The Black Death

An evaluation of the spread of the Bubonic Plague throught Europe.

The Black Death was a flea-borne plague that had a devastating impact and significant consequences for medieval European society. This paper analyzes its epidemic from its arrival in Sicily in October 1347 on the caravans bringing trade goods from central Asia to its race through Europe at a record speed. During its peak, the plague killed about one-third of Europe’s population. It discusses how the Black Death also changed European history, affecting religion, economy, politics, social relations and family life.
In 1347, a group of Italian merchant ships returned from a trip to the Black Sea, which was one of the key links in trade with China. When the ships docked in Sicily, many of its passengers were already dying of the plague. Within days the disease had spread to the city and the surrounding countryside. According to historians, the plague struck and killed people more quickly than any other disease in history.