The Black Death: The Plague And The Greatest Catastrophe Ever

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“The Greatest Mortality”
Life throughout the Middle Ages was incredibly difficult due to over population, famine, lower standards of living, disease and illness due to lack of proper hygienic upkeep. Some of these societal conditions contributed to far greater crisis. In fact, Europe experienced one of the greatest crisis or pandemics known to man, the Black Death. The Black Death has also been referred to as “The Plague”, “The Greatest Biomedical Disaster in History”, and “The Greatest Catastrophe Ever”. The Black Death was a crisis that significantly impacted the late Middle Ages and brought about one of the most prosperous period, known as the Renaissance. It was an event which came unexpectedly and changed several important aspects of life
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In October 1347, The Black Death entered Europe through the Sicilian Ports of Messina in Italy. Locals eagerly awaited the merchant ships to dock so that they may enjoy the riches and traded goods brought from afar. Instead, people quickly discovered the merchant ships to be filled with sailors whom were dead or severely ill. Out of fear, Sicilian authorities ordered the “death ships” to leave the ports and return to sea (“Black Death”). However, the short time docked was just enough to welcomed this “terrible and unnatural event” as recorded by Michele da Piazza (Scott and Duncan 44). Although the plague took approximately three years to spread throughout all of Europe, an unprecedented number of deaths occurred within a matter of weeks of first contact. Undoubtedly, the Black Death quickly spread throughout Europe moving along trade routes, cities, and by sea. It wasn’t long before Europeans were surrounded by…show more content…
Not only did the church believe the Black Death to be a punishment from God, they also refused to help those who exhibited signs of plague. This caused to turn away from the church and beginning viewing the world in an individualistic way. In addition, people began to question the credibility and power of the church as they witnessed the significant shortage in qualified priests increasing (Byrne 141). If the plague was a punishment from God, why were so many clergy dying? The church attempted to recruit new clergymen to fill voids within the church, however, most new recruits were illiterate and deemed unqualified (James). This caused some remaining clergymen to abandon the church because their standards were lowered. Eventually, the church lost a significant amount of power and became weakened by the Black

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