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The historian, Barbara Tuchmann wrote in

her book, The Distant Mirror: The
Calamitous 14c, that,

when the gap between the ideal and the
real [in a society] becomes too wide, the
system breaks down.

We will assess the validity of this thesis
by analyzing the major political, economic,
social, and intellectual forces that
contributed to a breakdown of society in
the late 14c and early 15c.

The Culprits .

 A population crisis developed. The Famine of 1315-1317  By 1300 Europeans were farming almost all the land they could cultivate.  One consequence of starvation & poverty was susceptibility to disease.  As many as 15% of the peasants in some English villages died.  Climate changes in Europe produced three years of crop failures between 1315-17 because of excessive rain. .

1347: Plague Reaches Constantinople! .

. The Symptoms Bulbous Septicemia Form: almost 100% mortality rate.

1411 .From the Toggenburg Bible.

Lancing a Buboe .

into human wound. The Disease Cycle Flea drinks rat blood Bacteria that carries the multiply in bacteria. flea’s gut. . Human is infected! Flea bites human and Flea’s gut clogged regurgitates blood with bacteria.

Medieval Art & the Plague .

Medieval Art & the Plague Bring out your dead! .

.Medieval Art & the Plague An obsession with death.

Boccaccio in The Decameron The victims ate lunch with their friends and dinner with their ancestors. .

The Danse Macabre .


Attempts to Stop the Plague “Leeching” A Doctor’s Robe .

Attempts to Stop the Plague Flagellanti: Self-inflicted “penance” for our sins! .

Attempts to Stop the Plague Pograms against the Jews “Golden Circle” obligatory badge “Jew” hat .

Death Triumphant !: A Major Artistic Theme .

dropping like the flies. “They crawled upon the wine and bread. Pale priests with oil and books. A Little Macabre Ditty “A sickly season.” . and everywhere these queer red flies crawled upon the corpses’ eyes.” the merchant said.” “Fair make you sick.” the merchant said. “The town I left was filled with dead. bulging eyes and crazy looks. eating them away.

A Little Macabre Ditty (2) “I had to laugh. and bled. then fell back.” “First they sneezed. Begged for water. “Then they began to die. “The doctors purged.” the merchant said. and dosed. “And then they turned the brightest red.” .” the merchant said. they waited for the flies. “And proved through solemn disputation “The cause lay in some constellation. With bulging eyes and face turned black.

“So I’ve come here to ply my trade. “You can’t do business with the dead. “You’ll find this to be a fine brocade…” And then he sneezed……….! .” the merchant said. A Little Macabre Ditty (3) “I came away.

The Mortality Rate 35% .70% 25.000.000 dead !!! .

economic. What were the political. and social effects of the Black Death?? .