The Black Death, 1346-1353: The Complete History

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Boydell & Brewer, 2004 - History - 433 pages
4 Reviews
The Black Death was a disaster of such magnitude that it not only shook the Old World to its economic and social foundations, but changed the course of human history. Yet this book is the first comprehensive history and assessment of its progress, and of the death and devastation it left in its wake, in all the countries through which it passed. The many local studies on the Black Death published in a variety of languages and scholarly papers have for the first time been systematically collected and thoroughly analysed. The medical and epidemiological characteristics of the disease, its geographical origin, its spread across Asia Minor, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, and the mortality in the countries and regions for which there are satisfactory studies, are clearly presented and thoroughly discussed. The pattern, pace and seasonality of spread revealed through close scrutiny of these studies exactly reflect current medical work and standard studies on the epidemiology of bubonic plague. Benedictow's findings relating to the mortality caused by the Black Death are based on the meticulous study and synthesis of all available demographic studies. Published over the past forty years, most of them in widely dispersed local journals and local histories, this cumulative evidence, far-reaching in its implications, has gone largely unnoticed. This book makes it clear that the true mortality rate was far higher than has been previously thought. In the light of these findings, the discussion in the last part of the book showing the Black Death as a turning point in history takes on a new significance.
  

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Contents

Why the history of the Black Death is important
3
Anatomy of a killer disease
8
Bubonic plague and the role of rats and fleas
11
the Hydraheaded monster
25
The territorial origin of plague and of the Black Death
35
Part Two Spread of the Black Death
55
The Caucasus Asia Minor the Middle East and North Africa
57
Mediterranean Europe
68
The Netherlands
203
The Baltic countries
209
Russia
211
some countries or regions escape? What happened in Iceland
216
Part Three Patterns and Dynamics of the Black Death
225
Patterns of conquest dynamics of spread
227
Part Four Mortality in the Black Death
243
The medieval demographic system
245

Albania Macedonia southern Yugoslavia Greece
74
Croatia BosniaHerzegovina Slovakia
75
the Spanish kingdoms the Kingdom of Portugal
77
Italy
91
France
96
Belgium
110
Switzerland
118
The British Isles
123
Norway
146
Denmark
159
Sweden
170
Austria
179
Germany
185
Problems of source criticism methodology and demography
257
Spain
273
Italy
285
France and the County of Savoy
308
Belgium
338
England
342
How many died in the Black Death?
380
Its Impact on History
385
A Turning Point in History?
387
Bibliography
395
Index
415
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

OLE J. BENEDICTOW is Professor of History, University of Oslo.

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