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- DescriptionThe Black Death in Europe, from its arrival in 1347-52 through successive waves into the early modern period, has been seriously misunderstood. It is clear from the compelling evidence presented in this revolutionary account that the Black Death was almost any disease other than the rat-based bubonic plague whose bacillus was discovered in 1894. Since the late nineteenth century, the rat and flea have stood wrongly accused as the agents of transmission and historians and scientists have uncritically imposed the epidemiology of modern plague on the past. Unshackled from this misconception, The Black Death Transformed turns to its subject afresh, using sources spread across a huge geographical tract, from Lisbon to Uzbekistan, Sicily to Scotland.These sources confirm the terror of the medieval plague, the rapidity of its spread (unlike modern plague), and the utter despondency left in the wake of its first strike. But they also point to significant differences between medieval and modern plague, ne more significant than the ability of humans to acquire natural immunity to the former but t the latter. Over its first hundred years, adaptation to the new microbial plague enemy cam with striking speed and success. In place of despondency came a new sense of confidence. From God and the stars, contemporaries turned to cures and socially grounded explanations. And in this context the Renaissance found a foothold and climbed with assurance.Such a major cultural and psychological change centred, this study argues, on the particular character of the disease - the swiftness with which Europeans adapted to their new bacillus (whatever it might have been).
- Author BiographySamuel K. Cohn is a professor at the University of Glasgow.
- Author(s)Samuel K. Cohn
- PublisherBloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Date of Publication30/01/2003
- SubjectRegional History
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintHodder Arnold
- Content Notebibliog
- Weight562 g
- Width156 mm
- Height234 mm
- Spine17 mm
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