Plague (Black Death)
After the plague had already been unleashed in Europe, one of the first reactions was people believing that God had unleashed the deadly disease, as depicted in Giovanni Ceramic’s (Doc 3) illustration of angels, coming down from the heavens, delivering their arrows of death unto the people. Sarcasms acknowledges that some people were able to escape the arrow of the Black Death in the description of his illustration. As an apothecary, it makes sense hat he views the plague as being delivered by arrows, because normally disease does not affect everyone.
Disease, like arrows bypass those who are immune and strike those that are not immune. Another depiction of the plague by an anonymous source (Doc 6) illustrates that a divine entity was delivering the plague to those on earth. The common belief that God caused the plague shows how many people were religious and believed in God and thought that He was punishing them. An alternate view of the plague was blame. Many people blamed the Jews, hill others blamed God and beat themselves in hopes of God intervening. Biochip (Doc 2) discusses that people would torture themselves, the Flagellants, in hopes of God’s mercy.
This response to the plague was very erratic but somewhat logical because even though they beat themselves, it was for a reason, a call for God’s help. With a humanistic point of view, Biochip believes that there is a more scientific approach to conquering the plague instead of hoping God will come down from the heavens and intervene and help the Flagellants. On the other hand, many people blamed the Jews, for instance when they were cremated in Strasbourg, Germany on Valentine’s Day (Doc 7) where the Jews were alleged to have poisoned the water supply, in which case they were all burned.
This response was made out of hatred, the Jews were a scapegoat because no one really knew how the plague came to be. Many people acted angrily and erratically in hopes Of ending the plague which ended in even more death. The Black Plague had a major effect on the population in Europe at the time it ravaged through the continent. The pre-plague population (Doc 9) in Europe was approximately 83 million, but after the plague ran its course, the population subsequently decreased to 60 million.
The plague had a major pros and cons to it. A pro would be the fact that it led to the Renaissance Era; while a con would be the major loss of life in Europe. The most popular place of death or where most people died (Doc 8) would be the Holy Roman Empire followed by France. The significance of the amount of death in these two areas is important because it allows us to recognize that these two areas had he worst overpopulation, living conditions, famine, or economic depression over all of Europe.
Even though the plague was a traumatic and insane experience for those who lived through the Bubonic Plague, but without the plague, perhaps the most important era that led to the spread of information, knowledge, and prosperity. People today are able to look how people during the plague responded to disease and now are able to use their reactions to guide future reactions and help resolve the problems people faced back then.