Black Death

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Black Death was one of the deadliest pandemics of bubonic plague to hit mankind, killing up to 75 million people all over the world in the 14th century, of which 25 million died in Europe alone! It was called the Pestilence or the Great Mortality.

In 1347, Mongol invaders besieged Caffa, a Genoese trading colony in Crimea (Russia). When the Mongol soldiers fell prey to plague, the army catapulted the diseased corpses into the town, infecting the inhabitants.

As the Genoese fled home in their rat infested ships, the plague spread through the European continent like wildfire, claiming lives like never before in history. Infected survivors fleeing the plague spread the disease further.

The plague ravaged Italy, France, England (1348) and finally Russia (1351). By 1351, a third of Europe’s population was wiped out!

At that time, medieval doctors neither understood nor could explain the devastating disease. So the layman became superstitious. Jews were blamed for causing the plague by poisoning the wells and were massacred. Religious fanatics called flagellants believed that it was God’s fury and publicly flogged themselves to atone for their sins. On the other hand, with so many people dying, wealth was now in the hands of the few survivors, making them rich!

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