Journals Higher Education



Published: 08 September 2020

416 Pages | 36

6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780199937981

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Bookseller Code (04)

The Black Death

A New History of the Great Mortality in Europe, 1347-1500

John Aberth

  • Covers all aspects of the disease: epidemiology, geographic spread, demographic impact, medical responses, environmental impact, religious responses, the flagellant movement, Jewish pogroms, social and economic impact, and artistic responses
  • Delves deep into the latest in research developments, including paleomicrobiological evidence of Yersinia pestis DNA in Black Death victims; evidence of higher mortality rates during the first outbreak of the Black Death; the effect of climate change on rat hosts and flea vectors; and genetic mapping of the geographical origins of the plague
  • Lays out the parameters of current debates in Black Death studies, including: whether doctors came up with any new theories about the causes of plague; whether the flagellants were disciplined performers or hysterical doomsayers; whether the pogroms against the Jews reflected rational fears of artificial poisoning or were strictly the product of anti-semitism; whether the religious response to the plague foreshadowed the Reformation; and whether the artistic response was about more than just a morbid fascination with death
  • Offers an entire chapter (Chapter 4) devoted to environmental impacts of the Black Death, a topic not usually covered in other books
  • Covers the entire period of the medieval Black Death, from 1347 to c.1500, not just the first outbreak in 1347-1353
  • Includes a chapter on global perspectives on the Black Death, especially in terms of its origins in Central Asia
  • Provides cultural balance, with explanation of Islamic religious, medical, and social responses, in addition to the Christian perspective
  • Complemented by 18 photos, 5 graphs, 9 tables, and 4 maps