10 Ways the Black Death turned Medieval Society Upside Down
10 Ways the Black Death turned Medieval Society Upside Down

10 Ways the Black Death turned Medieval Society Upside Down

Natasha sheldon - June 29, 2018

Between 1347-1350, a unique and virulent form of plague devastated Europe. Spread from the east via the Mediterranean trade routes, within three years, what became known as the Black Death, Bubonic Plague or the Great Plague had swept across Europe? Fourteenth century society-already weakened by war and malnutrition was at its mercy. The pandemic was, relentlessly, switching between bubonic phases characterized by black and swollen buboes caused by inflamed lymph nodes, pneumonic plague, which attacked the lungs and septicaemic Plague. By the time its grip began to slacken in 1350, the Black Death had killed one-third of the European population were dead. It would take two hundred years for levels to recover.

The effects of the Black Death on European society during and after the pandemic were stark. The onset of the disease threw society into turmoil, overthrowing all the usual social, moral and religious mores, as people attempted to stay alive and cope with the everyday horror of their lives. This social turmoil did not cease once the plague was over. For the enormous losses of life changed the dynamics of European society, leading to alterations in the status quo between the classes, town and country and religion. Here are just ten ways in which the Black Death turned society upside down.

10 Ways the Black Death turned Medieval Society Upside Down
The Black Death. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

Towns and Cities sealed themselves off.

The plague began to change European society from the moment it touched land. It initially entered the European mainland via the Mediterranean ports. The Black Death’s first landing on European soil was at Messina in Sicily, October 1347. Fleas, rats, and sailors all carrying the plague disembarked before the port’s citizens realized they were infected. Within days, the disease had spread, and the desperate citizens of Messina drove the infected sailors back out to sea. However, it was too late to prevent the plagues spread. By January 1348, it had reached Genoa and Venice and then moved north to the northern city of Pisa.

The plague’s journey through Europe had begun- and news of its devastation preceded it. Those towns and cities as yet unaffected tried staving off infection by learning from the example of the plagues’ early victims. “A single stranger carried the infection to Padua, to such effect that perhaps a third of the people died within the region as a whole” noted L A Murtori writing of these fourteenth-century events three centuries later. “In the hope of avoiding such a plague, cities banned the entry of all outsiders.” So, when a city heard the plague was approaching, it quickly sealed its gates.

However, such measures could also be the ruin of towns, as trade would stop, destroying economic wealth. More importantly, once food supplies ran out, the whole population, wealthy or not, would starve. So other towns opted for a more limited form of quarantine. The English city of Gloucester had become prosperous due to its trade in cloth, iron, wine, and corn with Bristol along the River Severn. Annual and weekly fairs for the outlying districts also added to its wealth. Then, in the summer of 1348, news reached the town that the plague had infected the port of Bristol.

So, the council of Gloucester took the drastic decision to close itself off to- travelers from Bristol at least. By barring one of its primary sources of income, the town’s economy was at risk but the councilor’s hoped by banning contact with the infected city, they could keep the plague at bay- and continue to function. However, this measure did not reassure the town’s citizens. They began to flee Gloucester for the countryside where they believed they would be safe. Such was the extent of the exodus that the authorities began to issue a fine for each day a person was absent as they feared there would be insufficient people to run the town.

However, the council’s partial sealing of the city was insufficient. In 1349, the plague reached Gloucester. The people of Gloucester were about to discover, as had those who had encountered disease across Europe before them, that they were willing to abandon much more than their towns, wealth and possessions to stay alive.

10 Ways the Black Death turned Medieval Society Upside Down
Some families abandoned loved ones suffering from the Black Death. Google Images.

People Abandoned their Loved Ones

When plague reached a town, city or settlement, it became common practice to “avoid or run away from the sick and their belongings,” as fourteenth-century Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio put it. The house containing the infected person would be sealed up, and no one would be allowed to enter until it was apparent all within were dead- or else had somehow survived the disease. This measure meant that the healthy, as well as the sick, were effectively walled up alive.

The doors to plague afflicted dwellings were boarded up and marked with a cross to warn of its status as a place of infection. Some, very rare charitable neighbors may have tried to alleviate the suffering of those within by passing on food and water. However, most would have given infected homes a wide birth- if they had not managed to flee altogether, abandoning their livelihoods and possessions as well as their sick neighbors.

However, it was not just friends and neighbors who were abandoning each other; it was family members too. “Brothers abandoned brothers, uncles their nephews, sisters their brothers and in many cases wives deserted their husbands,” explained Boccaccio. He described how parents would even refuse to touch and comfort their infected children, abandoning even babies to die, without comfort or care in a desperate attempt to avoid infection themselves. Some accounts tell of how loved ones cruelly deceived the dying, telling them they were going to fetch a doctor, as they locked the door behind them, never intending to return.

Cases of abandonment were not isolated or localized. They occurred all across Europe in places as diverse as Scotland and Ireland, Italy and the eastern nations. Nor was this abandonment a phenomenon that developed as the plague progressed and its horrors unfolded. Cases of familial abandonment began immediately, in the first place the Black Death made landfall on European soil: Messina in Sicily. A Friar, Michele da Piazza described how no one would go near the sick ” neither priests nor sons, nor fathers nor any kinsman. “All over Europe, fear, and horror of the plague dissolved the most natural bonds of family and love and causing people to abandon their loved ones without a second glance.

Some historians have questioned the validity of abandonment tales, preferring to see them as horrific folk myths of the plague. However, such stories only arise during the time of the Great Plague, not during any other before or after. They also occur in areas so remote from each other, with details so different and divergent that they could not be simple allegorical fiction. Abandonment shows the level of horror the Black Death inspired, dissolving even the most natural instincts of care for loved ones. It was not the only way that the Great Plague warped people’s behavior. For a form of public self-harm became a warped and favorite way of trying to ward off the Plague.

10 Ways the Black Death turned Medieval Society Upside Down
Flagellants at Doornik, in Holland in 1349. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

The Flagellants

From ancient times, whipping was associated with purification. The Roman festival of the Lupercalia involving participants undergoing a light, symbolic scourging. However, during the Black Death, this ancient precedent was taken to a more extreme and masochistic level by a once marginal cult known as the Flagellants. The Brethren of the Cross-, or Brotherhood of the Flagellants predated the Black Death. It started life as a small sect in Italy and Eastern Europe. However, the advent of the Great Plague changed things, and the Flagellants went mainstream.

People believed that the plague was a symptom of God’s wrath against a sinful world. The flagellants thought they could appease god and so save people through self-laceration- and the desperate populace believed them. Processions of flagellants, led by priests carrying a cross and banners became a familiar sight, moving from town to town. Barefoot and two abreast, these doleful, hymn singing snakes of people consisted of all classes and ages and both sexes. It was impossible to differentiate between them, as all wore the same, robes with a red cross, their faces hidden by a hood.

Once they reached a town, the flagellants were greeted by inhabitants who would flood out to welcome the flagellants. Both groups would have congregated in the local church where the Flagellant’s leader led them all in a special litany. Then it was back outside for the main event. The flagellants formed a circle around the sick of the parish and while the parishioners looked on, stripped themselves to the waist. The master would then beat any offenders against the order. Once this punishment was complete, the ritual scourging began.

Each flagellant had their own scourge, typically consisting of three or four-pronged strips of metal studded leather. Scourges could however by more vicious, with once chronicler Henry of Hervodia describing flagellants using cattle prongs. The flagellants used these scourges to beat themselves bloody across the back and breast in time to the chanting of three of their brethren. As the ceremony progressed, the chanting and whipping became more frenzied, carrying along the audience who joined in with the flagellant’s groans.

However, once the plague was over, the flagellant’s day was done. The church, alarmed by the idea of wandering groups of laity preaching salvation outside of the clergy declared the sect heretical. Long before this, however, the cult had degenerated as opportunists hijacked flagellant groups, using them as a way of intimidating and bullying villagers. However, warped though it was, this masochistic ritual began from a genuine belief that extreme self-harm could absolve sins and so defeat the plague. Elsewhere in Europe, people did not blame God for their misfortune but instead targeted marginal minority groups.

10 Ways the Black Death turned Medieval Society Upside Down

A picture representing the 2000 jews accused of causing the plague by poisoning wells, who were burned alive on February 14, 1349,’ in Strasbourg. C 1370. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

The Medieval Holocaust

Those Christians who did not blame God or humanity’s sinful behavior for the plague looked elsewhere for scapegoats. In Spain, the Arab population was singled out, and in France, the English. However, the primary European scapegoat for the plague was the Jews. The only exception to this rule was in England- but only because Edward I had already expelled all those of the Jewish faith in 1290. On the mainland of the continent, some claimed the Jews transmitted the plague by poisoning food while others said they contaminated wells. All, however fancifully believed that the Black Death was a Jewish attempt to ‘Destroy Christendom”.

The first severe case of Jewish persecution during the plague began at Chillon in southern France in the summer of 1348. A local Jew was accused of poisoning a well. He was arrested- and tortured. Unsurprisingly, he confessed to the crime and news of this confession quickly spread. The Chillon case acted as a tinderbox, and the result was a fire of hatred for the Jews that spread across Europe. Some rare cities such as Zurich contented themselves with merely banning Jews. Regrettably, reactions elsewhere were much more violent.

In November [1348] began the persecution of the Jews,” wrote one German chronicler. That same month, Jews were rounded up and burnt alive at Solothurn, Burren, Memmingen, and Lindau. The following January, more burnings occurred at Fribourg and Ulm. Gotha and Dresden shortly followed suit. In February 1349, 2000 Jews were incinerated in Strasburg and in August 1349, Mainz and Cologne exterminated their Jewish citizens. In all, the Germania Judaica, compiled from archives across Germany, Austria, and central Europe reported that plague driven pogroms wiped out at least 235 Jewish communities across this area alone.

There had been pogroms before. However, the scale of the plague driven slaughter of Jews was unprecedented. In normal times, Christians generally tolerated their Jewish neighbors. However, the tensions caused by the Black Death released the often-pent up hatreds and resentments in specific sectors of society. The usual metaphorical stick Christians used to beat Jews with was their role in the death of Christ. However, part of the violence of the persecution during the plague was motivated by something more prosaic: money.

The Jews were moneylenders of Christian society- and hard-pressed Christians were becoming more and more in debt to them as the hard economic times caused them to take out more loans to survive. The records of the town of Perpignan in Southern France show how from the beginning of 1348, a growing number of Christians were in debt to Jewish moneylenders. In January 16 loans were taken out. In February the figure was 25. By March it had risen to 32. In the first 11 days of April alone, a further eight loans were taken out- before ceasing until August. Were the Jew’s persecuted so people could avoid paying them back? This would not be surprising. For morality, in general, was wearing thin in plague-ridden Europe.

10 Ways the Black Death turned Medieval Society Upside Down
The Missionary Position-sex in the Middle Ages. Google Images. Public Domain.

 

The Breakdown of the Moral Code.

Some people’s response to the plague was to attempt to live better lives. Whether to preserve their health or to be more pleasing to God, they separated themselves into small communities of like-minded individuals. Here, although they ate and drank well, they did so without excess. They also avoided sex. Others, however, took the opposite view. Whether they decided to live life to the full while they still could or because of the disruption to secular and church law, many people threw off the moral restrictions of their times. They got drunk, broke the law and had sex wherever, and with whomever, they pleased.

With the disruption to the standard social mechanisms of control, crime rose during the plague. Many houses were abandoned and empty- or occupied by those too weak or sick to defend themselves. So it became common for anyone who pleased to move into these unsecured properties and adopt the place as their own. Career criminals, keen for rich pickings, began to flock to the stricken, larger, towns such as London, where they took advantage of the death toll to help themselves to abandoned goods. Even after the plague had ended, London still maintained a reputation for greed, immorality, and hardheartedness.

People did not just disregard the law; they also began to discard the usual rules of morality. This change was in part due to the lowering of the barriers between the sexes and the classes. Giovanni Boccaccio mentions how because of the shortage of servants: “beautiful and noble women, when they fell sick, did not scruple to take a young or old manservant, whoever he might be and with no sort of shame, expose every part of their bodies to these men as if they had been women, for they were compelled by necessity of their sickness to do so.”

This abandonment of modesty led to a lowering of inhibitions which Boccaccio also claimed was “a cause of looser morals in those women who survived.” Indeed, in England, it seems that fornication was at an all-time high during the plague years. Records show that while fines for crimes, in general, fell, probably because the authorities could not be bothered to impose them, penalties for adultery and other sexual offenses were on the rise. Sexual licentiousness increased as people took comfort and found partners where they could.

However, there was also a sense of abandonment about sex in the plague years, as if people were determined to celebrate life while they still could, at the same time thumbing their noses at death. Orgies in cemeteries became peculiarly familiar. The graveyard at Champfeur in Avignon was particularly famous in this respect, and its orgies became so well established that they continued into the late fourteenth century, forcing the church to legislate against those who drank, gambled, danced and had sex amongst the tombs and gravestones. Elsewhere, in Europe, graveyards remained the notorious haunts of prostitutes and those who wanted an illicit liaison. Even though it had ended, the plague had changed the moral landscape of Europe. It had also left it altered in other ways.

10 Ways the Black Death turned Medieval Society Upside Down
Wolfhampcote, a medieval village straddling the English counties of Northamptonshire and Warwickshire which was deserted because of the Black Death. Picture credit: Andy F. Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Deserted Medieval Villages

By the time the plague abated in 1350, a third of Europe had been wiped out. Large, densely populated cities were stricken with massive losses. Before the Black Death, the city of London had a population of 70,000. After 1350, its population reduced with the deaths of 30,000 people. Nor did the countryside, the place of refuge for many people, fare any better. Indeed in some ways, it fared much worse. For while towns and cities, despite their reductions in population survived, many villages saw all of their inhabitants wiped out by the Black Death. Where there were survivors, they were so few that the villages were abandoned altogether.

Archaeology can help shows the scale of this rural devastation. Between 2005-2014, a group of archaeologist began to investigate 55 settlements over six counties in the east of England to identify the effects of the Black Death on the population. Using ordinary, everyday pottery as their benchmark, they discovered on average pottery declined by 45% during and after the plague indicating a corresponding decline in residents. In some areas, the fall was as much as 70% while other places, such as the villages of Great Shelford in Cambridgeshire and Daws Heath in Essex showing no pottery at all.

Many of these villages may have already been declining because of the poor harvests caused by wet summers and the great famine that swept Europe between 1315-17. However, the plague finished them off. Villages like Tilgarsley in Oxfordshire and Anebein in Leicestershire had their occupants wiped out by the Black Death. In other cases, villages were deserted by the survivors because plague had left them so depopulated they could no longer farm the land.

England was not the only country to see a massive loss of its rural settlements. In Germany before 1350, there were about 170,000 rural hamlets and villages. By the time the plague loosened its grip, this number had been reduced by nearly 40,000. In all, eastern and south West Germany lost 20-30% of its villages. The remains of these Wustungen– “lost villages’- can be traced in the landscape today. The story was similar elsewhere with rural Castile suffering a 20% loss of its rural settlements to the Plague.

However, some settlements did recover. In 1350, the manor records for the Hamlet of Quob in Hampshire show that “all and each of the tithing [tenants] died in the pestilence’. However, three years later, the village was resettled- although like Elmesthorpe in Leicestershire, not on the original site. However, the effects of this massive rural depopulation went beyond a decreased in the number of settlements. It changed the way people used the countryside.

10 Ways the Black Death turned Medieval Society Upside Down
“”Medieval Farming from “The Decorative Illustration of Books” by Walter Crane c1896. Public Domain

The Black Death Changed Agriculture.

Grain was the foundation of pre-plague agriculture. However, the reduction in the population caused by the Black Death meant there were fewer people to work the land. Crops rotted in the field, and there was no one to plant new ones. In the north of England in the fifteenth century, grain production was less than a third of the level it had been a century earlier. In the region around Cambrai in France, it had dropped 50% by 1370 and continued to fall by a further 25% by the mid-fifteenth century. With grain production no longer viable, it was necessary for agriculture in medieval Europe to make a shift.

One solution was to put the land out to pasture as animal husbandry required less manpower. In some cases, this increased consumption and trade in certain foodstuffs. The Low Countries, Scandinavia and Germany, made the shift increasing the quantities of butter and beef in the European market. In Portugal, there was a shift to fishing. However, the biggest boom came in sheep farming. This type of agriculture required very little labor and its by-product, wool, was much sought after by the burgeoning trade in wool and cloth. Soon, places like England, Central Italy and Castile were booming centers of wool production.

However, crops were still required and so to meet the challenges of the aftermath of the Black Death, agricultural technology adapted. Interestingly, this involved taking a retrograde step. Since the eleventh century, there had been a slow change in the type of draft animals used on the land, with oxen slowly being replaced by horses. After the Black Death, this changed was reverse. Oxen required less fodder than horses and so could work harder with less feed, which was in short supply. What was more, they could be put out to graze on fields that had gone wild. It was not until 1500 in England that the shift back to horses as draft animals began.

As fields lay fallow and returned to the wild, landowners found other uses for them, leading to the creation of many of the features of the typical park of the landed classes. Former fields became deer parks. They constructed rabbit warrens and fishponds. All supplied the manorial table as well as the fields they once occupied.

There was also another reason for landowners to shift to less labor-intensive farming: the rise in wages. Fewer workers meant a more competitive market and so to keep the services of their agricultural workers, landowners had to pay them more. Decreasing the number of hands needed was one way of keeping the pay bill down. However, the wage issue was just one sign that the social status quo began to shift after the Black Death.

10 Ways the Black Death turned Medieval Society Upside Down
The Peasants Revolt 1381. Unknown medieval artist illustrating Froissart’s Chronicles c. 1470. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

The Fall of the Feudal System

The feudal system was already beginning to change before the Black Death, with more peasants becoming freemen, renting land from their lords and being paid in cash for work instead of being tied by the obligations of serfdom. These freemen remained bound to their villages by family ties and their sense of duty. The plague destroyed this. Families were decimated, and duty vanished. There was plenty of work- but not enough workers. So free peasants were free to negotiate better terms with their Lords, demanding higher wages or lower rent. If their current Lord refused, they could simply move on to one who would agree.

Serfs applied the same tactic. They were tied to the land; however, the labor shortage also gave them more bargaining power. More and more of tied laborers began to negotiate better terms of living. They demanded the same rights as freedmen in return for their labor and if their Lords refused, they ran away. Some left for the towns where, if they could survive uncaught for a year, the law would grant them their freedom. However, others just moved onto other manors where in return for their labour, they were accepted as free workers, with no questions asked.

Landlords had little choice but to pay the wage increases and in some areas payments doubled. Across Europe, serfdom began to disappear. In Italy and France, obligations were imposed upon the Lords who were now obliged to supply their peasants with not only land to farm but also the tools and seeds to do so. By the sixteenth century, it was common for peasants to pay their Lords a fixed rent after which the rest of the profits of their farms were their own. Peasants were also now free to dispose of their own property. It was now possible for peasants to become prosperous- even wealthy.

Alarmed by the growth of a socially mobile peasantry, the nobility began to try and reassert some control. In eastern Europe, serfdom reappeared as laws were made to force serfs to remain on their Lord’s land. In England, a series of laws were passed to try and keep the peasants in their place. Prices of goods were fixed to limit peasant’s profits, and in 1351 the Statute of Laborers was imposed, restricting wages to the levels of 1346. However, these measures were not working as in 1363; ruling bodies passed Sumptuary Laws which regulated the kinds of clothes and materials that different classes could wear to stop prosperous peasants from dressing as nobles.

However, the lower classes were not going to relinquish their newfound freedom without a fight. In 1381, what became known as the Peasants Revolt broke out. Under the leadership of a peasant called Wat Tyler, a group of rebels from Kent and Essex marched on London in June 1381. Once there, they demanded the King recognized their rights, beheading the King’s Treasurer and the Archbishop of Canterbury just to prove they were in earnest. Ultimately, the King’s forces quashed the revolt and the leaders executed. However, the Peasant’s Revolt showed that there was no going back to the old social order. The execution of an Archbishop also signaled another worrying change- this time to the position of the church and religion.

10 Ways the Black Death turned Medieval Society Upside Down
Nuns tending Plague Victims. Google Images

The Crisis in Religion

After the Black Death, the Church lost some of its hold on people and faith became less unquestioning. The Clergy had not been able to explain as to why God would allow people to be so stricken by such a horrible disease. Nor, despite its indulgences and the penances had it been able to alleviate suffering or the plague itself. In the aftermath of the Black Death, people began to see the Church as self-serving and corrupt. Some questioned the need for the clergy at all. In essence, the Black Death laid the foundations of the Reformation.

During the Black Death, many monks and parish priests had stuck by their parishioners. Monastic hospitals cared for the sick and priests continued to go amongst the infected, administering the sacraments, hearing confessions and offering what consolation they could. However, this close proximity to the sick and dying pushed up mortality rates amongst the clergy. In monasteries, around 50% of the monks died. In towns like Bristol, the mortality rate amongst clergymen was ten deaths amongst every 18 priests. The incumbents of many churches had to be replaced several times. Very soon, the Church had run out of priests.

Some priests, however, did desert their posts to save themselves and once the plague was over, they became representative of the whole priesthood, rather than the exceptions. Jean de Venette writing in rural Beauvais in northern France castigated “the cowardly priests” who abandoned their flocks. However, these priests in themselves were insufficient to make up the depleted clergy. It became necessary to hastily recruit new ones. However, the quality of the recruits was dubious. Half-trained, often illiterate; these new priests lacked the dedication and devotion of their predecessors. Many took advantage of the desperate need of parishes to charge between twice and ten times as much for their services as priests had before.

 

It was apparent that neither priest nor pope had been able to intercede with God to stop the plague. However, other issues had eroded church authority. The desperate shortage of priests to administer the sacraments to the dying had led Pope Clement to take extreme measures. He had issued an edict, which allowed the laity-even women- to hear confession. This led some people to question if they needed the clergy at all. In the aftermath of the Black Death, a number of heresies arose that were motivated by the belief that the un-ordained to commune with God directly: the Fraticelli and Dolcinites in Italy and in England, the Lollards.

The church attempted to counter this dissent with a carrot and stick approach. They clamped down on heretics, at the same time tried to woo their flock with sweeteners. In Italy, it created fifty new religious holidays in the aftermath of the plague. However, it did little good. The Church could not repair the damage done by the Plague to its reputation or the people’s faith. Nor did the fabric of the church recover. As with the population in general, many English monasteries never recovered the sheer numbers they had lost. However, the effects of the Plague on society weren’t all bad.

10 Ways the Black Death turned Medieval Society Upside Down
Seventeenth century plague doctor. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

The Development of Quarantine

In 1348, in an attempt was made to understand the plague and its causes, The Paris Medical Faculty published a scientific account of the plague. They attributed the ultimate cause of the plague to “the configuration of the heavens” which led to a “corruption of the air” rather than any earthly causes. Erroneous as this was, the report did note the link between the increased wet weather and the warmer winters which perpetuated the disease and how cold, hard winters tended to destroy similar infections.

With no clear understanding of the origins of the plague, it was impossible for doctors to formulate an effective treatment. Remedies varied between bleeding and purging patients. If these did not finish off the afflicted, physicians attempted cool their humors with herbal treatments and then lance the buboes. For centuries afterwards, people survived plague due to luck or natural resilience rather than any medical advances. However, there was one aspect of plague management that underwent a complete revolution because of the Black Death: the measures which European society took to prevent the spread of infectious disease.

There were several, less prolonged outbreaks of plague in the years immediately following 1351. However, rather than sealing up the sick within towns in their individual houses, the idea of mass isolation began to develop. In 1374, during an outbreak of plague in Reggio, Italy, the town’s ruler Viscount Bernabo ordered that everyone suffering from plague be taken out of the town to the fields to either recover or die. Around the same time, this same idea was suggested by the chief physician of the Croatian port of Ragusa (Dubrovnik), Jacob of Padua, who established a place outside the city walls for all affected townspeople and outsiders.

In 1377, Ragusa took this method of isolation one stage further. The town council passed a law establishing the Trentino, a thirty-day isolation period during times of plague. The Trentino required all those coming from known areas of plague to spend 30 days in isolation before they were allowed to enter the city. During that time, only designated individuals were allowed to enter the restricted area. Anyone who entered without authorization was forced to join it.

The idea worked and over the next 80 years, spread across Europe with Marseilles, Venice, Pisa and Genoa all adopting the Trentino – butin an amended form. For instead of isolating the sick for thirty days, these cities expanded it to forty days. Whether this was from an observed need to expand the period of isolation or a religious basis based around the 40 days of lent, the Trentinobecame the Quaranta- from which the modern term of quarantine derives.

 

Where Do we get this stuff? Here are our sources?

“Oh father, Why have you abandoned me?” Samuel Cohn, History Extra, June 2018

Black Death: The Lasting Impact, Professor Tom James, BBC History, February 17, 2011

A History Of Quarantine, From The Black Death To Typhoid Mary, Melissa Block National Public Radio, October 27, 2014

Black Death: The Disease, Dr. Mike Ibeji, BBC History, February 17, 2011

Where the Black Death happened: 9 places connected to the plague, Charlotte Hodgeman, BBC History Magazine, February 2011

The Black Death, edited and translated by Rosemary Horrox, Manchester University Press, October 15, 1994

The Origin of Quarantine, Paul S. Sehdev Arcanum, November 1, 2002

The Black death and the transformation of the west, David Herlihy, Harvard University Press, 1997.

The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio, trans Richard Aldington, Garden City Publishing, 1930

Estimating the destruction caused by the Black Death in Medieval England, Ian Harvey, The Vintage News, August 9, 2016

Daily Life During the Black Death, Joseph Patrick Byrne, Greenwood publishing group, 2006

Medieval Sexual Behaviour, Gordon Rattray Taylor, Sex in History, 19543

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