The Black Death 13

13 Surprising Things About the ‘Black Death’

The Black Death is also commonly described as “The Plague”, “The Black Death”, and “The Bubonic Plague”, The Black Death was one of, if not the worst disease in history! It was caused by the bacterium Yserinia pestis, a bacteria commonly carried by fleas.

The Black Death took hold of most of Europe, only a few isolated countries and regions escaped a serious outbreak but the European major towns and cities were devastated.

The Black Plague and Rats

The Black Plague and Rats

The Black Death is one of those diseases that causes panic and fear, due to how quickly it spreads and the devastating effects of the disease.

One of the most frightening aspects was that peoples limbs, hands and feet for example would turn black and then in a short time completely drop off.

The most devastating period of the ‘Black Death’ came in the 14th Century when medieval England and the rest of Europe was decimated.

Populations in European towns and cities were drastically reduced – some historians put the figure at 25% of Europe’s population others lower at around 25%.

Whatever the correct percentage of people killed by the Black Death in medieval times the numbers were huge especially when we consider that the worlds population was a fraction of the size it is today

Here is a list of 13 things about the ‘Black Death’ that you might find Surprising!

  • 1) The ‘Bubonic Plague’ bacterium was the cause of the ‘Black Death’.
  • 2) Yserinia pestis, a bacteria commonly carried by fleas caused the ‘Bubonic Plague’ and Black Death.
  • 3) There was no way to cure the ‘Black Death’ in the Middle Ages.
  • 4) The ‘Black Death’ caused the limbs of it’s victims to turn black.
Spread of the Black Plague by Fleas

When these fleas bit any victim, the plague is transmitted to the victim as well.

  • 5) Hands, Feet and other body parts would turn black and then completely fall off.
  • 6) Plague Doctors who were employed to treat the ‘Black Death’ often contracted the disease themselves.
  • 7) Plague Doctors placed disgusting leeches on peoples bodies wrongly thinking that this could cure the Black Death.
  • 8) During the 14th Century the ‘Black Death’ killed millions of people.
Plague Doctor

Plague Doctor

  • 9) Some historians estimate that as much as 65% of Europe’s population was killed by the Black Death.
  • 10) Other historians look to a lower death rate of around 25% of the population died.
  • 11) When small animals and rats died their fleas jumped onto humans, once bitten they were infected with the Plague.
  • 12) Black and red crosses were painted on the doors of infected houses as a warning ‘Not to enter’.
Plague Doctor Mask Costume Hat

Plague Doctor Mask Costume Hat

13) The cry of ‘Bring out your dead’ could be heard in the streets of medieval towns and cities

Finally the Black death got so bad that many additional plague doctors were drafted in by Pope Clement VI during the Black Death plague.