s population lost their lives in a painful mess of black buboes and vomited blood.1 This devastation was captured in manuscripts, paintings and murals that survive to this day. Check out the Black Death through the eyes of the Medieval mind…

The plague drastically culled the European population during the 14th and 17th centuries. The drawing above shows plague victims being taken away on a cart in London, which became a common site in the 14th century

Black Death may have been lurking for centuries

The plague drastically culled the European population during the 14th and 17th centuries. The drawing above shows plague victims being taken away on a cart in London, which became a common site in the 14th century

What we thought we knew is wrong. The Black Death arrived in Britain from central Asia in the autumn of 1348 and by late spring the following year it had killed six out of every 10 people in London. Such a rate of destruction would kill five million now. Researchers extracted plague DNA from 14th century skulls found in east London and evidence suggests a different cause: only an airborne infection could have spread so fast and killed so quickly. A pneumonic rather than a bubonic plague.

Black death skeletons reveal pitiful life of 14th-century Londoners

What we thought we knew is wrong. The Black Death arrived in Britain from central Asia in the autumn of 1348 and by late spring the following year it had killed six out of every 10 people in London. Such a rate of destruction would kill five million now. Researchers extracted plague DNA from 14th century skulls found in east London and evidence suggests a different cause: only an airborne infection could have spread so fast and killed so quickly. A pneumonic rather than a bubonic plague.

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