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The Black Death

Related: 1300s - Europe - Middle Ages - plague - virus

Word relations: black - death

In film: The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

Illustration of the Black Death from the Toggenburg Bible (1411).


The Black Death (also The Plague, and latterly Black Plague though not called this in earlier times) was a devastating epidemic in Europe in the which started in the late 1340s and is estimated to have killed about a third of the population. Most scientists believe that the Black Death was an outbreak of bubonic plague, a dreaded disease that has spread in pandemic form several times through history. The plague is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis which is spread by fleas with the help of animals like the black rat (Rattus rattus) -what we would call today the sewer rat. Sometimes, the term "Black Death" is used for all outbreaks of plague and epidemics. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death [Mar 2004]

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