Throughout the entirety of the Late Middle Ages and for several centuries after, the Bubonic Plague, or the Black Plague, caused Europe to be in a state of confusion and hardship. Different people responded in different ways to the horrible chaos caused by the Black Plague, but all perspectives highlight the fact that nobody knew what the Bubonic Plague truly was. Some people attempted to explain what was causing the Plague, and some people merely attempted to counteract it. Amidst these responses, many involved religious beliefs, rationalization, and simple observations.
During the reign of the Bubonic Plague, many religious responses emerged from the European populous. Father Dragoni, a priest from Florence, sent a letter to the Health Magistracy of Florence describing some of the actions he took against the Plague. Dragoni's letter states he, "accompanied severity with compassion and charity" (Doc 9) showing that actually took the time and risk to care for the victims of the Plague. Dragoni's response was a rare one for a time period in which the Plague caused most people put their own lives before others. Dragoni had been using his magistrate's money for a good purpose in easing the passing of Plague victims. Religious responses did not just come in the form of direct action however, but also in the form of speculation or explanation. Lisabetta Centenni, an Italian housewife, stated in a legal deposition in 1624, that her husband had been spontaneously cured by the Plague after eating a piece of bread that had touched St. Domenica (Doc 7). This statement occurred during a period of religious turmoil for Europe so it is most likely petty propaganda, but it effectively highlights peoples' ignorance of what the Plague was and what caused it.
Medical treatment during this time was far from effective, primarily because nobody had any understanding of what the Plague was. A French physician named H. de Rochas wrote in his book, The Reform of Medicine, that...
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