An educational presentation by Caitlin Gibbs
History and Relevance
Its use as a biological warfare agent
Considered by many to be the greatest pandemic in the history of the world, the Plague is a disease that has ‘plagued’ the world for over a millennia.
Three major pandemics recorded throughout history— claimed an estimated 200 million lives.
History of the Plague
The First Pandemic
First recorded history of the plague, was the Plague of Justinian between 541 – 542 AD.
Began in Pelusium, Egypt, after arriving from Ethiopia.
Quickly spread through the Middle East and Mediterranean basin
Eventually affected all the known world— o 25 million deaths during the pandemic o Up to 50 million deaths total over the next 250 years until 700 AD.
Slowly spread from Central Asia, to the west via trade routes between 1330 and 1346.
The Second Pandemic
Its arrival in Sicily in 1346 brought the start of the Second Pandemic, known as the Black Death.
During 1346 to 1353 it killed between 17 and 28 million Europeans, which was about 30 to 40% of the population.
Further epidemics continued across the globe until the mid 17th century. o The biggest pandemic in history with over 100 million deaths. o Killed 30% of the world’s population.
The Third Plague Pandemic (AKA The Modern Pandemic)
Started in 1855 in the Chinese province of Yunnan.