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Black Death
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Black Death

The Black Death was a plague pandemic which devastated Europe from 1347 to 1352 CE, killing an estimated 25-30 million people. The disease, caused by a bacillus bacteria and carried by fleas on rodents, originated in central Asia and was...
Effects of the Black Death on Europe
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Effects of the Black Death on Europe

The outbreak of plague in Europe between 1347-1352 CE – known as the Black Death – completely changed the world of medieval Europe. Severe depopulation upset the socio-economic feudal system of the time but the experience of the...
Medieval Cures for the Black Death
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Medieval Cures for the Black Death

The Black Death is the 19th-century CE term for the plague epidemic that ravaged Europe between 1347-1352 CE, killing an estimated 30 million people there and many more worldwide as it reached pandemic proportions. The name comes from the...
Religious Responses to the Black Death
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Religious Responses to the Black Death

The Black Death of 1347-1352 CE is the most infamous plague outbreak of the medieval world, unprecedented and unequaled until the 1918-1919 CE flu pandemic in the modern age. The cause of the plague was unknown and, in accordance with the...
Boccaccio on the Black Death: Text & Commentary
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Boccaccio on the Black Death: Text & Commentary

The Black Death is the name given to the plague outbreak in Europe between 1347-1352 CE. The term was only coined after 1800 CE in reference to the black buboes (growths) which erupted in the groin, armpit, and around the ears of those infected...
Medieval Hygiene
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Medieval Hygiene

People in the Middle Ages have acquired something of a bad reputation when it comes to cleanliness, especially the peasantry. However, despite the general lack of running water and other modern amenities, there were common expectations of...
St. Anthony's Fire
Definition by John Horgan

St. Anthony's Fire

St. Anthony’s Fire (SAF) is an illness brought on by the ingestion of fungus-contaminated rye grain causing ergot poisoning (ergotism). The disease's common name derives from the medieval Benedictine monks dedicated to that...
Plagues in History: Activity for Online Teaching
Lesson by Marion Wadowski

Plagues in History: Activity for Online Teaching

This activity has been designed to fit a 30-45-minute slot for your class. It can be used by any teacher and educator and is suitable for online teaching. Included in this pack: Vocabulary exercise Text comprehension questions...
The Maya Calendar and the End of the World: Why the one does not substantiate the other
Article by Joshua J. Mark

The Maya Calendar and the End of the World: Why the one does not substantiate the other

The Popol Vuh recounts the story of twins who journeyed to Xibalba. For the Maya, their round of adventures serves as a metaphor for timeless, repeating cycles and for the regeneration of earth and all living things. – Gene S...
Ancient Mesopotamian Beliefs in the Afterlife
Article by M. Choksi

Ancient Mesopotamian Beliefs in the Afterlife

Unlike the rich corpus of ancient Egyptian funerary texts, no such “guidebooks” from Mesopotamia detail the afterlife and the soul’s fate after death. Instead, ancient Mesopotamian views of the afterlife must be pieced together...