The Black Death

Topics: Black Death, Middle Ages, Bubonic plague Pages: 4 (1578 words) Published: June 25, 2013
The Black Death was one of the most devastating times in medieval history. It lasted from 1347 until 1351, and was believed to have originated in China or Central Asia. The Black Plague was spread by infected fleas that were carried by rats. In total, it killed around 75 to 200 million people. This essay will discuss the physical symptoms of The Black Death, how medieval society was affected by it, the different types of suffering, how it challenged the teachings of the church and also how it led to the start of the Renaissance. Many people that were infected by the plague would show some physical symptoms. The most common symptom was black, painful buboes. These buboes would first appear red, then turn purple and lastly to black. Some other physical symptoms were white-coated tongue, boils, coughing up blood, blood pressure dropping, septic shock, organ failure, losing motor control, fever, vomiting and many more. A painting by Matthias Grünewald, in 1480-1528 called the ‘Suffering Man’, shows a victim of the plague suffering from the buboes that are covered all over his body. He is lying on the floor half naked, with blood oozing out of his buboes. This paragraph has shown the many different symptoms of the Black Plague.

During the Black Death, medieval people did not actually know what had really caused the plague. They did not know that there were actually three types of the plague. One was called the Bubonic plague. This plague was spread by rats. Infected fleas would be carried by the rats, and when that rat died from the plague the flea would jump onto a person and feed off their blood. That person would then be infected by that bite. Another one was called the Pneumonic plague. This plague was spread through a person’s cough, and it attacked a person’s respiratory system. The last plague was the Septicemic plague. This was also spread by infected fleas, but it was much more life threatening because it moved straight into your bloodstream. Medieval...
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