In the 1300’s, a disease known as the Bubonic plague tore through parts of Asia North Africa, and Europe. This plague- commonly known as the “black death”- originated in Asia, and used the trade routes to travel to other cities, allowing the plague to strike many major cities. The plague took away lives of around 25 million people. The plague not only claimed many lives during its reign, but had a tremendous effect on Europe economically, politically, and socially. The Bubonic plague socially weakened family relationships and the faith of the church, politically lessen the power of the nobles, ending feudalism, and economically destroyed trade.
The Bubonic Plague caused family members to become disloyal to each other, and disrupted faith in the church. Giovanni Boccaccio in The Decameron talks about the effect the plague had toward families, “This scourge had implanted so great a terror in the hearts of men and women that..., even worse,... fathers and mothers refused to nurse and assist their own child.” (Doc 2), describing negligence and abandonment family members suffered through. With so many abandonments, death engulfed most of those affected. Boccaccio writes emotionally, which is shown when he describes the dreadful effects of the plague. As people were denied hospitality and treatment from even the people closest to them, death took over many lives. In The Triumph of Death, the skeleton represents the plague easily running people over and killing them (Doc 3) “and none could be found to bury the dead…members of a household brought their dead to a ditch…without priests, without divine offices,”(Doc 6). Death was depicted celebrating as it ran over all types of people, which shows how the painter views the plague- a skeleton that takes away others’ lives. Agnolo di Tura may have a negative view towards the Bubonic plague because he was an Italian who was likely angered at the fact that his country’s people died and that the churches did...
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