The Plague : The Great Plague

1064 WordsAug 26, 20145 Pages
Containing a Pandemic: The Great Plague Although plague continues to emerge around the world, there was an outbreak so large in the medieval era that it threatened to wipe out entire continents. The vast devastation that began in Asia and spread to Europe is likely the most deadly pandemic in human history. There were many reasons for the lack of containment, from ignorance of its origin to the lack of anything to stop its deadly trail. The disease struck and killed with terrifying speed, leading Italian writer Boccaccio to declare, its victims “ate lunch with their friends and dinner with their ancestors in paradise.” Certainly, modern medicine understands plague and now has treatment available; however, history will reveal how easily a pandemic can resurface and become deadly once again. History of the Great Plague For years, historians taught the Black Death of Europe originated in China, but some modern researchers believe it began in spring 1346 in the Russian steppe region, where a plague reservoir stretches from the Caspian Sea into southern Russia (Benedictow, 2005). For centuries, plague was catastrophic because the cause was unknown, causing mass panic where it appeared. Although there have been other outbreaks of plague, nothing compares to the pandemic widely known as the “Black Death” or Great Plague. The Great Plague of Europe claimed approximately 60% of the population, decimating entire towns. The death count was so astronomical in some places, that on

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