Imagine a disease that boasts a death rate of one hundred per cent and kills hundreds of people a day. This is 'pneumonic plague'. Along with its variant 'bubonic plague', the disease ravaged the population of London in the mid-14th century.Explore, play and learn with ABC Splash. Over 2500 videos, games and other resources. All mapped to the Australian curriculum.
In Medieval England, the Black Death was to kill 1.5 million people out of an estimated total of 4 million people between 1348 and 1350. No medical knowledge existed in Medieval England to cope with the disease.
The long term effects of the Black Death were devastating and far reaching. Agriculture, religion, economics and even social class were affected. Contemporary accounts shed light on how medieval Britain was irreversibly changed.
Good information on the origins of the Black Death, its causes and religious interpretations of its effect. Go to the menu at the bottom of the page to select the link you want. The information is well set out and easy to read. (Bronwyn Milgate)
Molars taken from skeletons unearthed by work on a new London railway line are revealing secrets of the medieval Black Death — and of its victims.
Don Walker, an osteologist with the Museum of London, outlined the biography of one man whose ancient bones were found by construction workers under London’s Charterhouse Square: He was breast-fed as a baby, moved to London from another part of England, had bad tooth decay in childhood, grew up to work as a laborer, and died in early adulthood from the bubonic plague that ravaged Europe in the 14th century.
The poor man’s life was nasty, brutish and short, but his afterlife is long and illuminating.
“It’s fantastic we can look in such detail at an individual who died 600 years ago,” Walker said. “It’s incredible, really.”
To test their theory, scientists took one tooth from each of 12 skeletons, then extracted DNA from the teeth. They announced Sunday that tests had found the presence of the plague bacterium, Yersinia pestis, in several of the teeth, meaning the individuals had been exposed to — and likely died from — the Black Death.
London, 1348. The city is crowded, bustling and trading successfully with the powerhouses of international commerce. But the merchant ships making their way up the Thames River are bringing more than spices, textiles and wine. Find out what happens when the unwelcome cargo arrives.
London, 1348. The city is crowded, bustling and trading successfully with the powerhouses of international commerce. But the merchant ships making their way up the Thames River are bringing more than spices, textiles and wine. Find out what happens when the unwelcome cargo arrives. This clip is the first in a series of two.
The Black Death serves as a convenient divider between the earlier and later Middle Ages. The Black Death did not cause the crisis, for evidence of the changes can be seen well before 1347. But the plague highlighted problems and added new ones.
Library Staff's insight:
This article talks about the arrival of the plague, and includes descriptions of its impact on humans, medical measures taken, the flagellants, and the effects of the economic and cultural disruption to everyday life.
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