Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Black Plague

The Black Plague 1346 A. D. to 1353 A. D.

Black DeathDuring the 1300s Europe was swamped by the grim reaper. It was the era of one of the most devastating pandemics in human history. An estimaed 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia and Europe died between 1346 and 1353. Despite the plague, the hundred years war between England and Normandy was ongoing. The Battle of Crecy under Edward III marked the first use of cannon when it defeated a French army under the command of Philip VI in 1340 A. D. It also signalled the beginning of a dastardly black plague. As the English king sent his knights to invade Normandy and to die on the battle field, who can say whether it be from wounds or the plague? Meanwhile, the Pope, whose home was in Avon, France at the time, secluded himself from exposure by assigning important tasks to the cardinals. The plague is calculated to have ended by 1356 A. D. when the Prince of Wales defeated the French at the Battle of Poitiers and civil chaos broke out in France when the French king, John II, was captured and taken to England. Yet nothing was able to stop the reaper. The average age during the year was 30 years. It is said that the plague originated in the East when ships carrying rats infected with vermin. For centuries, ships dusted arsenic around its food barrels. Going forward, the first Supply ship delivering settlers to the colony of Virginia, also used arsenic to poison its rats. The bones of an archaeological dig at Jamestown suggested deaths arose from arsenic poisoning!

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