Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How could I have improved my blog?

What did you like about my blog?

How did the Black Death effect peasants?

Black Death: Spreading the Disease

Italian traders came to Rome from China, (where the pandemic originally started) in China, it was unusually dry and so the rats, were dying. Well where were the fleas supposed to go? On humans of course! Once the Italian traders that were bit by fleas got back to Italy they were very sick and most of them were dead. They weren’t allowed to get off the ship, but that didn’t matter because the rats and fleas were already off the ship and had made it safely into Italy. The fleas would infect almost everyone.  Traders would leave to go overseas and spread it to other countries without meaning to. You could also get the disease by touching the remaining belongings of the ones who dies of the plague. It was estimated that 800 people a day died. Usually, you died 48 hours after first showing symptoms of the disease. Wonderful. ß (sarcasm)
The plague originally started on a ship like this!

Black Death: The Symptoms

There are three types of plague that clouded the spirit of the Middle Ages, Bubonic Plague (Or the more commonly known Black Death), Septicemic Plague, and Pneumonic Plague. The Black Death was the most common plague. After obtaining the disease you should experience a fun mix of sneezing, rashes, swollen armpits, groin, or neck, fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. WOW! I sound like those commercials for depression medicine. Cymbalta can help… KILL YOU!  Sorry, anyway, the person’s skin would have black and blue splotches due to internal bleeding. Which is always fun! NOT. By the way, did you know that the song “Ring Around The Rosies” was about the black death? Ring around the roses, is about the red ring that would sometimes appear on victims skin. Pocketful of posies symbolizes when people would walk around with herbs in there noses to protect them. Ashes, ashes was talking about how plague victims were often cremated. The third line is sometimes referenced to as Atischoo, Atischoo, which was to stand for sneezing; another symptom of the disease. And we all fall down, the plague was not selective of its victims the rich and the poor fell. Now isn’t that interesting? You probably won’t sing that to your baby sister anymore!
Modern Day ring around the rosie was based on Black Death symptoms

What were some things people did to prevent Black Death?

At the time, people did not know about bacteria and disease. People thought the disease was caught by breathing in “bad air”.  So people were urged to leave warm places. They were also urged to stay indoors. This was bad because if the family was infected then the whole family would die. The people often believed clogging your pores would prevent disease but it in fact made it worse. Sleeping on your back was discouraged because it made it easier for bad air to get into your nose and lungs. And then you would DIE! Dun Dun DUUUN! Exercising? Forget about it! Then you had to breathe hard.  Some people carried herbs by their noses when they walked. Ultimately, all these methods failed because the theory of “bad air” was wrong.
Woman picking herbs for her family

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Black Death: The Reactions

People had many different reactions to the pandemic that was taking over the world. Many people would get drunk and run around in the streets. They figured, hey, if I’m gonna die tomorrow might as well live today! So I guess they kind of had a Middle Age Jersey Shore type deal going? Maybe, anyway some other people saw the plague as God’s punishment for human wickedness. So they would pray for forgiveness and many times would die praying. Some “Flagellants” arose, whipping them selves for God. Making them selves weak and eventually dying off. Finally, at an all time low, Christians started persecuting Jews. Christians thought that Jews were the cause of the plague, so they started to slaughter them mercilessly. Why does everyone always bag on the Jews? It’s really mean and I think Hitler pretty much took the cake on that one the Christians need to just back away. So anyway, a few years later Christians “found answers” to the plague in astrology and stopped persecuting the Jews.
The Christians thought that the plague was a result of the alignment of the planets Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars. People generally accepted this idea, but then realized that touching one infected with plague usually infected other people. So they rejected this idea. Luckily, the Christians had stopped persecuting the Jews and had moved on to new theories.
Jews being burnt alive as punishment for "causing" the plague