Monday, October 18, 2010

Tracing the Black Death

Ever since the sixth grade we have been told and have known that an epidemic wiped out more than a third of the population of medieval Europe. This deadly disease was known as the Black Death or the Black Plague. We have found today that this disease has been closely compared to the bacteria Yersinia Pestis. Yersinia Pestis has been blamed for the massacre of the people in Europe. This bacterium has been blamed because it has been proven that traces of this bacterium have been found on victims’ teeth and bones. We have always been told this plague came from northern France over to England and then spread from there. However, samples of different versions of Yersinia Pestis have not only been found in France, but also in southern Netherlands. This implies that the pandemic not only came from northern France, but was also penetrating Europe from the southern Netherlands. The concentration of these bacteria infiltrating Europe from both borders enhanced the disease, which may have made it stronger and unstoppable. All in all, historians will never know where the Black Plague started, but new evidence and new interpretations may lead us to new understandings and a different perspective.

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