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Welcome to Class!

1. While you are walking in please grab a handout

from up front (next to the projector).
2. Please take out your Chromebook and log onto
Google Classroom.
3. On Google Classroom please pull up the Cornell
Notes titled The Black Death.

4. Once you have completed tasks 1-3 please

partially close your Chromebook so I know that
you are ready!

The Ebola

Primary Sources:

Primary Source Document 1:

Boccaccio Describes the Arrival of the Bubonic Plague in Florence, The Decameron
(adapted from a translation by Richard Hooker), 1350 CE.
In 1348, there came into the noble city of Florence, the most beautiful of all Italian cities, a
deadly pestilence, which, several years earlier had originated in the Orient, where it destroyed
countless lives, scarcely resting in one place before it moved to the next, and turning westward its
strength grew monstrously. No human wisdom or foresight had any value: enormous amounts of
refuse and manure were removed from the city by appointed officials, the sick were barred from
entering the city, and many instructions were given to preserve health; just as useless were the
humble supplications to God given not one time but many times in appointed processions, and all
the other ways devout people called on God.
At the beginning of the spring of that year, that horrible plague began with its dolorous [misery
causing] effects in a most awe-inspiring manner. . . [I]t began with swellings in the groin and
armpit, in both men and women, some of which were as big as apples and some of which were
shaped like eggs, some were small and others were large; the common people called these
swellings gavoccioli. From these two parts of the body, the fatal gavoccioli would begin to spread
and within a short while would appear over the entire body in various spots; the disease at this
point began to take on the qualities of a deadly sickness, and the body would be covered with dark
and livid spots, which would appear in great numbers on the arms, the thighs, and other parts of
the body; some were large and widely spaced while some were small and bunched together. And
just like the gavoccioli earlier, these were certain indications of coming death.
To cure these infirmities neither the advice of physicians nor the power of medicine appeared to
have any value or profit; perhaps either the nature of the disease did not allow for any cure or the
ignorance of the physicians . . . did not know how to cure it; as a consequence, very few were ever
cured; all died three days after the appearance of the first outward signs, some lasted a little bit
longer, some died a little bit more quickly, and some without fever or other symptoms.

Primary Source Document 1

1. What are the symptoms of people who
are ill with the plague?
2.According to the author, why was the
plague so difficult to treat?

Primary Source Document 2:

Medieval Plague Doctor, Doctor Schnabel von Rom ("Doctor Beak
of Rome" in German), Engraving by Paul Frst, 1656.
Medieval physicians wore
outfits made of cloth or
leather to protect
themselves from the
plague. The bird-like beak
contained spices and
vinegar-soaked cloth to
mask the stench of death
and decay.

1. Why did doctors
wear costumes
such as this one?

The Black Death: How Many Died?

1. What was the population of England before the Black Death?
2. According to this chart, which country had the most casualties?
3. According to this chart, which country had the greatest mortality (death) rate?

Pre-Plague Population

Post-Plague Population

Population Decline


3.7 Million

2.5 Million











13 Million

8.2 Million



2 Million



Holy Roman Empire

17 Million

12.5 Million



7 Million

5 Million



10 Million

7 Million


Total (Selected areas)

53.2 Million

37 Million


Estimated Long-Term Impact on Population

of Europe (1,000CE1,600CE)
1. What was the Population of
Europe in 1345? In 1400? In
1. Based on this chart, what
are some of the possible
long term impacts of the
Black Death?


Population in Millions

1000 CE


1050 CE


1100 CE


1150 CE


1200 CE


1250 CE


1300 CE


1345 CE


1400 CE


1450 CE


1500 CE


The Black Death

One of the most devastating epidemics in human history.

Peaking in
between the
years 1346 to
An estimated
75 to 200
people died

A Global Epidemic
In 1347, the plague appeared in Italy and
began to spread rapidly.
By 1348, the epidemic had reached Spain and
France. From there, it spread to the rest of
One in three people died!
A death rate worse than in any war in history.

A Global Epidemic

A Bubonic Plague
The most common form of the disease.
Carried by infected fleas that infested black
rats, clothing, bedding, or human body hair

Killed people in three to five days.

Lumps that formed outside of the skin and
turned black - called buboes.
They could be the size of an egg or apple

A Bubonic Plague

A Pneumonic Plague
This form of the plague affected the
lungs and could be transmitted directly
from person to person by coughing,
sneezing, or even breathing.

This form was always fatal and could kill

within a matter of hours.
Most likely the reason the plague
spread as fast as it did.

Burying the Dead in Mass Graves

Gods Punishment?
Retribution for sins against God.

They looked for ways to earn Gods forgiveness.

They beat themselves with whips to show that
they repented their sins.
Purge their communities of heretics and other
trouble makers.
Blamed Jews
Charging (unjustly) that they had poisoned the
wells to cause the disease.

Disorder in the Church

No one understood
how the disease

Many priests and

monks died
Why did God spare
some and kill others?

Schism (division) in the

Roman Catholic Church
Multiple people claiming
to be the true pope.

Some people turned
to magic and
witchcraft for cures.
Women were charged
with witchcraft
Witch Tests

Society Breaks Down

In crowded cities, the death toll was
higher and dying was faster.


Helps End of Feudalism

Rich become
Demand for
higher pay
and greater

Why is the Black Death Important?

An estimated 75 million people died
Caused disorder in the church.

Helped end Feudalism.

A global epidemic.