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Causes and Consequences of the Black Death

            During the mid thirteenth century, a devastating and unforeseen plague took Eurasia by storm. This disease, known as the "Black Death", swept Eurasia and killed 75 to 200 million people between the years 1347 and 1350. The "Black Death" was one of the most horrifying and shocking pandemics in Medieval history. Population numbers plummeted and towns and cities were completely wiped out. This event in history has been scrutinized and covered by many historians, each giving their own perspective and their own outlook on the event. The causes and consequences of the "Black Death" vary in detail when it comes to The Heritage of World Civilizations by Albert M. Craig and his collaborations, The Origins of the Modern World by Robert B. Marks, and Jean de Venette's first-hand account on the pestilence. Each individual source has it's own viewpoint and take on the "Black Death" but they all essentially tell the same story. Craig writes about the "Black Death" from a Eurocentric point of view, Marks discusses the plague globally and hits on the idea of "conjecture", and Jean de Venette gives a first- hand account on what he saw and gives his opinion. Even though each source varies in detail and perspective, they all seem to agree that this disease spread rapidly due to trade routes and by the time it was over, transformed Eurasia both socially and economically. .
             Marks and Craig both give plausible explanations as to how the "Black Death" originated. Both Craig and Marks define the plague as being "introduced by sea-borne rats"1 and that "it is a result of bacillus, a disease-producing bacterium (Pasteurella pestis), that was endemic among burrowing rodents."2 Jean De Venette however, was unsure and unaware of what could have caused this sudden outbreak. His explanation supposed such a disaster could have been triggered by an "infection of the air and waters"3 and because of this idea "Jews were suddenly and violently charged with infecting wells and water and corrupting the air.

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