The Factors that led to the Decline of the Middle Ages

Topics: Black Death, Middle Ages, Pope Pages: 3 (1206 words) Published: January 25, 2014
The late middle ages were years filled with turmoil. Famine, plague, turmoil in religion, and a war lasting over one hundred years all happened within the same two centuries. Many feared that these ages were the apocalypse, as these signs were those of the four horseman predicted in religious scripture. Several people ran from urban surroundings in order to escape the chaos and disease spreading in the cities. The late middle ages were the ending of something old and the beginning of something that most hoped was better. The decline of the middle ages was the result of famine and plague, decline of the papacy, and the hundred year’s war. The middle ages declined in part because of famine and plague. The famine started in the early 14th century when the climate in Europe changed to a colder and moister climate. These cooler temperatures and wetter seasons resulted in a failure of crops in large parts of Europe, causing the prices to skyrocket. Prices of grain rose from a shilling to twenty shillings in 1315. Those who could not afford the high prices of grain were doomed to starve. Those who starved not only lacked food but had a weakened immune system because of a lack of nutrients. Almost three decades later while people were still starving, a disease washed up on the shores of Messina known as the bubonic plague. The symptoms of this sickness were described by Georges Chastellain as, “The pulse trembles and he pants. The bones are disjointed on all sides; there is not a tendon which does not stretch as to burst.” Giovanni Boccaccio describes in the Decameron that bodies were piled outside houses and taken to large trenches, to where they were buried by the hundreds. This plague spread throughout Europe and only rural unvisited communities were able to stay away from the plague. None could clearly identify the cause of this plague and as a result they turned to their own individual explanations. Many thought that the plague was sent from God as a form of...
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