Great Disease’s Test 1
Introduction lectures, Black Death, Tb, and small pox/ vaccination
The Black Death:
Giovannin Boccacio described the plague very clearly in his book “The Decameron” and he was from Flourence, Italy.
By the time the plague was complete the population of Europe and the Middle East was decreased from 100 million to 80 million people.
One theory of why the plague was brought upon us was that Malthus’ prophecy was coming true.
David Herlihy believed that it was caused by exogenous factors that broke the Malthusian stalemate. Despite fluctuations in population size, relatively stable population levels were maintained by preventive checks (changes of inheritance, delay in age of marriage, and birth control).
The plague broke the Malthusian stalemate, and made Europeans restructure their society, and institute public health measures to control the spread of disease.
This also lead people to begin questioning their faith in the church. The church claimed that the plague was sent upon us as a punishment from God. The people noticed a high mortality rate among priest who read last rites to plague victims, and the churches inability to prevent disease.
Medicine and Education where also infected:
Surgeon at this time where like witch doctors (had wands with incense, and wore a costume) they died at a higher rate than any other medical practitioner at the time.
Prestige went to the barbers, they were the blood letters, and did most of the common operation procedures. This lead to the emphasis on the study of anatomy and the belief in Galen’s philosophy declined.
As the death toll increased the educated people decreased, this affected universities where professionals went to school. Restrictions on travel prevented people from traveling to distant universities so local colleges were created.
Living conditions increased since the labor force was small but in high demands, so they had the power to negotiate wages.