In 1346 European traders began to hear reports about earthquakes, floods, locusts, famine, and plague in faraway China. They knew very little then that the plague they were hearing about would follow the same trade routes to the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe that they themselves used. (doc. 1) In five short years, the plague killed between 25 and 45% of the populations it encountered. (doc 2) So how different were the Christian and Muslim responses? In 1348 Christianity and Islam came face to face with the Black Death. (doc. 3A) In truth, Muslims and Christians responded in many different ways. Their ideas for what caused the Black Death were somewhat different from each other also. Even the way they thought they could cure the disease was almost entirely different. With evidence and accounts of people that exist from the Bubonic Plague, one may come to a conclusion that Christians were actually much more out of control than Muslims were during this time of need.
Responses that Christians made were much different from Muslims during the Bubonic Plague. William Dene described Christians as being in such chaos that “The labourers and skilled workmen were imbued with such a spirit of rebellion that neither king, law nor justice would curb them.” (doc. 6) What Dene is basically describing is that because of the Black Death Christians were in such moral disarray that they were starting to become completely out of control. Dene also stated in is writing that “The people for the greater part ever became more depraved, more prone to every vice and more inclined than before to evil and wickedness, not thinking of death nor of the past plague nor of their own salvation.” (doc. 6) Christians were throwing away their religion and were slipping into a life of wickedness and evil. Ibn Battuta describes in that “(As a result of the plague) the people fasted for three successive days… (Afterward they) assembeled in the Great mosque until it was filled to overflowing…...
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