The Black Death Ananya R, Anushka D, Avyuktha M

The Black Death was considered the most deadliest plague in human history. Around 50 million people died during the 14th century, because of the plague. It was believed that the Black Death was the "avenging hand of God."

The first outbreak of the Black Death was in China (1330). It soon spread throughout Asia, and Europe. The plague killed almost one third of Europe. Then the plague flew north, to England, and it was there that they named it The Black Death.

Causes of the Black Death

The First signs of the plague were lumps in the groin or armpits. After this,livid black spots appeared on the arms and thighs and other parts of the body. Few recovered . Almost all died within three days, Usually without any fever."

-Boccacio, Florence, Italy

The Flea,

During the medieval Europe (1348-1350), it was thought that the plague was the anger of God. But medical knowledge of the 14th century was primitive compared to what doctors have found today. Although the topic is somewhat still debated by historians, they believe that the Black Death was caused by Bacterial strains. This bacteria lived in the stomachs of certain fleas, of whom rested in the fur of the Great Asian Gerbil.

The Great Asian Gerbils were soon infected by the fleas, and as they died from the disease, the plague was passed onto it's next host-humans. Once that person had been affected, the plague spread faster, and soon through shared breath and the air.

Christian Perspective

It was first believed that the Black Death was caused by the "avenging hand of God". All the three religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) thought that the Bubonic plague was because of the sins of man.


Even though religion had a part to play in the different beliefs of the cause of the plague, the Christians found someone new to blame.

The Jews were blamed by the Christians, who thought that burning and imprisoning them would cure the plague. They believed that the Jews had poisoned the wells and rivers, causing the Black Death to erupt.


The Jews were getting killed, and not only by the plague. Even though only 20% of the population died because of the plague, many were accused and burnt.

The Burning Jews

The Jews were very clean and sanitary, taking showers almost every week and washing there hands before praying to God (everyday). This resulted in less deaths from the plague, but gave the Christians more reason to blame.


The Muslims, like the Jews, were very sanitary. There were public bathes and every week, and it was required to bathe oneself. The dead/sick were put in separate, but clean areas and burned (dead).

Even though the Muslims weren't blamed and burnt, they were persecuted for a different reason.


Created with images by Iburiedpaul - "C008/3897" • markusspiske - "globe africa europe" • Michael Wunderli - "Flea" • Robbie1 - "Snow fleas"

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