The Black Death and its Effects on Medieval Societies Research Paper by Amy Midkiff

The Black Death and its Effects on Medieval Societies
This essay talks about society before, during and after the Black Plague that swept through Europe in 1348. It covers a broad range of cultural aspects affected from class structure to medical theories to religion to city planning.
# 27111 | 2,871 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2003 | US

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This paper discusses society in medieval Europe and the effects the Black Plague of 1348 had on it. The writer discusses society beforehand, noting the population explosion shortly before it hit. The writer briefly talks about the pathology of the disease and discusses some theories as to what the Black Plague was actually caused by (recent theories rule out the bubonic plague alone). The paper also discusses the impact the plague had on medical theories and also the method used by doctors and surgeons. The paper then analyzes the ways in which people of different classes reacted to the plague and the precautions everyday people took to prevent the disease from afflicting them. Noted are also the the religious shifts in dogma, the religious groups that emerged out of the plague and the class system before and after the plague. Lastly the writer discusses the changes in the arts because of the plague, and how it ultimately affected medieval Europe to the point of it stirring the beginnings of the Renaissance almost 200 years later.

From the Paper:

"To truly understand the devastation caused by the Black Death in the mid-fourteenth century, one need only look at the writing of Agnolo di Tura, a Tuscan chronicler of the time: I do not know where to begin to tell of the cruelty and the pitiless ways. It seemed that almost everyone became stupefied by seeing the pain. And it is impossible for the human tongue to recount the awful truth.... [T]he victims died almost immediately. They would swell beneath the armpits and in their groins and fall over while talking. Father abandoned child, wife husband, one brother another; for this illness seemed to strike through breath and sight." [T]hey died by the hundreds, both day and night, and all were thrown in those ditches and covered with earth. And as soon as those ditches were filled, more were dug. And I, Agnolo di Tura "buried my five children with my own hands." And so many died that all believed it was the end of the world (qtd. Gottfried 45). This horrific pestilence, wiping out an estimated third of the entire population of Europe, has been claimed by many scholars to mark a transition in medieval society, affecting everything from art to wages to religious thought. The point of this essay is to try and highlight the more obvious trends that arose in post-plague society and to demonstrate how, at the very least, these trends may be direct effects of arguably the worst natural disaster in recorded history. "

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APA Format

The Black Death and its Effects on Medieval Societies (2003, May 25) Retrieved October 28, 2020, from

MLA Format

"The Black Death and its Effects on Medieval Societies" 25 May 2003. Web. 28 October. 2020. <>