Prompt: Analyze the various responses to the outbreaks of plague from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Discuss the beliefs and concerns that these responses express.
In the mid-fourteenth century of Europe, a deathly plague struck killing about 25 million people from a single fleabite. Once infected, a person would experience very high fevers, buboes, and die within a few days and it was an airborne disease making it an even more contagious disease. Depopulation, trading seized, and many people relocated are just some results of the plague.
Many Europeans had numerous different beliefs and concerns about the plague such as fear, greed, or turning to faith for help.
Topic sentence: Fear of the plague predominantly came from not knowing the cause of the disease and not knowing how to cure it.
#1: Document #2
#1: Theologian Erasmus, fears the plague as he blames the filth and dirt on the streets for it and its spread. Supporting document
#2: Document #6
#2: Fear of the plague was also seen in Giovan Filippo’s, a Sicilian physician, statement.
Extreme measures were taken including bonfires to burn anything infected, quarantines were built, and regulations were enforced to try and prevent the plague from spreading.
Topic Sentence #2: As the plague swept through the nation, many Europeans exploited the plague realizing wealth was more important than anything else. Supporting document
#4 Analysis sentence
#3: In the work The Deceptions of Demons by Johann Weyer, he discusses how the heirs of the dead smeared an infected cream on gate towns so that anyone who would touch it would catch the disease and die.
They did this so they could acquire their inheritances faster. Supporting document
#4: Document #11
Analysis sentence #4: Nurses from Barcelona would take advantage of their patients by making them die faster instead of trying to heal them. All they wanted was to get their agreed upon fees and leave as quickly as they could.
Topic Sentence #3: One final belief during the plague was turning to one’s faith or church for a cure and hope to survive.
#5: Document #7
#5: A housewife Lisabetta, witnessed her husband heal after he ate a piece of bread that touched the body of St. Domenica. Supporting document #6: Document
#9 Analysis sentence
#6: A priest Father Dragoni wrote a letter to the Health Magistry of Florence stating that he fed the sick, helped them, and he paid the guards and gravediggers with charity from the lordships. However, a health official should have been sent to heal the sick and manage the houses.
Conclusion (sentence or two):
In conclusion, during the plague there were many beliefs and concerns including terror of being infected, exploitation, and looking to the Church for hope to survive through the plague.
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