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Lesson 1: The Black Death - Introduction

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Amy Keily

on 16 May 2014

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Transcript of Lesson 1: The Black Death - Introduction

What did people at the time believe caused the Black Death?
Bad Smells
Unbalanced Humors
Movement of planets and suns - breathing in bad air
G-d and the Devil
Invisible fumes or poisons in the air
What do people believe now caused the Black Death?
• Bubonic plague was spread by fleas which lived on the black rats.
• The fleas sucked the rats blood which contained the plague germs.
• When the rat dies the fleas jump onto humans and passed on the deadly disease.

What was The Black Death?

A devastating plague that broke out in Europe in the 14th century.

The disease spread rapidly from China to Italy and then to the rest of Europe.

Infection was carried by fleas that lived on rats.

Unhygenic and cramped living conditions of the time greatly contributed to the rapid spread.

The drastic loss of life caused by The Black Death had a dramatic impact on medieval society.

Year 8 Integrated Studies: SOSE/History
The Black Death
1346: Outbreak
of plague in
central Asia.
1347: Plague reaches
Constantinople Siege of
Cafta in the Crimea.
Plague reaches Sicily,
Cyprus and North Africa.
1348: Plague reaches
Scotland, Wales, Ireland
Persecution of Jews in
Flagellant Movement in
1350: Plague reaches
1351: Plague reaches
1352: Plague reaches
1360: Recurrence
of Plague.
1369: Recurrence
of Plague.
1665-66: Great Plague
of London.
1. How many years did it take for The Black Death to spread from Central Asia to Sicily?
One year.
2. How many years did it take The Black Death to spread from Central Asia to Scotland, Wales and Ireland?
Two years.
3. How many years did it take for The Black Death to spread from Central Asia to Germany?
Four years.
4. How many years did it take for The Black Death to spread from Central Asia to Russia?
Six years.
5. How long did it take until The Black Death ran its course the first time?
Six years.
6. How many times did the plague recur in Europe?
Three times (including the Great Plague of London in 1665.
The Black Plague
Outbreak in 1346
Central Asia
Constantinople, Sicily,
Cyprus, North Africa.
Scotland, Wales, Ireland,
Scandinavia, Germany, Poland, Russia.
Affects in European society:
Persecution of Jews
Flagellant Movement
Contributing factors?

End of 13th century
marked end of warm period
Harsher winters
Reduced harvests
Malnutrition lead to
weakened immunity and
increased susceptibility to
Low Immunity
Living conditions
and lack of hygiene
Symptoms: Swollen lymph glands in
neck, armpit and groin. Oozed pus and
blood. Followed by fever and vomiting.
Most victims died within 2 - 7 days after
Blamed minority groups and created religious rituals to ward of disease.
Key Questions to be explored in unit:
1. How did people of the Middle Ages react to the catastrophe of The Black Death?
2. Why is The Black Death a significant event in the development of Western society?
3. How was European medieval society transformed by the Black Death?
Next lesson:
Events in neighbouring countries that led to the initial spread of the disease.

Medieval Society:

Living conditions
Full transcript