The Black Death: an essay on traumatic change

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  • 1 International University of Altdorf.
  • PMID: 19235361

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High (Plague) Anxiety: Reading the Specter of Pestilence in Late 14th Century British Literature

Profile image of Mary M Alcaro

2017, NYU English Masters Thesis

Despite the widespread suffering caused by the Black Death in England from 1347-1351, few contemporary accounts of the plague or descriptions of plague bodies themselves survive. However, the absence of explicit representation should not be taken as an absence of widespread psychological effect on the medieval population; rather, the scars and anxieties of the plague very much marred the individual and collective psyche of plague survivors as it did their bodies: we just need to know where to look for them. This paper undertakes a search for representations of plague anxiety, for the ways that literature registered-- implicitly and explicitly-- the deep-seated trauma and cultural anxiety resulting from the Black Death from the mid to late 14th century; specifically, it reexamines bodies represented in 14th century devotional and literary texts as bodies suffering from the physical and psychological ravages of The Black Death. Sometimes plague is the overt subject of the text, as in Langland’s Piers Plowman. In other cases, such as Chaucer’s “Pardoner’s Tale,” plague is not named, but represented obliquely through a common set of metaphors. In some instances, trauma is revealed in the description of physical manifestations of sinfulness, as in the Dead Sea’s striking resemblance to a plague bubo in the Pearl Poet’s “Cleanness,” or as the crucified body of Christ resembles a plague-ridden body in Julian of Norwich’s Showings. By reexamining these texts through the lens of plague anxiety, we can see the influence plague-ridden bodies had on late 14th century Britons.

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Kimberly A Coles

the black death an essay on traumatic change by jerrold atlas

Nat Hardy, PhD, MFA, FRSA

Abstract This dissertation investigates the satirical anatomy of pestilence and the satiric disgust of plague in early modern London. Through the metaphor of the anatomy, satirical anatomists dissected and refashioned the threatened abject bodies of plague: the uninfected bodies and infected bodies of epidemical London. These discursively constructed bodies were symbolically dismembered in a rhetorical invective of satiric blame and disgust. The introduction establishes a definition of plague satire and constructs a methodological framework for its theoretical and historical method. This “grotesque historicism” contextualizes the social and intellectual climate, and the satirical temper as it affects both the early modern conception of “pestilential visitations” and our own understanding of epidemical crisis. Chapter one investigates the emergence of the satirical anatomy, the disciplinary violence and fraudulent empiricism of these allegorical vivisections, and how disgust was used to represent plague in the early modern period. The second chapter explores the mythical origins of the uninfected, abject body; an excremental ontology that was largely fashioned out of embellished biblical typologies. This section demonstrates how satirists used religion and natural philosophy to deform and muddy the grotesque body, a methodology that reestablished the body as a defiling vessel of dung. Chapter three examines the infected body’s toxic discharges and its taxonomy of suppurating sores. This chapter explains how the deformed body was punished through retributive justice, and why this discharging vessel was scapegoated as a source of fear and loathing owing to its contaminating presence. The fourth chapter investigates the infected body’s miasmatic effluents and the hysteria of smells. This chapter examines how anatomising satirists dissected the stench of pestilence, how the defiling moral properties of smells mirrored the prophane state of the body and the city, and how the repulsive odours of plague reinforced the phobic response to pestilence. The conclusion examines the grotesque history of plague satire, a history distorted through the metaphor of the anatomy. This concluding section surveys how the the anatomy helped cultivate a phobic hatred and misanthropical disgust for the “undisplaced myths” of this retributive disease and its sufferers.

Paola Baseotto

Philomathes

Daniel Hughes

Plague literature by Poe and Lucretius remains highly relevant today as we encounter a human future still defined by infectious diseases. This essay analyzes the oscillation of plague metaphor and non-metaphor in De Rerum Natura (Book VI) by Lucretius and “The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe. These plague texts are literary palimpsests, with Lucretius rewriting Thucydides and his account of the Athenian plague, and Poe rewriting Boccaccio’s Decameron and its portrayal of literary escape from the bubonic plague. The accounts of plague in Lucretius and Poe 1) oscillate between metaphorical representations of disease and non-metaphorical representations of disease and 2) possess abrupt textual disruptions and failures of metaphor. These disruptions allow for an opening of interpretation and new metaphors, but also invite inquiry into the authors’ biographies and literal deaths. The liberatory possibilities via these textual disruptions may allow the reader participation in a more authentic Being-towards-death as understood by Heidegger in Being and Time. Moreover, the contemplation of our actual future deaths, alongside those of plague victims past and present, with the interrelated moral, ethical, and social implications, may inaugurate a more authentic human relationship to both death and time.

Social History of Medicine

Vanessa Harding

The Journal of Early Modern Studies

Edward B . M . Rendall

The article analyses the connection between seventeenth-century English needlework, drama, and plague. Frog pouches-needleworked, perfumed sweet bags used to repel the miasmatic spread of plague-reveal wider attitudes about foreign landscapes in seventeenth-century London and England more generally. This article, then, uses the works of Shakespeare, Jonson, and other playwrights and authors of the period, as well as the materials of frog pouches themselves, to explore the exoticism and accessibility of those environments that frogs inhabit. Foreign animals that lived far from English shores, the article argues, thus provided the scents for pouches. The animals that these pouches mimic reveal a reverence for the rural landscape closer to home but just as unknown.

William Eamon

Plague Literature: Lessons for Living Well during a Pandemic

Dustin Peone

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many new techniques for remaining healthy have been introduced, but there is little public discussion about how to live well. “Social distancing” is good medicine for the body, but the health of the spirit depends on wisdom. We are all in strange territory, and under such conditions we can only look to the past for counsel. In this book, the philosopher Dustin Peone offers reflections on ten literary classics set during plague times. From each work, he draws one central insight that is applicable to our situation today. These insights are lessons in prudence, taught by the sages of the past. This is a book about how to pursue the good life during a pandemic and what it means to flourish in dark times.

Aureo Lustosa Guerios

In this work, I discuss how and why certain texts, published during or immediately after cholera epidemics, opt to represent the plague instead of cholera. They are Paul LaCroix's serial novel La Dance Macabre (1832), Flaubert's short story La Peste a Florence (1836), Ainsworth's Old Saint Pauls' (1841) and Manzoni's I Promessi Sposi (1842). In order to analyse these texts, I will use tools of comparative literature and will dialogue with recent plague scholarship (Palud 2014; Cooke 2009; Totaro 2005; Boeckl 2000).

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Publication date: 2009, publication name: journal of psychohistory, research interests: christianity , history , social change , medieval history , life style , and 11 more medieval islamic history , medicine , humans , child , psychohistory , europe , child abuse , plague , historical studies , child rearing , and life change events ( medieval islamic history , medicine , humans , child , psychohistory , europe , child abuse , plague , historical studies , child rearing , and life change events ), publication date: 2007, research interests: psychology (), publisher: the journal of psychohistory, publication name: the journal of psychohistory, research interests: christianity , history , social change , life style , medieval islamic history , and 10 more medicine , humans , child , psychohistory , europe , child abuse , plague , historical studies , child rearing , and life change events ( medicine , humans , child , psychohistory , europe , child abuse , plague , historical studies , child rearing , and life change events ), publication date: 2006, publication date: 2008, research interests: psychology and psychohistory (), research interests: christianity , social change , life style , medieval islamic history , humans , and 7 more child , europe , child abuse , plague , historical studies , child rearing , and life change events ( child , europe , child abuse , plague , historical studies , child rearing , and life change events ), publication name: the journal of psychohistory.

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Europe 1300 - 1800

Course: europe 1300 - 1800   >   unit 2.

  • Remaking a fourteenth-century triptych
  • Introduction to Late Gothic art

The Black Death

  • Gold-ground panel painting
  • The Medieval and Renaissance Altarpiece
The plague hit hard and fast. People lay ill little more than two or three days and died suddenly….He who was well one day was dead the next and being carried to his grave,” writes the Carmelite friar Jean de Venette in his 14th century French chronicle. From his native Picardy, Jean witnessed the disease’s impact in northern France; Normandy, for example, lost 70 to 80 percent of its population. Italy was equally devastated. The Florentine author Boccaccio recounts how that city’s citizens “dug for each graveyard a huge trench, in which they laid the corpses as they arrived by hundreds at a time, piling them up tier upon tier as merchandise is stowed on a ship.

Trade was to Blame

"god is deaf nowadays and will not hear us", economic impact, did the black death contribute to the renaissance, want to join the conversation.

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Article Review : ' The Black Death '

Article Review The Bubonic Plague, or more commonly referred to as the Black Death is something that has stumped scholars and students alike for centuries since its passing. There have been several articles written about, and discussed over the past few years concerning different angles of approach during the discussion of the Black Death . One of the biggest, and most reputable scholarly journals that has published a broad spectrum over many things concerning things such as the Black Death is, in fact, The Journal of Psychohistory. Jerrold Atlas wrote a particularly interesting article over the Black Death discussing many viewpoints, which encompass and capture a plethora of ideals; and probe at some very sensitive viewpoints. These areas that Atlas covers are areas that other scholars would not want to go into depth discussing, or researching; which in all make this a very interesting and informative article. Right off the bat, Atlas goes into a very profound analysis by stating this quote, “ Might all of the changes brought by the plagues have profoundly reshaped the European world and set in motion a sense of having succeeded too well and needing some cleansing.” With this statement Mr. Atlas is acknowledging the presumptive status that the plagues that drove Europe’s population down by a considerable amount, which led to the reformation and later to the renaissance. Not to say that was Atlas’ main thesis, but a buzzing detail that refused to be ignored and flaunted

Significance Of The Black Death

However, the demise of approximately 76 million people from 1346 to 1353 culminated in the most severe disaster to ever hit Europe. It was referred to as the Black Death. This essay critically analyses the significance of the Black Death pandemic.

Review of The Black Death Essay

Doctors responded with a series of changes are to thank for the development of modern science. Gottfried succeeded in convincing me that his thesis was truth. The opening chapters gave me a solid background of plague, explaining why he believes it had such an impact on medieval population and culture. Next, it delves into the affect that changing weather had on the plagues, explaining the European environment during 1050-1347; the time of plagues greatest destruction. That complete, Gottfried describes the consequences immediately following the plague. It is said that the disease killed 25% to 40% of Eurasia and part of Africa. By this point, it is more than obvious that plague had a tragic affect on Medieval Europe, but it is unclear as to the causes, and the effect plague had on society, which seemed to be his theses in the opening chapters. But he does not ignore these topics. After giving a full background on plague and European culture and environment, Gottfried gives solid details to support his theses. According to Gottfried, the Medical structure of Medieval Europe, adopted from that of the Romans, was nearly eliminated in the search for ways to cure plague. The spread of plague, successfully stated by Gottfried, directly depends on climate. Plague can only spread under certain climate conditions. In order for Y. Pestis, a series of complex bacterial strains, to survive, it mustn't be too hot nor too cold.

Death And The Black Death

Life was very busy for me in 1300’s, I travelled through many countries and continents following the trail of dead bodies. I am death. I have lived forever. I will live until no human lives no more. I will continue collecting the souls of the deceased on earth and taking them to rest in the light blue place beyond. I lived through the Black Death watching on as the world experienced the disastrous effects.

The Black Plague : The Death Of The Black Death

In the year 1348 the world changed forever. The Black Death, which is another name for the Bubonic Plague, laid havoc on the entire world. “The plague chases the screaming without pity and does not accept a treasure for a ransom. Its engine is far-reaching. The plague enters into the house and swears it will not leave except with all of its inhabitants…” (Al-Wardi, #29, 113). The plague did not care if the people were rich, poor, white, black, Muslim or Catholic, it would kill whomever it could. The plague brought out the worst in people because people acted selfishly, people were completely inhumane, and there was no peace.

The Black Death Essay

The Black Death Black Death, epidemic of plague which ravaged Europe in the mid-14th century. Various forms of plague were known in the civilized world since ancient times. Greek and Roman historians described outbreaks of an epidemic disease which were sudden and deadly: at Constantinople in the 6th century AD, for example, as much as half the population may have been killed. The outbreak which reached Europe from China in 1347, and spread rapidly and with disastrous results to most countries, has been given the name the Black Death, though contemporaries did not use this term. Epidemiology of the Black

The Death Of The Black Death

The Black Death was one of the worst pandemics in history. The disease ravaged Europe, Western Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa between 1346 and 1353 (Horrox 1994). It is difficult to understand the reality of such a devastating event, especially given the fact that science during the middle ages was severely underdeveloped. No one knew about bacteria, viruses, or other microbial agents of disease (Benedictow 2004). They had no way of protecting themselves during that time and no one was safe from the effects of the plague. Those who wrote chronicles claimed that only a tenth of the population had survived, while others claimed that half to a third of the population was left alive (Horrox 1994). In 1351, agents for Pope Clement VI predicted the number of deaths in Europe to be 23,840,000 (Gottfried 1983). Obviously, not all regions experienced the same mortality rates, but modern estimates of the death rate in England give the first outbreak a mortality rate of about forty-eight percent (Horrox 1994). That is, England lost half of its population in about a year and a half. Clearly the chroniclers ' who claimed that ninety percent of the population had died were overstating the magnitude of the plague, but this overemphasis demonstrates how terrifying the pandemic was to those who experienced it (Horrox 1994). The Black Death had huge consequences on the lives of those who were impacted directly, as well as major religious and cultural effects that came afterward.

The Black Death : Annotated Bibliography

The Black Death was one of the most life-changing pandemics in history. It was first discovered 550 years later in the 1800s by Alexandre Yersin, a french biologist. In his honor, the plague was named Yersinia Pestis. The plague traveled in two major ways. Yersin discovered that it traveled by infected fleas; the flea would attempt to feed on a human or animal and would then regurgitate the disease into the new host, further spreading the illness. Urban areas across Europe were populous with rats, which were one of the main hosts of the plague. These rodents spread the Black Death throughout cities in days. The unaffected still were not safe if they did not come in contact with an infected flea or rat. The plague also traveled pneumonically, or through the air. It caused large boils full of blood and pus, which would pop and spread. Another symptom was coughing, which was one of the many ways of proliferation. The disease eventually spread throughout Europe and killed a third of it’s population. It’s wrath caused many shortages, loss in hope, riots, and even some good things, such as many changes in art, science, and education. Therefore, the Black Death was one of the most life-changing pandemics in history.

Essay on This Is the End of the World: the Black Death by Barbara Tuchman

History reveals the mid-14th century as a very unfortunate time for Europe. It was during this period when the continent became afflicted by a terrible plague. The source of the pathogen is known today as bubonic but was colloquially known as “The Black Death” to Europeans of the day. The plague caused a tremendous number of deaths and was a catalyst of change, severely impacting Europe’s cultural, political and religious institutions.

The Black Death And The Bubonic Plague

End of a Paradigm, Samuel K. Cohn Jr. argues that the Black Death of 14th century Europe was not the same illness as the bubonic plague. To help illustrate his argument, Cohn compared the Black Death of 14th century Europe to the agent of the bubonic plague, Yersinia pestis, which was discovered in Hong Kong

The Black Death, the most severe epidemic in human history, ravaged Europe from 1347-1351. This plague killed entire families at a time and destroyed at least 1,000 villages. Greatly contributing to the Crisis of the Fourteenth Century, the Black Death had many effects beyond its immediate symptoms. Not only did the Black Death take a devastating toll on human life, but it also played a major role in shaping European life in the years following.

In the Wake of the Plague - Black Death Essay examples

Norman F. Cantor, In the Wake of the Plague (New York: Harper Collins First Perennial edition, 2001) examines how the bubonic plague, or Black Death, affected Europe in the fourteenth century. Cantor recounts specific events in the time leading up to the plague, during the plague, and in the aftermath of the plague. He wrote the book to relate the experiences of victims and survivors and to illustrate the impact that the plague had on the government, families, religion, the social structure, and art.

Black Death : The Black Plague

Sickness times a thousand equals the Black Death. In our world, many disasters have occurred, causing terrible damage emotionally, physically, and mentally. However, I believe that the Black Death is the worst disaster to have occurred throughout our world’s history. It all started in 1348, when trading ships from different countries around Europe settled at the port of Messina, Sicily. Once the ship dropped their anchor many of their sailors were found dead, and the few surviving carried with them the deadly disease so dangerous that it would quickly lead to death. Scientists researched and concluded that the disease started from Central Asia (Mongolia), when fleas on rats boarded the many ships from Europe. The fleas got on the sailors’ skin and started killing them instantly. However, many thought that the disease had originated from the Far East and was spread along many major trade routes. When the people of Sicily finally started finding out what was causing the death, they closed their port and trading system with other countries. (Wikipedia) The ships were forced to anchor somewhere else in other countries, which allowed the disease to spread even more quickly. I believe that the Black Plague was a disastrous event that affected all aspects and the future of European and Central Asian society, their political and economic environment, and their future advancement to medicine.

The pandemic known to history as the Black Death was one of the world’s worst natural disasters in history. It was a critical time for many as the plague hit Europe and “devastated the Western world from 1347 to 1351, killing 25%-50% of Europe’s population and causing or accelerating marked political, economic, social, and cultural changes.” The plague made an unforgettable impact on the history of the West. It is believed to have originated somewhere in the steppes of central Asia in the 1330s and then spread westwards along the caravan routes. It spread over Europe like a wildfire and left a devastating mark wherever it passed. In its first few weeks in Europe, it killed between 100 and 200 people per day. Furthermore, as the weather became colder, the plague worsened, escalating the mortality rate to as high as 750 deaths per day. By the spring of 1348, the death toll may have reached 1000 a day. One of the main reasons the plague spread so quickly and had such a devastating effect on Europe was ultimately due to the lack of medical knowledge during the medieval time period.

Research on The Black Death Essay

Imagine the world as it is. There are many people living on the planet at a given time. Now imagine that out of the estimated 7 billion people on earth, about 4,200,000,000 people were suddenly eradicated because of a disease infesting just a part of the world. No, it isnt a scene or plot from a horror movie, this horrible reality is actually fact and has already happened in the distant past. I am talking, of course, of the Black Death of Europe. The Black Death or as its also known as “Bubonic Plague”, was a serious pandemic that infected Europe and nearly wiped out 60% of its population during its 2 year spread all across Europe. A rough estimate of about 60-200 million people were claimed as victims of The Black Death. At the time,

A plague is a bacterial infection that can take on more than one form. One of the greatest plagues that have stricken mankind throughout history was the Black Death. The Black Death was the outbreak of the bubonic plague that struck Europe and the Mediterranean area between 1347 and 1351. This plague was the most severe plague that hit the earth because of its origin (the spread), the symptoms, and the effects of the plague.

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  • Black Death
  • Bubonic plague

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Black Death

By: History.com Editors

Updated: March 28, 2023 | Original: September 17, 2010

Black Death

The Black Death was a devastating global epidemic of bubonic plague that struck Europe and Asia in the mid-1300s. The plague arrived in Europe in October 1347, when 12 ships from the Black Sea docked at the Sicilian port of Messina. People gathered on the docks were met with a horrifying surprise: Most sailors aboard the ships were dead, and those still alive were gravely ill and covered in black boils that oozed blood and pus. Sicilian authorities hastily ordered the fleet of “death ships” out of the harbor, but it was too late: Over the next five years, the Black Death would kill more than 20 million people in Europe—almost one-third of the continent’s population.

How Did the Black Plague Start?

Even before the “death ships” pulled into port at Messina, many Europeans had heard rumors about a “Great Pestilence” that was carving a deadly path across the trade routes of the Near and Far East. Indeed, in the early 1340s, the disease had struck China, India, Persia, Syria and Egypt.

The plague is thought to have originated in Asia over 2,000 years ago and was likely spread by trading ships , though recent research has indicated the pathogen responsible for the Black Death may have existed in Europe as early as 3000 B.C.

Symptoms of the Black Plague

Europeans were scarcely equipped for the horrible reality of the Black Death. “In men and women alike,” the Italian poet Giovanni Boccaccio wrote, “at the beginning of the malady, certain swellings, either on the groin or under the armpits…waxed to the bigness of a common apple, others to the size of an egg, some more and some less, and these the vulgar named plague-boils.”

Blood and pus seeped out of these strange swellings, which were followed by a host of other unpleasant symptoms—fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, terrible aches and pains—and then, in short order, death.

The Bubonic Plague attacks the lymphatic system, causing swelling in the lymph nodes. If untreated, the infection can spread to the blood or lungs.

How Did the Black Death Spread?

The Black Death was terrifyingly, indiscriminately contagious: “the mere touching of the clothes,” wrote Boccaccio, “appeared to itself to communicate the malady to the toucher.” The disease was also terrifyingly efficient. People who were perfectly healthy when they went to bed at night could be dead by morning.

Did you know? Many scholars think that the nursery rhyme “Ring around the Rosy” was written about the symptoms of the Black Death.

Understanding the Black Death

Today, scientists understand that the Black Death, now known as the plague, is spread by a bacillus called Yersinia  pestis . (The French biologist Alexandre Yersin discovered this germ at the end of the 19th century.)

They know that the bacillus travels from person to person through the air , as well as through the bite of infected fleas and rats. Both of these pests could be found almost everywhere in medieval Europe, but they were particularly at home aboard ships of all kinds—which is how the deadly plague made its way through one European port city after another.

Not long after it struck Messina, the Black Death spread to the port of Marseilles in France and the port of Tunis in North Africa. Then it reached Rome and Florence, two cities at the center of an elaborate web of trade routes. By the middle of 1348, the Black Death had struck Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon and London.

Today, this grim sequence of events is terrifying but comprehensible. In the middle of the 14th century, however, there seemed to be no rational explanation for it.

No one knew exactly how the Black Death was transmitted from one patient to another, and no one knew how to prevent or treat it. According to one doctor, for example, “instantaneous death occurs when the aerial spirit escaping from the eyes of the sick man strikes the healthy person standing near and looking at the sick.”

How Do You Treat the Black Death?

Physicians relied on crude and unsophisticated techniques such as bloodletting and boil-lancing (practices that were dangerous as well as unsanitary) and superstitious practices such as burning aromatic herbs and bathing in rosewater or vinegar.

Meanwhile, in a panic, healthy people did all they could to avoid the sick. Doctors refused to see patients; priests refused to administer last rites; and shopkeepers closed their stores. Many people fled the cities for the countryside, but even there they could not escape the disease: It affected cows, sheep, goats, pigs and chickens as well as people.

In fact, so many sheep died that one of the consequences of the Black Death was a European wool shortage. And many people, desperate to save themselves, even abandoned their sick and dying loved ones. “Thus doing,” Boccaccio wrote, “each thought to secure immunity for himself.”

Black Plague: God’s Punishment?

Because they did not understand the biology of the disease, many people believed that the Black Death was a kind of divine punishment—retribution for sins against God such as greed, blasphemy, heresy, fornication and worldliness.

By this logic, the only way to overcome the plague was to win God’s forgiveness. Some people believed that the way to do this was to purge their communities of heretics and other troublemakers—so, for example, many thousands of Jews were massacred in 1348 and 1349. (Thousands more fled to the sparsely populated regions of Eastern Europe, where they could be relatively safe from the rampaging mobs in the cities.)

Some people coped with the terror and uncertainty of the Black Death epidemic by lashing out at their neighbors; others coped by turning inward and fretting about the condition of their own souls.

Flagellants

Some upper-class men joined processions of flagellants that traveled from town to town and engaged in public displays of penance and punishment: They would beat themselves and one another with heavy leather straps studded with sharp pieces of metal while the townspeople looked on. For 33 1/2 days, the flagellants repeated this ritual three times a day. Then they would move on to the next town and begin the process over again.

Though the flagellant movement did provide some comfort to people who felt powerless in the face of inexplicable tragedy, it soon began to worry the Pope, whose authority the flagellants had begun to usurp. In the face of this papal resistance, the movement disintegrated.

How Did the Black Death End?

The plague never really ended and it returned with a vengeance years later. But officials in the port city of Ragusa were able to slow its spread by keeping arriving sailors in isolation until it was clear they were not carrying the disease—creating social distancing that relied on isolation to slow the spread of the disease.

The sailors were initially held on their ships for 30 days (a trentino ), a period that was later increased to 40 days, or a quarantine — the origin of the term “quarantine” and a practice still used today. 

Does the Black Plague Still Exist?

The Black Death epidemic had run its course by the early 1350s, but the plague reappeared every few generations for centuries. Modern sanitation and public-health practices have greatly mitigated the impact of the disease but have not eliminated it. While antibiotics are available to treat the Black Death, according to The World Health Organization, there are still 1,000 to 3,000 cases of plague every year.

Gallery: Pandemics That Changed History

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Topics on Black Death to Inspire You

Black Death Essay Topics

Occasionally, maybe in movies, history books, novels, or plays, you might have probably encountered the term Black Death. Of course, it brings to mind the pain, grim memories, and suffering in ancient times. Talk of chaotic mass graves, madness-allover, and devastation in the medieval city, there were many catastrophic effects of the Black Death.

Not even modern science has unearthed the casualties of the Black Death epidemic. However, there are claims and anecdotal evidence to suggest that it killed nearly twice as many people like those who lost their lives to World War II.

Could there at least be positive consequences you may ask? Well, maybe this list of Black Death essay topics will tell us more. If you come across bubonic plague essay topics, they are the same thing. However, for now; be our guest. In a few minutes as we take you through different categories of Black Death, essay topics.

What is the Black Death?

The Black Death was an epidemic that killed upward of one-third of the population of Europe between 1346 and 1353 (more on proportional mortality below). The Black Death was the Great Plague of 1665, which by some estimates killed fifteen to twenty percent of the population in certain locales.

Surprisingly, the medieval European social-demographic system rebounded from the Black Death. A common misconception is that black refers to skin discolorations accompanying the disease. However, Black is meant in the metaphorical sense of terrible. It is what we know as pestilence, in modern times.

If you are confused about the best Black Death essay thesis, find out more about Black Death by reading:

  • Sample black death essay
  • Sample Black Death book review of Black Death : The book is The Black Death, 1346:1353: The complete history by Ole J. Benedictow.

Our writers can also help you come up with a Black Death thesis statement that will catch the eyes of your professor. Talk to us.

Cause and Effects Topics on the Bubonic Plague

  • The impacts of the Black Death in the emancipation of the European counties post the pandemic period.
  • The main effects of the bubonic plague in China
  • The causes and effects of the Black Death
  • The role of Black Death in Protestant Reformation, a cause and consequences analysis
  • Did the pandemics during medieval times affect the genes of Europeans
  • Myths surrounding the Black Death
  • Impacts of Black Death on Western Civilization
  • Black Death and Religion
  • The economic consequences of the Black Death
  • How black death affected Feudalism
  • Impacts of Black Death on society
  • Social Responses to the Black Death
  • How black death affected families
  • The consequences of the Black Death on international relations
  • Did the Black Death lead to the strengthening of medical research?
  • The consequences of the bubonic plague on the European Export market
  • Black Death as the genesis of the end of the Middle Ages
  • Impacts of the Black Death on the Industrial Revolution
  • Cultural and Spiritual consequences of the Black Death in the late Middle Ages
  • Factors that led to the spread of the Black Death in Europe
  • The genesis of the Black Death
  • The impacts of Black Deaths on Disease Control and Emergency Management
  • The impacts of the Black Death on immigration

Related Reading: Argumentative essay topics and ideas.

Compare and Contrast Black Death Topics

  • Can Black Death be equated to Ebola or Coronavirus outbreak?
  • Compare the management of the bubonic plague and a devastating international communicable disease outbreak (Zika Virus, Ebola, Coronavirusetc.)
  • Compare the impacts of the Black Death on urban and rural populations
  • Compare and contrast pneumonic plague and the bubonic plague
  • Compare the position of the Catholic and Protestant churches pre-and post-bubonic plague
  • Compare and contrast the perception of the Black Death among different cultures
  • Compare and contrast modern and medieval definition and control of the bubonic plague
  • Compare and contrast black death and smallpox
  • How were the Great Plague and Black Death Similar?
  • Black Death Vs. Ebola outbreak
  • Justinian plague vs. Bubonic Plague

Expository Topics on Black Death/Bubonic Plague

  • Black Death in London
  • Black Death in India
  • What caused the Black Death?
  • Life during the Black Death
  • Religious effects of Black death
  • How Black Death inspired art
  • Black death and its impact on agriculture and architecture
  • How the black death changed medicine
  • How did the Black Plague end?
  • What were the perceptions of people on the Black Death?
  • Bulbous Plague
  • Positive impacts of Black Death
  • Social effects of Black Death
  • Bubonic Plague in New York
  • How the Black Death affected Trade
  • Was Black Death a hemorrhagic fever?
  • Black Death and the Magna Carta
  • Septicemic plague and treatment approaches
  • How the Black Death response changed Emergency Response by nations
  • Etiology of the Black Death
  • White Penitents movement during the 17th-century pandemics
  • Quarantine strategies used by Medieval cities during the Black Plague
  • Does bubonic plague pose danger to modern society?
  • Hypotheses of the Medieval people on the cause of Black Death
  • Symptoms and progression of the Black Death
  • Why Black Death stopped
  • Is the black plague the first biological weapon?
  • Main victims of persecutions during the pandemics
  • Origins of the names Great Plague and Black Death
  • The image of a plague doctor in modern pop culture
  • Flagellants and the interpretation of Black Death
  • How Medieval Europe could have managed the bubonic plague
  • Italian cities' response to the Black Plague
  • Black Death and Slavery
  • Cultural effects of the Black Plague

English and Literature Topics on Black Death

  • Influence of black death on medieval literature
  • Canterbury tales of the black death
  • The Influence of the Black Death on Medieval Literature and Language
  • Analysis of Science, Alchemy, and the Great Plague of London by Scott Shelly
  • The symbolism used in the painting Plague by Arnold Böcklin.
  • Analysis of The Black Death poem by Matthew Henning
  • Famous Black Death Paintings
  • Black Death and Renaissance beliefs on death
  • Black Death artifacts
  • Famous poems about Plagues
  • Guillaume de Machaut's Poem Jugement dou and Black Death

Important Books the Document the Black Death

  • The Plague Pamphlets of Thomas Dekker By Thomas Dekker; F. P. Wilson
  • Plagues, Healers, and Patients in Early Modern Europe by Eamon, William
  • Hunting the Double Helix: How DNA Is Solving Puzzles of the Past by Anna Meyer
  • The Black Death in Egypt and England: A Comparative Study by Stuart J. Borsch
  • The Later Middle Ages, 1272-1485 by George Holmes
  • Plantagenet England, 1225-1360 by Michael Prestwich
  • The Story of Rats: Their Impact on Us, and Our Impact on Them by S. Anthony Barnett
  • The Black Death: An Essay on Traumatic Change by Atlas, Jerrold
  • Plague Bug Wasn't All That Fierce: DNA Analysis Suggests Living Conditions Fed Black Death by Bascom, Nick
  • What a Pest: Why the Black Death Still Won't Die by Anthes Emily
  • Historical Dictionary of Late Medieval England, 1272-1485 by Ronald H. Fritze and William B. Robison
  • The Black Death: The Greatest Catastrophe Ever: Ole J. Benedictow Describes How He Calculated That the Black Death Killed 50 Million People in the 14th Century, or 60 percent of Europe's Entire Population by Benedictow, Ole J
  • The Prospect of Global History by James Belich ; John Darwin; Margret Frenz; Chris Wickham
  • Events That Changed Great Britain, from 1066 to 1714 by Frank W. Thackeray; John E. Findling
  • Science, Alchemy, and the Great Plague of London by Scott Shelley
  • The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
  • Death and the Pearl Maiden: Plague, Poetry, England by David K. Coley
  • The Black Death by Rosemay Horrox
  • Encyclopedia of the Black Death, Volume 1 , by Joseph Patrick Byrne

Parting Shot!

There you have it; these are some of the most common Black Death essay topics. However, we have twisted them around wittingly to help you write the best outlines for your term papers, thesis, research papers, and short essays on Black Death. If you have gone through the list and you feel like it is too much grim to write a paper on, we can help. You can order an essay online from us and we will assign the best writer. Gradecrest is the ultimate best when it comes to English essay writers !

the black death an essay on traumatic change by jerrold atlas

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the black death an essay on traumatic change by jerrold atlas

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  1. The Black Death: An Essay on Traumatic Change

    The Black Death: An Essay on Traumatic Change. Atlas, Jerrold. The Journal of Psychohistory; New York Vol. 36, Iss. 3, (Winter 2009): 249-259. Copy Link Cite All Options. ... discussion about the medieval world ("Assessing the Black Death and Trauma Relived"), consider this idea: Might all of the changes brought by the plagues have profoundly ...

  2. The Black Death: an essay on traumatic change

    The Black Death: an essay on traumatic change. The Black Death: an essay on traumatic change. The Black Death: an essay on traumatic change J Psychohist. 2009 Winter;36(3):249-59. Author Jerrold Atlas 1 Affiliation 1 International University of Altdorf. PMID: 19235361 No abstract available. Publication types Historical Article ...

  3. The Black Death: an essay on traumatic change.

    Semantic Scholar extracted view of "The Black Death: an essay on traumatic change." by J. Atlas. Skip to search form Skip to main ... The Black Death: an essay on traumatic change. @article{Atlas2009TheBD, title={The Black Death: an essay on traumatic change.}, author={Jerrold Atlas}, journal={The Journal of psychohistory}, year={2009}, volume ...

  4. High (Plague) Anxiety: Reading the Specter of Pestilence in Late 14th

    In his essay on the trauma generated by the Black Death, Jerrold Atlas explains how "endemic plagues produced a mentality of panic," specifically 20 in their "incomprehensibility about the source or meaning of the horror." ... W. W. Norton & Company, 2006. Secondary Sources: Atlas, Jerrold, "The Black Death: An Essay on Traumatic ...

  5. The Black Death: an essay on traumatic change.

    The Black Death: an essay on traumatic change. ... 0145-3378) Atlas J. Major Subject Heading(s) Minor Subject Heading(s) Child; Child Abuse [history] Child Rearing [history ... Life Change Events; Life Style; Plague [history] Social Change [history] PreMedline Identifier: 19235361; From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National ...

  6. The Black Death: an essay on traumatic change

    The Black Death: an essay on traumatic change. Jerrold Atlas. Journal of Psychohistory 2009, 36 (3): 249-59. No abstract text is available yet for this article.

  7. Psychological and Geographical Health Impacts

    Atlas, Jerrold. "The Black Death: An Essay on Traumatic Change." The Journal of Psychohistory, 2009. Boccaccio, Giovanni. ... Atlas, Jerrold. "The Black Death: An Essay on Traumatic Change." The ...

  8. The Black Death: an essay on traumatic change.

    The Black Death: an essay on traumatic change. Atlas J. Author information. Affiliations. All authors ...

  9. Jerrold Atlas

    Jerrold Atlas studies International Business. Focused on group theory-behavior, motivations, interpretation of why groups act. On psychohistorical motivations within groups. ... The Black Death: an essay on traumatic change more. by Jerrold Atlas. Publication Date: 2009 Publication Name: The Journal of psychohistory. Research Interests:

  10. The Journal of psychohistory

    On the pot calling the Kettle Black: The Perils of Psychohistorical partisanship ... Download. Recommend. Follow. Share. The Black Death: An Essay on Traumatic Change. Article. Jerrold Atlas; 174 ...

  11. The Black Death (article)

    The Black Death arrived on European shores in 1348. By 1350, the year it retreated, it had felled a quarter to half of the region's population. In 1362, 1368, and 1381, it struck again—as it would periodically well into the 18th century.

  12. The Black Death: an essay on traumatic change.

    The Black Death: an essay on traumatic change. (Q41439934) From Wikidata. Jump to navigation Jump to search. scientific article published on January 2009. edit. Language Label Description Also known as; English: The Black Death: an essay on traumatic change. scientific article published on January 2009. Statements. instance of.

  13. Article Review : ' The Black Death '

    The Black Death or as its also known as "Bubonic Plague", was a serious pandemic that infected Europe and nearly wiped out 60% of its population during its 2 year spread all across Europe. A rough estimate of about 60-200 million people were claimed as victims of The Black Death. At the time, 1037 Words. 5 Pages.

  14. Black Death

    The Black Death was a plague pandemic that devastated medieval Europe from 1347 to 1352. The Black Death killed an estimated 25-30 million people. The disease originated in central Asia and was taken to the Crimea by Mongol warriors and traders. The plague then entered Europe via Italy, perhaps carried by rats or human parasites via Genoese trading ships sailing from the Black Sea.

  15. Black Death

    The effects of the Black Death were many and varied. Trade suffered for a time, and wars were temporarily abandoned. Many labourers died, which devastated families through lost means of survival and caused personal suffering; landowners who used labourers as tenant farmers were also affected. The labour shortage caused landowners to substitute wages or money rents in place of labour services ...

  16. His 530 Week 2 Black Death.edited.docx

    The Black Death: An Essay on Traumatic Change Historiographical Development Jerrold Atlas was interested in the changes brought by the plagues. His interest was in whether they had profoundly reshaped the European world. His research was conducted on the premise that disease.

  17. Black Death

    The Black Death was a devastating global epidemic of bubonic plague that struck Europe and Asia in the mid-1300s. Explore the facts of the plague, the symptoms it caused and how millions died from it.

  18. The Black Death: An Essay on Traumatic Change

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  19. Sample Essay Topics on Black Death

    The Black Death in Egypt and England: A Comparative Study by Stuart J. Borsch; The Later Middle Ages, 1272-1485 by George Holmes; Plantagenet England, 1225-1360 by Michael Prestwich; The Story of Rats: Their Impact on Us, and Our Impact on Them by S. Anthony Barnett; The Black Death: An Essay on Traumatic Change by Atlas, Jerrold

  20. 1CFisher HIS530 Historiographical Development Essay.docx

    Fisher Jerrold Atlas's 2009 journal, The Black Death: An Essay on Traumatic Change, claimed that the Black Death resulted to "a profound traumatic change, improved childrearing, provide opportunities for change, and societal realignment." 9 Prior to the Black Death, child abuse infanticide along with other controlling and authoritative ...

  21. CFisher HIS530 Historiographical Development Essay.docx

    Borsch asserted that this "small-scaled the framework can feed into the larger framework grand comparison." 9 the study can be utilized for further study on macroeconomics. argued the prior historians who attempted to understand the Jerrold Atlas's 2009 journal, The Black Death: An Essay on Traumatic Change claimed that the Black Death ...

  22. Read "The Black Death: An Essay on Traumatic Change," by Atlas, from

    Read "The Black Death: An Essay on Traumatic Change," by Atlas, from Journal of Psychohistory (2009). URL:... We store cookies data for a seamless user experience.

  23. EE .pdf

    View Essay - EE .pdf from TOK Y2 at Myers Park High. The Black Death's Impact on Modern Society How did social, economic, and medical changes resulting from the Black Death contribute to modern