Category Archives: Black Death

Christine de Pizan

Around 1400, the most famous woman author was Christine de Pizan (or Pisan, both short for Pizzano, south of Bologna, Italy). Christine spent her life at the French court, originally moving there as an infant when her father was hired … Continue reading

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The demographic bust centuries

I want to make an argument that may not be provable. I’m aware of what evidence there is, and isn’t, for it; I’m aware of how much work it would entail to actually track this down and provide solid evidence … Continue reading

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Post-plague modern values

Although I’ve had difficulty keeping up the momentum of this long series on the medieval plague’s effect, I’m going to wrap it up with a short series on why I believe that we have lived in the plague’s world for … Continue reading

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Social change after the plague: the occult

In the world after the plague, the occult had a much larger role. It isn’t hard to argue that pagan magic had never entirely stopped when Europe became officially Christian; but there is also no question that “black” magic, power … Continue reading

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Social change after the plague: personal religion

The earliest stages of the Protestant Reformation began in the years immediately after the plague. There was a widespread sense that the Church as an institution had let the people down. The Church had promised that if they were supported … Continue reading

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Social changes after the plague: hospitals

Before 1350, there were about three different models for hospitals. In Byzantine regions, the chief model was the municipal hospital operated in Constantinople. It was funded by tax money, and it actually had some surgery and active medical care in … Continue reading

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Social changes after the plague: education

The plague was so severe that it disrupted most ongoing institutions, including the ones that educated the youth. During the worst of it, schools closed as pupils died or were sent home. Masters and apprentices died. When it was over, … Continue reading

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Last outbreaks of the bubonic plague

For the record, bubonic plague was a major cause of death until the mid-17th century. Seville had a devastating outbreak in 1647, followed by another, the last, in 1676. London’s last huge plague outbreak occurred between the two in Spain, … Continue reading

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Demand for labor after the plague

As the farming situation slowly stabilized in the next century, the plague kept returning to clear out surplus workers. Probably, in every year until the 1600s, someone in Europe had bubonic plague; regional outbreaks occurred without becoming continent-wide events. Other … Continue reading

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Peasants in revolt: 1381 and after

During the same period of time that the plague was ravaging the population, England had attempted to maintain a state of near-constant war with France. The purpose of war was to defend original English royal family holdings in France; these … Continue reading

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