Early Modern Primary Source Essay
Marchione di Coppo Stefani, The Florentine Chronicle
This source is a chronicle that was written in the late 1370s and early 1380s, of events related to the bubonic plague that took place in the year 1348. It was written by Marchione di Coppo Stefani for the Florentine Chronicle. It was written to inform the people of that time what happened to the people that had the plague, the families, and the economy during and after the plague.
According to The West in the World, some of the symptoms of the plague were “armpit and groin swelling that turned black”. When described to historians, the symptoms of the bubonic plague, also known as the “black death”, led them to believe that this disease infected rodents first, then spread to black rats, and eventually to humans. Estimates are said to be “between 30 and 70 percent of people who catch the plague die”. The plague was said to have moved north from Italy to Scandinavia. It killed approximately one-third to one-half of the population but the estimated actual numbers are from 20 million to about 35 million people. Bigger cities such as Paris and Florence, where the chronicle was written, were hit the hardest with the plague. Florence lost as much as four-fifths of its population .
This chronicle, like the book, explains a lot about what it was like in the year 1348 during the bubonic plague. Most people that caught it didn’t live past the fourth day. The plague did not only affect humans but dogs, cats, chickens, and more. The chronicle explains the symptoms as, “a bubo in the groin where the thigh meets the trunk, or a small swelling under the armpit, sudden fever, and spitting blood”. This plague not only took people’s lives but it also broke families apart. When someone was effected in the house the families would wait until nightfall and sneak out. Often the people that were sick died alone because of that very reason. When they were alone...
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