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From 1348 to 1350 Europe was devastated by an epidemic that left between a third and one half of the population dead. This book traces, through contemporary writings, the calamitous impact of the Black Death in Europe, with a particular emphasis on its spread across England from 1348 to 1349. It charts the social and psychological impact of the plague, and its effect on the late-medieval economy. Focusing on England, an exceptionally well documented region, the book then offers a wide range of evidence for the plague's variegated repercussions on the economy and, no less complex, on social and religious conduct. It is concerned with the British experience of plague in the fourteenth century. Students of intellectual history will find a wealth of pseudo-scientific explanations of the plague ranging from astrological conjunctions, through earthquakes releasing toxic vapours, to well poisoning by Jews. From narrative accounts, often of heartrending immediacy, the book further proceeds to a variety of contemporary responses, drawn from many parts of Christian Europe. It then explains contemporary claims that the plague had been caused by human agency. The book attempts to explain the plague, which was universally regarded as an expression of divine vengeance for the sins of humankind.

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Rosemary Horrox

day. The plague raged so fiercely that many cities and towns were entirely emptied of people. In the cities of Bologna, Venice, Montpellier, Avignon, Marseilles and Toulouse alike, a thousand people died in one day, and it still rages in France, Normandy, England and Ireland. Some say that it was brought about by the corruption of the air; others that the Jews planned to wipe out all

in The Black Death
Samuel K. Cohn, Jr

-fourteenth-century insurrections as ‘revolts of the excluded’, that ‘they rose up against corrupt representatives of the law, the ruler’s evil counsellors, but their confidence in the monarch – source of all justice – was unshaken’. 18 But direct acts of disobedience, insults to and attacks against the king, as well as indirect ones such as the attacks on Jews as a means of insulting the king, because they were perceived as

in Popular protest in late-medieval Europe
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Trevor Dean

social groups and social tensions: popolo against magnates, noble clans against each another, men against women, young men against city elders, Christians against Jews, freemen against slaves, food riots and tax revolts, acts of resistance and indecency. Finally, Chapter V examines the great variety of political regimes in late-medieval Italy: from consolidated communes such as Florence or Venice, to

in The towns of Italy in the later Middle Ages
David Jones

again at the child’s face and saw that it was beautiful beyond all human knowledge and written upon it were the words ‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews’. 5 And the child spoke again saying, ‘You will undergo tribulation for My name’s sake, but always make the sign of the Cross on your forehead with these words and I shall free you from all tribulation.’ And when He had said this, the child ascended

in Friars’ Tales
Rosemary Horrox

– now the seizure of Jews; now people performing public penance; now the mortality of men, women and children. There were great rumours of these things, but the people did not take much notice, and did not realise the connection with their sins, with the result that censures, words and sermons had little or no effect until the blow actually fell. I have been thinking about the

in The Black Death
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Thietmar, bishop and chronicler
David A. Warner

and even sporadic persecution. 247 The Annals of Quedlinburg , a work familiar to Thietmar, report that Emperor Henry II expelled the Jews from Mainz in 1012. 248 It was also during Henry’s reign that a cleric named Wecilin became a cause célèbre by converting to Judaism and openly condemning his former faith. 249 Still, Thietmar displays little interest in

in Ottonian Germany
Rosemary Horrox

the hand of Almighty God struck the human race a deadly blow, which, beginning in the southern regions, passed on to the northern countries and attacked all the kingdoms of the world. This stroke felled Christians, Jews and infidels alike. It killed confessor and penitent together. In many places it did not leave a fifth of the people alive. This blow struck the whole world with immense terror

in The Black Death
David Jones

postils on the Gospel of John. 7 It is this. In a book about the contest between Simon Magus 8 and Peter before Nero 9 it is recorded that Pilate admitted that his heart always told him that Christ was the Son of God. Thus it is written in John 19 that the Jews said, ‘We have a law and by that law he must die, for he has made himself the Son of God.’ When Pilate heard that saying, he grew the more

in Friars’ Tales
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Trevor Dean

believed or was taught that Guglielma was to rise from the dead before the general resurrection … she replied no. Asked if she ever believed or heard from anyone who believed that Guglielma was the one through whom the Jews and infidels would be saved, she replied that she never heard or believed this … Asked if she ever ate any hosts that Suor Manfreda gave or sent her, she said no, but she, Bellacara

in The towns of Italy in the later Middle Ages