Thursday, 23 April 2015

The Black Death Its Start and How It Changed the Shape of Europe

The Black Death or the Bubonic plague, it had many names but in its wake it very nearly wiped out Europe.

Picture it! China, The Mongol Yuan Dynasty which had ruled China for almost 100 years, is just coming to end, and it is the beginning of the Ming Dynasty

Its 6.30 am on a cold and frosty morning, and we are at the great trading port of Weihai
The trading vessel ‘Flower of China’ has just finished loading its cargo of spices and is just leaving for a trip to Europe, just as the ship pulls away from the jetty a black rat prevalent in China in those times jumps aboard ‘The Flower’ the passenger is also carrying a passenger, a flea.

Not an ‘astounding knock me out’ fact, you might say as most rats carried fleas, but this particular flea is also carrying a passenger, the ‘Yersinia pestis Virus’

We don't know who was the first victim

The ‘Yersinia pestis Virus’ is known to be one of the causes of the Black Death also known as the "Great Pestilence" is categorized into three specific types of plague, the bubonic plague, the pneumonic and the septicemic plague this last one is the deadliest of them all, get this one and your dead in days

It's not know who was the first victim, but we do know that the “Black Death” pandemic killed around 30% to 60% of Europe’s population and 7 million died in England alone, the world’s population at that time was estimated to be around 450 million, and thanks to the Black Death it was dramatically reduced to between 350 and 375 million
Some of the major cities around the world recorded some amazing death facts.
The numbers were incredible    40,000 people died in Paris
  1.          200,000 in Moscow
  2.         50,000 victims in Venice
  3.          7 million in England and 35,417 Londoners perished
  4.           15,000 Munich
  5.           300,000 Naples
  6.          50,000 in Amsterdam

Remember these are just city’s not countries
The Black Death spread rapidly along the major European sea and land trade routes.
It killed an estimated 75–200 million people in the 14th century
One of the deadliest pandemics in human history
The Black Death was one of the deadliest pandemics in human history and finally left Europe in the 19th century in its wake lay.

         The Italian Plague of 1629
   The Great Plague of Seville in1647
   The Great Plague of London in1665
   The Great Plague of Vienna in 1679
   The Great Plague of Marseilles in 1720
   And the Russian plague of 1770

Thousands died daily unattended and without help. Many died in the open street, the stench of rotting bodies must have been horrific, churchyards were full and had no room for any more bodies so trenches were dug and bodies were dumped into them waiting for a place of rest just like the rats on the dock for the next ship to carry them to another port, many believed it was the end of the world.

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