Facing the Black Death: perceptions and reactions of university medical practitioners
Practical Medicine from Salerno to the Black Death, Cambridge University Press (1994)
Between late 1347 and early 1348 a great disaster, which is nowadays known as the Black Death, began to spread all over Europe. By 1351 thís terrifying plague, which plunged people into panic and distress, had killed 25-50 per cent of Europe’s inhabítants. Much historical work has been done which stresses the importance ofthe effects of the Black Death of 1348 in many areas – demographic,economic, polítical and cultural and its central role in the so-called ‘European crisis ofthe fourteenth century’. This global crisis has been seen as the first major step in the transition from feudalísm to capitalism. Of course, historians have often exaggerated the impact of the Black Death on Eurape through the late Middle Ages, even going so far as considering this disease as the turning point between the medieval and the modern world. Despite such exaggerations, it continues to be unquestionable that, while ít was not unique, the Black Death was nevertheless a first-order historical event in late medieval Europe.