Medieval Europe and its social, economic, political and religious foundations would find themselves shaken by the scourge of the Black Death, which would kill more than one third of the European population and spread a sense of fear among people. The Black Death constitutes one of the most horrifying areas of human history, when people were assailed by disease, to which there was no apparent solution and the death of millions would leave the social, political and economic structures uprooted. The Black Death in its severity and extent was one where it seemed nobody could be exempted from its reach and even though modern scientists and theoreticians believe that it could have been avoided, conditions present in those days reveal otherwise.
The Black Death was a disaster of unmanageable proportions and the speed at which it travelled and the number of people it killed made it apparent that it did not differentiate between the social classes, races or religion. It is believed that the Black Death made its way into Europe through two channels, i.e., first through the infection carried by rodents from Central Asia and secondly through human contact which was facilitated because of the "elaborate East-West trading system established in the 12th and 13th centuries" (Gottfried 35) and which would facilitate the rapid spread of the disease. Medieval society and the urban and rural areas of the time were designed in such a way that constant interaction between the city and the country was taking place. The network of roads between towns and villages, the movement of people from the rural to the urban areas in search of work and food, and the relative ease of travel ensured that "movement, trade, and communication between regions was not only possible, but increasingly safe, fast, and reliable." (Byrne 187) It was this interconnectedness of Europe and the concurrent expansion of trade and commerce in the 14th century which would make sure that no region of Europe was exempt from the bubonic plague and that people across nations were made a victim of this illness.