The Black Death Essay

1812 Words Jan 27th, 2014 8 Pages
Middle Ages' Most Notorious Killer:
The Black Death

This paper analyzes the documentary film "Secrets of the dead-Mystery of the Black Death". This film discusses about the Black Death, a disease resulting from a combination of bubonic and pneumonic plague, which killed millions of Europeans during the Middle Ages. Researchers in this video clarify the origins of this pandemic/how it spread, the damage it caused on the whole European continent, the theory explaining how some people managed to escape the Black Death and the relationship between the disease and today's most dangerous virus: the HIV. The team of experts in this film is composed of historians, geneticists, a microbiologist, a virologist and even a
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Different interpretations of the past
This documentary clarified two aspects concerning the Black Death: the origins/spread of the plague, and what made it possible to survive the illness. First, one has to understand the Black Death started in the Middle Ages and it spread throughout the European continent. Around 1347, thirteen Genoese galleys entered the harbor of Messina, Sicily carrying the disease. Actually, the ships contained rats infected by flea that transmitted the tiny bubonic bacterium to the people on land. When the ships arrived at the harbor, it took only twelve months for the pandemic to kill a third of the population. Eventually, by January sixty percent of population in Marseilles die, and during spring seventy-five percent of people in Florence died. Around 1348, the plague approaches the shore of England, but was already installed in England before reaching the shore.
People at that period lacked medical knowledge about these kinds of plagues, therefore when it first hit the Europe, they couldn't react on time to prevent it from damaging the population further. Some people did not even know that the Black Death exists, such as the tailor of Eyam, George Viccars, who received a bundle of cloth infected by fleas carrying the disease; consequently he could not prevent it from spreading. Another reason was because of the tiny bubonic bacterium that penetrated into infected people's…

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