Friday, May 04, 2007

Doctors and superstitions during the onslaught of the bubonic plague in the 1300's

bubonic plague (builenpest)
Originally uploaded by hans s.
Doctors wore bird-like masks as they treated patients during the 1300's, the time of the black death. The nose was supposed to act as a filter from the noxious air.

The Black Death, or Black Plague, says Wikipedia, was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history.

It began in south-western Asia and spread to Europe by the late 1340s, where it received its name Black Death.

The Black Death is estimated to have killed between a third and two-thirds of Europe's population.

The same disease is thought to have returned to Europe every generation with varying degrees of intensity and fatality until the 1700s.

There is some controversy over the identity of the disease, but in its virulent form it seems to have disappeared from Europe in the 18th century.

The Black Death had a drastic effect on Europe's population, irrevocably changing Europe's social structure. It was a serious blow to the Roman Catholic Church, Europe's predominant religious institution at the time.

It resulted in widespread persecution of minorities such as Jews, Muslims, foreigners, beggars and lepers.

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