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The Path of the Black Death in Europe

Mapping the Black Death


The Black Death was first reported in Messina, Italy, on the island of Sicily, in October, 1347, and then
moves through Europe. Below are the likely dates of the arrival of the Black Death in a variety of

1) Messina, Italy October, 1347

12) Genoa, Italy January, 1348
3) Pisa, Italy February, 1348
23) Marseilles, France February, 1348
34) Rome, Italy March, 1348
44)Avignon, France March, 1348
55)Valencia, Spain May, 1348
66) Paris, France June, 1348
77) London, England June, 1349
87) Liege, Belgium June, 1349
8) Hamburg, Germany, June 1350

Your task is to trace the path of the Black Death through Europe by locating these cities and looking
for patterns. Using the map on the back, place the numbers—some duplicated—on the map.
The duplicate numbers indicate that the plague arrived in two cities at about the same time. Do you
notice any patterns?

1Now Complete the chart below:

Date City City Months
October, 1347 Messina x
January, 1348 Genoa x
1348 Pisa Marseilles
March, 1348 Rome Avignon
May, 1348 Valencia x
June, 1348 Paris x
June, 1349 London Liege
June 1350 Hamburg x

1. Did the plague seem to travel more quickly along the shipping routes or overland?
2. Why did the plague take so long to reach London, when it had arrived in nearby Paris a year earlier?