Black Plague – 13 Surprises

‘Black Plague’ – 13 Surprising things about the ‘Black Plague’

The ‘Black Plague’ is also commonly thought of as ‘Black Death’, ‘Bubonic Plague’ and Simply ‘The Plague’

The ‘Black plague’ was one of the most feared diseases in history, especially in the middle ages and particular so in the 14th century of medieval times.

The Black Plague would quickly spread from person to person, turning their limbs black before they literally dropped off.

Plague Doctor Methods Hand Bubonic Plague

Plague Doctor Methods Hand Bubonic Plague

There was no shortage of rats in medieval towns and cities thanks to the disgusting living conditions and poor hygiene of the time – medieval people would throw their waste into the streets including animal and human waste and this provided the perfect breading ground for the medieval rat.

When rats died the fleas that carried the disease were more than happy to jump onto a human host for a meal of blood – this was how fleas infected humans with what became known as the ‘Black Plague’.

Millions of people died from the ‘Black Plague’ and it wiped out much of the populations of England and Europe.

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

  • 1) The Black Plague came from the bacterium ‘Yersinia Pestis’ that lived inside Fleas.
  • 2) Fleas jumped off small animals such as rats when they died onto a human host.
  • 3) When fleas bit humans they were infected with the disease.
  • 4) People who caught the ‘Black Plague’ could not be cured and they had horrifying symptoms.
  • 5) Early symptoms included Flu-Like symptoms, head-aches and high temperatures.


Medieval Disease - Bubonic Plague

Leg of a Medieval women who has the medieval disease the bubonic plague

  • 6) As the disease progressed, boils, blackened limbs such as feet and hands occurred.
  • 7) One terrifying aspect of the Black Plague was that peoples blackened fingers and toes would fall off.
  • 8) Medieval towns and cities employed specialist doctors called ‘Plague Doctors’ to treat the Plague.
  • 9) Plague doctors used treatments that did not work such as Blood-Letting using leeches on the skin.
  • 10) It was the worst ‘Plague Pandemic’ in all history – in the 14th century – Middle Ages.


The Black Plague and Rats

The Black Plague and Rats

  • 11) 25 – 65% of European people were killed by the Black Plague during the 14th century.
  • 12) Pope Clement VI had to employ many more Plague Doctors during the Pandemic.
  • 13) Plague doctors were in high demand, especially during pandemics – they were sometimes kidnapped for Ransom.
Plague Doctor

Plague Doctor

Anyone who had died from the Black Plague had their front doors painted with a Red or Black Cross as a warning.