Top-Rated Free Essay

The Black Death

Powerful Essays
Running Head: HOW DIFFERENT WERE THE CHRISTIAN AND MUSLIM RESPONSES?

The Black Death: How Different Were the Christian and Muslim Responses?
Janeece Richardson
Jonesboro High School

Abstract This paper discusses the responses of the Christians and Muslims during the Black Death. According to research Muslims tended to stay more calm and relaxed. While Christians started getting upset, this led to pointing fingers. In particular, this paper states exactly how the Muslims reacted versus the way the Christians reacted towards the cruel Black Death.

The Black Death: How Different Were the Christian and Muslim Responses? 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. In five short years, the plague killed between 25 and 45% of the populations it encountered. So how different were the Christian and Muslim responses? In 1348 Christianity and Islam came face to face with the Black Death. 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 laborers and skilled workmen were imbued with such a spirit of rebellion that neither king, law nor justice would curb them.” 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.” Christians were throwing away their religion and were slipping into a life of wickedness and evil. According to the charts, the death rates of the plague in the Europe as a whole was 31%, in England it was 33%, in Egypt it was 25 to 33%, and in Syria it was 33%. Also, the death rate of parish priest was 45%, people think the death rate was so high because priest came into contact with more people which made them more prone to receiving the plague. The priest might have also been older which could have also meant that they had a weaker immune system which would make them an easy target to sickness. When the cities of Siena, Italy and Damascus, Syria were struck by the fierce hit of The Black Death their reactions were very different. In Damascus the people really didn’t have much time to react because within fifty hours of seeing a tumor that appear from the plague and after coughing up blood they died. But however, the people of Siena thought that it was all over now. The Italians thought I was going to be the end of the world. According to both de Mussi and al-Manbiji God was delivering the plague to the people. According to de Mussi he thought the plague was being delivered because it was a punishment for the people’s sins. On the other hand, al-Manbiji thought the plague was a blessing from God and that He was getting rid of all the bad and unworthy people. As you can see al-Manbiji looked at things with a brighter perspective. Even though the Christians and Muslims reacted to the plague differently they also had some similarities. They both believed that miasma, which is polluted unhealthy air, was carried by warm southern winds and was caused by the stench of the Mongol bodies from Crimea. They also believed that if you would build fires that it would fumigate the area and get rid of the miasma. William Dene believed that the English people behaved differently during the plague. He believed that they became more depraved and began to pick up bad habits, which made them prone to evil and wickedness. The priest even began to behave differently, they began to leave their own churches and to “chase the money”, and they would go to different churches to get larger stipends than in their own benefices. While the Muslims cried and prayed together, the Christians were out pointing fingers, they began to blame or accuse the Jews. In the town of Strasbourg Christians kidnapped and burned the innocent Jews in a lieu. The city of Strasbourg wasn’t the only city destroyed they also destroyed 60 major and 150 smaller Jewish communities. They also participated and/or hose to destroy over 350 separate massacres. The Pope even thought it wasn’t the Jews fault. He believes that everybody is dying, including Jews, so why would begin to kill their own people so brutally. So that’s him the Pope doesn’t think that the Jews committed such a mean and cruel crime. In the end, there tends to be no tension between the Muslims, Christians, and Jews they all came together to pray to God and ask of him a favor to stop the plague and to sop killing all of these innocent, God-fearing, and God-loving creatures.

References Michael Dols, The Black Death in the Middle East, Princeton University Press, 1997. Robert S. Gottfried, The Black Death, New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1983. Phillip Ziegler, The Black Death, London: Collins Press, 1969. Michael Dols, The Black Death in the Middle East, Princeton Press, 1977. Chronicler Agriolo di Tura (The Fat), Cronaca senese, Italy, 1348. In Robert Gottfried, The Black Death, New York: The Free Press, 1983 al-Maqrizi, circa 1400 in Michael Dols, The Black Death in the Middle East, Princeton University Press, 1997. Pope Clement VI, July 5, 1348 Ibn Battuta, Travels in Asia and Africa 1325-1354. William Dene, chronicler in Rochester, England, circa 1350, In Sir Arthur Bryant, The Age of Chivalry: the Atlantic Saga, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1963 Michael Kleinlawl, as reported in the Strasbourg Chronicle (Alsace), 1348, in Johannes Nohl, The Black Death: A Chronicle of the Plague, New York: Harper and Row, 1969.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    The Black Death

    • 787 Words
    • 3 Pages

    How does Black Death Impact the Medieval History According to Robert s. Gottfried The Black Death, “the black death was defined as a combination of bubonic, pneumonic, and septicaemic plague strains. It devastated the Western world from 1347 to 1351, killing 25%-50% of Europe’s population and causing or accelerating marked political, economic, social, and cultural changes. People were astounded, bewildered, and terrified.” (Gottfried Robert S., The Black Death; Natural and Human Disaster in Medieval…

    • 787 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Best Essays

    Black Death

    • 1498 Words
    • 6 Pages

    HOW DID THE BLACK DEATH AFFECT EUROPEAN SOCIETIES OF THE MID-FOURTEENTH CENTURY? How did the Black Death affect European societies of the mid-fourteenth century? The Black Death is the most significant natural phenomenon in human history and continues to be the subject of medical, historical and sociological analysis . The ‘first epidemic of the second plague pandemic’ devastated Europe between 1347 and 1351, killing 25 to 45% of Europe’s population (over 75 million people…

    • 1498 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Good Essays

    Black Death

    • 613 Words
    • 3 Pages

    The Black Death was a plague that devastated Europe during the 14th and 15th Century. Before the plague, Europe was in the Late Middle Ages, a time of both development and problems. Some of these problems were causes of the plague. The Black Death has changed Europe economically by causing people to pay for religious services, making nobles pay higher wages to peasants and serfs and helping peasants gain money. Socially, the Black Death caused the downfall of feudalism and created discrimination…

    • 613 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The Black Death

    • 1827 Words
    • 8 Pages

    The Black Death This paper analyzes the documentary film "Secrets of the dead-Mystery of the Black Death". This film discusses about the Black Death, a disease resulting from a combination of bubonic and pneumonic plague, which killed millions of Europeans during the Middle Ages. Researchers in this video clarify the origins of this pandemic/how it spread, the damage it caused on the whole European continent, the theory explaining how some people managed to escape the Black Death and the…

    • 1827 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Best Essays

    Black Death

    • 274 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Black Death & Plague Works Cited 1. Benedictow, Ole J. "The Black Death." History Today 55.3 (2005): 42-49. History Reference Center. Web. 4 Oct. 2012. 2. COHN, SAMUEL. "After The Black Death: Labour Legislation And Attitudes Towards Labour In Late-Medieval Western Europe." Economic History Review 60.3 (2007): 486-512. History Reference Center. Web. 4 Oct. 2012. 3. Harvey, Mary, and Suzanne McCabe. "World History: The Black Death." Junior Scholastic 114.12 (2012): 20. History Reference…

    • 274 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Good Essays

    Black Death

    • 1280 Words
    • 6 Pages

    features of the Black Death social, economic and political effects and its impact upon Europe. In the 1300’s, The Black Death spread across Europe killing many people and impacted Europe socially, economically and politically. The consequences of this plague had both short-term and long-term effects that impacted upon all of Europe. The main features of the Black Death at the time was the origins and spread of the disease, the symptoms and treatments, the cause of the Black Death and the social…

    • 1280 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Black Death

    • 824 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The Black Plague is one of the deadliest pandemics in human history. The Plague Struck and killed with terrible speed leaving the few who still remained alive in shock and utter confusion. People became desperate and turned to religion for hope and an explanation for this deadly event. Despite the Black Plague Striking World Wide, the Christian and Muslim reactions where quite different. These disparate reactions grew as the mortality rate due to the Black Death grew. The Background of the Black Plague…

    • 824 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Black Death

    • 617 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Background Research Source One: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/black_death_of_1348_to_1350.htm Notes: ❖ The Black Death started in 1348 ❖ The Black Death was also known as ‘The Bubonic Plague’ ❖ The Black Death had a major effect on England’s social structure which lead to the ‘Peasant’s Revolt’ ❖ The Black Death was spread by flees on rats ❖ The Bubonic plague spread quickly because all the people walked in the streets, packed together and none of…

    • 617 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Black Death

    • 817 Words
    • 4 Pages

    THE BLACK DEATH! What Is The Black Death? The Black Death is a disease that went on for over 5 years. It also spread around a wide range of places! It killled and harmed thousands upon thousands of people and had no mercy. If you were to sadly catch the Black Death, you would DEFINITELY die and there was many cures and causes however none of the causes actually worked also all of causes were thought to be a punishment from God. Once you knew you had the Black Death…

    • 817 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Black Death

    • 505 Words
    • 3 Pages

    ThThe Black Death” is the name that was given to a disease called the bubonic plague which was widespread during fourteenth century. The plague according to modern biomedical science was a severe infection of the lymphatic system caused by Pasteurella petis, a bacillus carried principally by fleas that thrive on animals, particularly rodents such as rats. At the beginning of the outbreak, the cause of the plague was attributed to bad air, some kind of generalized pestilential miasma (Patel, 2011)…

    • 505 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays