The Plague DBQ 1995
Beginning in the mid-fourteenth century, a plague swept the world like no other. It struck in a series of waves that continued into the eighteenth century. The first wave was estimated to have killed twenty-five million people, about a third of the Western Europe population at that time. Throughout the different outbreaks, the plague, also known as the Bubonic Plague or the Black Death, caused people to react in several ways. Some people believed the plague was a medical problem that can be treated, some found themselves concerned only with their own greed, still others believed there was nothing they could do and reacted in fear, and most people believed it was a form of divine punishment from God.
To begin with, during the time of the Black Death, the medical community knew enough to believe that the plague could be treated; however their knowledge on how to treat it was limited. Various doctors had the infected hand toads around their necks, alive or dead, “whose venom should within a few days draw out the poison of the disease” (H. de Rochas 10). Additional doctors attempted to find the source of the plague. One doctor named Erasmus believed the Black Death was spread from the filth in the streets and homes. His perspective came from the fact that there was very little hygiene during the time of the plague. Peasants bathed maybe once a year, and even nobles only bathed twice a year. Erasmus was looking for a possible way for the plague to be created, and was not far off. We know now that the plague was a bacterial infection, spread by fleas that had been infected via rats. In an attempt to stop the plague, people were quarantined in their villages and the infected were often buried in their homes. Giovan Filippo, a Sicilian physician, had the motto “Gold, fire, the gallows”. Gold to fund the pest houses that quarantined the sick, the gallows to punish the people who violated health regulations, and...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document