How Did The Bubonic Plague Affect European Culture

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Often as a result of overpopulation, pandemics—like swine flu and ebola, for instance—have affected life on Earth for centuries; one of the most well-known, and possibly the most unforgiving epidemics was the Bubonic Plague, also known as the Black Death . Although the first symptoms of the Plague trace back to the Mongol Empire in 1331, the disease first struck Europe in Venice and Genoa during the winter of 1348. In the following years, the Bubonic Plague spread rapidly throughout Europe, killing roughly a third of its population. It is suggested that the rapid spread and extreme severity of the Black Death was partially due to the weakened immune system of the Europeans, which had been caused by the Great Famine, a period of food scarcity that affected Europe from 1315 to 1322. Additionally, the lack of knowledge about the spread of …show more content…

The epidemic affected Europe culturally, as the citizens developed an excessive reliance on religion as an answer for their tragedy. Additionally, the Black Death shifted the people’s social perspectives; they lost compassion for the sick and indulged in selfish desires. Finally, the pestilence altered the Europeans’ mental state, as their appreciation of life itself diminished, since the rapid spread of the plague caused torrential death rates across Europe.

In response to the Black Death, the people of Europe became passionately pious, for they viewed their misfortune as a punishment from God and, thus, believed the only way to bring about continental happiness was through religion. For instance, in An Image of Plague, Giovanni Sercambi, the illustrator, shows that the cause of the Plague was not through pneumonic transmission, but was—in fact—due to the Angel of Death shooting arrows at those he wished to fall ill, explaining why some people succumbed to the epidemic, while others prevailed

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