Black Death over Europe

01 Feb

Death plaguIn 1347 began the second and most terrible plague in the invasion of Europe. Three years, the disease was raging in the Old World, and took with him to the grave in a total of 75 million lives. Black Death it was called the invasion of black rats in a short period managed to bring this terrible epidemic on the vast continent.

In the previous chapter, we talked about one version of its distribution, but some scientists, doctors believe that she probably conceived in the warm southern countries. Here climate itself contributed to the rapid decay of meat products, vegetables, fruits, and just debris, in which delved beggars, stray dogs and, of course, rats. Disease took with them thousands of lives, and then began to wander from city to city, from country to country. It contributed to the rapid spread existed in those days as unsanitary conditions of the lower classes of people, and among sailors.

According to ancient chronicles, near Lake Issyk-Kul in Kyrgyzstan is an ancient tombstone with the inscription, which shows that the plague began its march to Europe from Asia in 1338. Obviously, its carriers become warriors themselves nomadic warriors Tatars, who tried to expand the territory of its gains in the first half of the XIV century invaded Tavria – current Crimea. Thirteen years after entry to the peninsula black disease quickly went beyond it and then covered almost all of Europe. In 1347 in the commercial port of Kaffa began a terrible epidemic.

Today history has information that the Tatar khan Dzhanibek Kipchak besieged Cafu and waiting for her date. Huge his army located at the sea along the stone walls protecting the city. Could not storm the walls and not to lose soldiers, since without food and water inhabitants, according to the calculations of Kipchak, were soon to ask for mercy. Neither one vessel did not allow it to discharge into the port and did not allow himself to residents opportunities to get out of town, so they do not run away on ships outlandish.

Moreover, he deliberately ordered to let loose in the besieged city of black rats, which (as he said) came down from the ship came and brought with them disease and death. But by sending the inhabitants of Kafa “black disease”, Kipchak and he miscalculated. Squinting in the besieged, disease suddenly spread to his army. Insidious disease was still someone to mow, and she crept up to the soldiers Kipchak. His numerous army was taking fresh water from streams coming down from the mountains. Soldiers also become ill and die, and they died to a few dozen a day. Corpses were so many that they did not have time to bury.

Here’s what the report said notary Gabriel de Mussisa from the Italian city of Piacenza “countless hordes of Tartars and Saracens suddenly fell victim to an unknown illness. All Tatar army disease struck, killed thousands every day. In groin thickened juices, then they rot, developed fever, was death, advice and help doctors did not help … “. Not knowing what to do to protect its soldiers from endemic diseases, Kipchak decided to vent his anger on the people of Kaffa. He forced prisoners from the local bodies of the dead on the ship carts, drove them into the city and drop there. Moreover, he ordered the bodies of deceased patients to charge and fire their guns besieged city. But the number of deaths in his army did not decrease.

Soon Kipchak could not be counted, and half of its soldiers. When corpses strewn all the coast, they were released into the sea. Sailors from the ships arrived from Genoa, and stood in the port of Caffa, eagerly watched all these events. Genoese sometimes ventured out into the city to find out the situation. They did not want to return home with the goods, and they were waiting for the outcome of this strange war, the city will remove the corpses and start trading. However, infected Café, they unwittingly transferred the infection to their ships, besides on the ships anchor chains and urban rat climbed. Of Kaffa and infected undischarged ships went back to Italy. And there, of course, together with the sailors landed ashore and hordes of black rats.

Then the ships went to ports in Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica, and spreading the infection in these islands. About a year later the whole of Italy – from north to south and from west to east (including the islands) – was covered by a plague epidemic. Especially rampant disease in Florence, which described the plight of his famous novel “The Decameron” by Giovanni Boccaccio novelist. According to him, people were falling dead in the streets, died in separate houses single men and women, whose death no one guessed. Smerdov decaying corpses, poisoning the air. And only by this terrible smell of death that people can determine where the dead lie. To decomposed corpse was scared to touch, and under penalty of a prison sentence authorities forced to do so ordinary people who, on this occasion, engaged in passing and looting.

Eventually, to protect themselves from infection, doctors began to wear long gowns are especially made by the hand pulled gloves, face – a special mask with long beak, which were fragrant plants and roots. To their hands were tied with laces plates dymivshimisya incense. Sometimes it helps, but they became like some monstrous birds carrying misfortune. Their appearance was so terrifying that when people fled their appearance and hiding. A number of the victims are increasing. At city cemeteries lacked graves and then the authorities have decided to bury all the dead town, dumping the bodies in one mass grave. And in a short time such mass graves there have been several dozen. Within six months, died almost half the population of Florence.

Entire neighborhoods in the city were lifeless and deserted houses walked wind. Soon even the thieves and looters were afraid to enter the premises where patients carried the plague. Parma poet Petrarch lamented death of his friend, the whole family which for three days had passed away. After Italy disease spread to France. In Marseille, a few months 56,000 people died. Of the eight doctors in Perpignan remained alive only one in Avignon seven thousand houses were empty, and the local priest to fear guessed that consecrated the Rhone river and it began dropping all the bodies, making the river water became contaminated.

Plague, for some time suspended the Hundred Years War between France and England, claimed far more lives than open clashes between troops. At the end of the plague in 1348 penetrated into the territory of today’s Germany and Austria. Germany lost a third of the clergy, many churches and monasteries were closed and no one was to preach and celebrate religious services. In Vienna, the first day of the epidemic 960 people died, and then every day a thousand dead were taken out of the city. In 1349, as if satiated on the mainland, the plague spread across the strait in England, where he began a universal plague. Only one London died more than half of its residents.

Then the plague got to Norway, where he brought it a sailing ship, whose crew had all died from the disease. Once unmanageable ship washed ashore, there were some people who climbed on board to use gratuitous booty. However, on deck, they saw only a half-decayed corpses and run them rats. Inspection of empty vehicle led to the fact that all the curious were infected and infected them worked in the Norwegian port of sailors. The Catholic Church could not remain indifferent to such a terrible and terrifying phenomenon. It sought to give his explanation of Death, in sermons demanded repentance and prayer. Christians have seen in this epidemic punishment for their sins, and day and night praying for forgiveness. Were organized and the whole procession of penitents praying people.

Rome crowds roamed the streets half-naked and barefoot penitents who were hanged about his neck rope, stones, leather whips lashed himself, sprinkled with ashes. Then they crept to the steps of the church of Santa Maria and asked the Holy Virgin for forgiveness and mercy. It’s crazy, the most vulnerable sections of the population, led to the degradation of society, religious feelings turned into a dark madness. Actually, in this period, many people are really going crazy. It got to the point that Pope Clement VI forbade such parades and all kinds flagellant. Those sinners who did not want to obey the papal decree and called for physical punishment to each other, were soon thrown into prison, tortured and even executed. In smaller European cities did not know how to fight against the plague, and felt that its major distributors are terminally ill, the disabled and other ailing people who suffered all sorts of ailments.

Approve opinion: It is they who spread the plague! – People are so overwhelmed that accidents turned ruthless people’s anger. They were thrown out of the cities were deprived of food, and in some cases simply killed and buried in the ground. Later spread to other rumors. As it turned out, the plague – it was revenge for the expulsion of the Jews from Palestine them, for the pogroms, they, antichrists, drank the blood of infants and poisoned water from wells. And against the Jews with new force masses of people up in arms. In November 1348 all over Germany, a wave of pogroms, the Jews were hunted in the literal sense of the word. The most absurd charges brought against them. If the houses were going to some Jews, then from there they have not released. Houses torched and waited these nor innocent people burn.

Nailed them in barrels of wine and lowered into the Rhine, imprisoned, lowered the raft down the river. However, this epidemic is not diminished. In 1351 the persecution of Jews began to decline. And in a strange way, as if on cue, the plague began to recede. People seemed to recover from the madness and gradually began to recover. Over the entire period processions plague of European cities in total lost a third of its population. But at this time, the epidemic spread to Poland and Russia. Suffice it to recall  cemetery in Moscow, which, in fact, was founded near the village for burial patients with plague. The dead were brought there from all corners of the white stone and buried in a mass grave. But, fortunately, the harsh climatic conditions in Russia were not given a wide spread of the disease.

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Posted by on February 1, 2014 in Historical, Mysterious


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