Story of the plague

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The Piazza Mercatello in Naples during the plague of 1656 , painting by Domenico Gargiulo

The history of the plague primarily includes the causes and consequences of the historical plague epidemics. The great epidemic of the plague ran through large areas from the Bronze Age to the end of the 19th century and is a central theme in the history of medicine . Their research in epidemiology enabled medicine (in the narrower sense of internal medicine and the specialty of infectology / infectiology) to make great progress in treatment. The epidemics have often changed the political landscape.


For decades it was disputed whether the epidemics known as the “ plague ”, which ravaged Europe until the 19th century, were actually diseases caused by Yersinia pestis . Critics emphasized that the speed at which the plague spreads in today's India differs significantly from that in the 14th century. Comparative Europe-wide analyzes of former plague victims using the polymerase chain reaction and immunochromatography showed that the catastrophic plague epidemics that hit Europe since 1347 were in fact caused by Yersinia pestis , albeit by two variants of the bacterium, the more dangerous of which is today is considered extinct.

Differences in the description of the disease

Ultimately, the word plague comes from the Latin pestis and, like the Greek loimós, means nothing more than "plague". It also stands for misfortune, ruin, perishable person or thing, monster, monster, torment, suffering, famine. The classical texts, from the ancient oriental Gilgamesh epic (around 1800 BC) to the Iliad and the Aeneid to the Bible , therefore refer to all major epidemics as plague. Some ancient and medieval descriptions of “plague” (or pestis ) or “pestilence” (or pestilentia ) could also apply to smallpox , typhus , cholera , typhus and measles . Even Galen's descriptions of the Antonine Plague , 180 n. Chr. Marc Aurel fell victim and also "Plague of Galen" is called, less of bubonic or pneumonic plague corresponds rather than the black smallpox.

Persian doctors have also described the plague under the name "Ta un". Avicenna named the bump that can appear in the pubic area, under the armpits or behind the ears as the most important symptom.

Today's understanding of illness differs fundamentally from that of the Middle Ages and early modern times , which was essentially determined by Galen's theory of the humors , so that it is questionable whether it is at all possible to understand the early descriptions of illness correctly from that time. Understanding a sentence in an ancient source doesn't mean that you have the same idea of ​​it as the author. The fact that the plague is understood as a uniform disease with a uniform cause goes against the understanding of the descriptions of diseases of the 18th century. The early diagnoses are based only on the external symptoms ("signs"), whereby variations of the clinical picture can still be within the framework of the uniform description, so that they did not seem worth mentioning to the doctor of the time.

A bacteriological examination of 2623 patients with the diagnosisdiphtheria ” showed 1/4 to 1/3 of the diagnosis to be incorrect. The higher the risk of a retrospective diagnosis based on medieval disease descriptions. Demographic plague studies concluded that the medieval plague could not be the same disease as the modern plague. This conclusion is based on the analogy that the plague in the Middle Ages should have behaved in the same way as the modern plague of 1890 and that the medieval descriptions of diseases can be compared with today's patterns. In addition, there is the prerequisite that the medieval understanding of illness can be placed alongside the present one without any problems. These equations are remote diagnoses across space, time and different epistemological frameworks. How a disease is to be classified diagnostically has changed since the end of the 19th century. The description "fatal blood disease, undoubtedly an adynamic fever with intestinal and other bleeding" for the early modern epidemic in a historical journal from 1849 cannot easily be fitted into the current classification system.

Spread of the plague in Europe between 1347 and 1351

A striking example is the news about a plague in Iceland and Norway in 1378/1379: The norrøne name is "bolna sott", in Icelandic "bólusótt" and was interpreted as smallpox because smallpox had been an epidemic since 1240. But the epidemic smallpox caused by Variola major was only introduced at the beginning of the 16th century through extensive contact with Africa or China. The Variola variants believed to be medieval in Europe were minor (alastrim) and Orthopoxvirus vaccinia ( cowpox ) and were far less virulent and barely capable of causing epidemics. Variola minor is seen as a childhood disease in the Middle Ages. In addition, early modern doctors seem to have had great difficulty distinguishing smallpox from chickenpox and measles . The Icelandic annals used the expressions "Manndauðr mikill vm allt Skalaholtz byskups dæmi", "Bólna sótt", "kverka sótt", "stinga sótt", "Manndauðr micill" for an epidemic in Iceland in 1310. On the other hand, Variola minor may also have caused increased mortality in an isolated and dispersed population in Iceland, because no age group was able to develop immunity in such long intervals . So it is difficult to trust the Icelandic annals for their name, but there is some likelihood of smallpox. It is best to think of “Bólna sótt” in medieval terminology as a disease that causes bumps or other significant changes in the skin, such as smallpox, measles, plague or other diseases.

In the summer of 1652 an epidemic occurred in Copenhagen , which the then famous doctor Thomas Bartholin described as a "cold fever" which infected him and his family. He administered a drug "unicornu groenlandicum" and the family recovered in a short time. Disease and remedies pose a particular challenge to modern medical historians. Some believe that it was malaria . But after Bartholin, the epidemic developed into diarrhea and dysentery . With a classification based on visible signs, from today's perspective different diseases could easily merge into one another. The medicine ingested was apparently obtained from the tusk of a male narwhal . That the powder must have worked was proven for Bartholin with the success of the recovery.

In the 17th century diseases were diagnosed with great certainty, which, according to today's taxonomy and nosology , have become very doubtful after the great advances in medicine. In some cases it is difficult to tell whether the disease or the description of the disease has changed. The so-called English sweat is such a disease with a clear time limit. It occurred between 1485 and 1551 and was viewed as a special disease with clear symptoms, but which has remained a mystery to this day.

The problem of the plague

It was only in the 21st century that we could only be certain of Yersinia pestis as the cause of the medieval plague. Some researchers had previously claimed to have found the DNA of Yersinia pestis in teeth from the 14th century in Montpellier , while others could not find anything like it in teeth from the same period. In particular, it should be taken into account that the plague pathogen can only be found in the teeth if the plague pathogen has entered the bloodstream and people have lived long enough after this sepsis for the pathogen to penetrate the root canal of the tooth. In people who did not die of plague sepsis, the bacterium is therefore naturally not found in the teeth. Ole Georg Moseng points out another point of view : The plague bacterium is a very flexible pathogen. In time and space, plague is not necessarily the same as plague. The plague in late Middle Ages in Europe did not appear in the same way as it did in India at the end of the 19th century.

A simpler method of detecting the infection of Yersinia pestis is to no longer look for the DNA of the bacterium, but for the antibodies that caused the infection in the infected person. This method no longer depends on the teeth, but can be used on the whole body. But bacterial strains can be differentiated less well. Also, the presence of antibodies does not necessarily mean that the person died of the plague.

The first comprehensive look at around 1000 isolates of Y. pestis supported by genome analysis was obtained by Morelli and others in 2010 in a study that showed that the oldest pathogenic strains must have originated in China or Russia. Further connections were found in the expansion of the tribes with the trade over the Silk Road , the expeditions of Zheng He and the third pandemic of 1894. The notary Gabriele de 'Mussi from Piacenza reported (second hand) about biological warfare during the siege of the The Genoese trading town of Kaffa in the Crimea in 1346, when the Tatar besiegers hurled plague corpses into the town with throwing machines . It has often been assumed that the Black Death in Europe started with Genoese refugees from Kaffa. This assumption has been largely refuted today.

Finally, in 2011, Bos, Schuenemann and others had the opportunity to study the genome of plague germs that could be isolated from the teeth of medieval London corpses. A comparison with other known tribes showed that they were tribes that must be most closely related to the oldest tribes from China. This means, for example, that the medieval epidemic actually originated in Asia. Surprisingly, it also means that if there really were earlier plague epidemics, the germs of which were extinct, since all of the strains known today are descendants of the medieval germ.

In the Middle Ages and modern times up to the 19th century, the question of a particular plague pathogen did not arise, since miasma and planetary constellations were an explanatory pattern that was not questioned. However, as early as 1656 Athanasius Kircher discovered that small creatures moved in the blood of plague sufferers.

“The plague miasm is nothing more than a flock of small worms that fly around in the air, and when they are drawn into the body by the breath, spoil the same blood and decompose the glands. If they again fly out of such an infected body and are taken in by a healthy person, the plague will be propagated with them. "

- Scrutinium physico-medicum contagiosae luis quae dicitur pestis. Rome 1658, here quoted from Winkle, p. 484.

Even if it could not be the plague bacteria, since these were not detectable with the instruments of the time, but rather leukocytes , he came very close to the cause. He was soon joined by other doctors, including Borelli , who had made the same observation in the case of plague, smallpox and other diseases.

Linnaeus (1760) said that the "worms", which were often compared to mites , had certain times when they ate, slept and multiplied: This explains the "periodic paroxysms " of some diseases. However, these discoveries had no effect on practice.

The problem of the rat population

House rats ( Rattus rattus )
Brown Rat ( Rattus norvegicus )

It was generally believed that the brown rat came north late. It was observed in England not before 1727, in Paris not before 1753. It should be noted, however, that the 18th century was the time when taxonomy was developed and interest in classification arose. The name Rattus rattus for the house rat was given, for example, in 1758 by the father of the taxonomy Carl von Linné . The fact that these animals were perceived as a separate species during this time does not mean that they were not there before. It has even been suggested that the immigration of the brown rat ushered in the end of the plague epidemic in Europe by displacing the culture successor house rat, which was wrongly regarded as the main source of the plague epidemics. However, the house rat (or black rat) lives more in the house and is also the classic ship rat, while the brown rat (brown rat) tends to live in the basement and in sewers and is less dependent on human food than the house rat. Therefore this thesis is problematic. However, the historian Vasold , who has studied the plague very intensively, points out that the outbreak in Moscow in 1771 occurred at a time when only brown rats were found there. It has often been argued that there were not enough rats in Europe in the Middle Ages to cause such an epidemic. It was therefore assumed that the epidemic was not plague but anthrax . Due to the climatic conditions, the conditions in India could not be transferred to Europe in the Middle Ages. The difference in the speed of propagation between the two is also too great. But as early as 1941, the plague researchers Blanc and Baltazard from the Pasteur Institute published an alternative distribution model of Yersinia pestis via the human flea Pulex irritans . Because of the war time, the work did not get into the English-speaking world. Rather, the work of Fabian Hirst The Conquest of Plague from 1953 was decisive. It was based on research in Colombo , Sri Lanka . Works from the period after 1934 are underrepresented. Nonetheless, this work became the main source of representatives of alternative disease models of the plague, such as Shrewsbury , Twigg , Scott , Duncan, and Cohn . Today the necessary connection between the rat and the plague is hardly represented any more.

David E. Davis concluded from the absence of the rat in text and images that the rat was not widespread in the Middle Ages. Although he made 15 finds of rat bones in Great Britain for the 11th-15th centuries. Century proved, he insisted that these could not have spread the disease. A sufficient population of rats only developed after 1450. He only accepted the rat as the cause of the plague outbreaks of 1666 in Milan and London . For the time before that, he postulated direct transmission from person to person. In reality, there are isolated reports about rats. Avicenna already observed the rat deaths that preceded the plague, but without recognizing a connection. In Qanun fi t-Tibb he wrote: “One sees (before the plague) rats and other different animals come to the surface and act like drunk.” There are no reports of other Arab doctors. Following Avicenna, the Christian doctor Joannes filius Mesue (pseudo- Mesuë ) († around 1015) reported that mice and reptiles came to the surface and died. An anonymous Italian chronicler mentions the occurrence of a large swarm of rats in connection with a plague epidemic in Arsizio between Como and Milan in 1630: hundreds of them were in every house and there were so many that it was not possible to get in front of them protect. The tradition has not been adequately evaluated from this point of view. After the Black Death in the 14th century, plague literature piles up. As far as the behavior of animals is concerned, Avicenna was evidently received. It is noteworthy that the behavior of the animals, mice, rats, moles and snakes living in the soil was not attributed to the plague, but to putrefaction processes in the soil.

Obviously, none of these many reports come from personal experience, but from learned literature study. None of the later authors, of whom only a few are mentioned here, took up Avicenna's observation that the rodents run about as if drunk. The old physiological teachings of the “ Generatio spontanea ” also played a role in this, namely that the lower animals, including mice, developed in rotting soil. It was even thought that half-finished mice could sometimes be found in the rotting mud of the Nile. The increase in putrefaction then drives the animals out of their burrows. Since the miasm was also thought in the air, it was reported that birds had also been seized by the plague and fled quickly. Science did not yet consist in its own observation, but in the diligent compiling of authorities.

The rat population does not have to be particularly high for a plague epidemic to spread, and the outbreak of an epidemic does not have to be brought into the population from the outside every time . There were recurring plague outbreaks at regular rhythms of short duration. A high death rate over a year or two was replaced by longer periods free from plague. The term “metapopulation”, which includes several local populations that are in contact with one another, was created for this purpose. In this way, groups of rats can be combined as a metapopulation for a densely populated city. Mathematical models showed that the plague could be sustained among rats for many years until it reached a level in which the reproductive rate of the rats was no longer high enough and the infection potential for humans increased acutely because the infected fleas were now forced to To approach people. The result is that the bubonic plague can persist within small rat populations. A metapopulation of 50,000 rats can form a plague reservoir for years, even if individual populations die out in between. 3000 rats per half square kilometer are sufficient. Port cities in particular come into consideration as plague reservoirs, from where the rats are spread over long distances by ship.

Newer archaeological material provided new insights: At 143 sites from the time between the 9th and 15th centuries it was shown that there were many large rat populations: half of the sites are 9 rats per site. 1/5 of the sites housed 10 or more rats, and 12 of the richest rat finds date from the 13th century and later. Based on these results, it is reasonable to assume that the plague did indeed originate from rats in the Middle Ages and early modern times. The spread seems to have been extensive since the High Middle Ages. Since rats are only forced to move more than a few 100 m, they must have spread via the transport of goods.

However, recent studies have shown that in Northern Europe (Great Britain and Scandinavia) the rat populations, apart from the larger trading cities on the coasts, were not large enough for the plague to spread across the board. The Danish bishop, historian and ornithologist Erik Pontoppidan the Younger (1698–1764) found that the rats could not live further north than Helgeland , where they were brought in by ships from the south and would die before next spring.

The Flohart problem

During excavations from the Younger Stone Age to the 16th century, Pulex irritans in particular was found. There were also dog and cat fleas and individual specimens of Nosopsyllus fasciatus found in Roman times. Xenopsylla cheopis , responsible for the plague in India at the end of the 19th century, was not found anywhere or in any period. The reasons why the rat flea is not considered as a vector in Europe are discussed in the article rat flea . The authors rule out Xenopsylla cheopis as a vector of the plague in Europe. Instead, Pulex irritans is being considered as an abundant species.

Alternative disease models

Other diseases have also been suggested as causing the premodern epidemics. One of them was anthrax . Others brought up the "haemorrhagic plague" = " haemorrhagic fever ", caused by a form of the filovirus that is transmitted from person to person, very similar to Ebola or Marburg fever . It was actually a fictional epidemic. They didn't mean it was Ebola, but that the marks were the same. The thesis was put forward that this "haemorrhagic fever" occurred during the Black Death in Europe and disappeared again in 1670. This could be seen from the differences between the medieval plague and the modern plague in India, which ruled out that both had the same cause. It was believed that the movement pattern of the rats in India did not allow the rate of spread of the plague of 1347 in Europe in a few years, and certainly not to Iceland. They rejected the possibility of transporting rats with the flow of goods and freight for the Middle Ages and only accepted this for the time of steam shipping. With Iceland and Greenland, they wanted to prove that the epidemic had penetrated into climatic zones that were incompatible with the plague. However, the plague began in 1347, did not come to Iceland until 1400 and did not come to Greenland at all. Alternatively, anthrax is considered as another disease. The virus theory was also supported by the significantly more common mutation CCR5Δ32 (CCR5-Delta32) of the CCR5 gene in the offspring of survivors of the major epidemics. This mutation prevents viruses from entering cells. The advocates of this view assume that the accumulation of CCR5Δ32 in the genome is due to a high selection pressure about 700 years ago, which particularly favored people with the CCR5Δ32 gene mutation.

One argument against human-to-human live epidemic disease within a city is its pattern of spread. In the epidemic of 1617 in Amsterdam, a very sharp delimitation of group mortality along the road network could be demonstrated. The spread pattern bore no resemblance to the influenza epidemic of 1918, which was definitely transmitted via droplet infection and, unlike the plague, spread evenly across the city. Other researchers came to the conclusion that the epidemic was not sufficient to generate the assumed selection pressure that should explain the current frequency of CCR5Δ32. So far, no reliable explanation has been given as to why the selection only took place in Europe, while in Asia, the homeland of the plague, the gene mutation CCR5-Δ32 cannot be detected. Researchers from Göttingen suspect that the mutation first appeared in the Caucasus and was brought to Europe. They also found that they were not 700 years ago, but as early as 900 BC. Was widespread in Europe. They therefore believe that the selection pressure was caused by another, as yet unknown disease.


Prehistoric plague

The oldest records of Yersinia pestis come from skeletons up to 5000 years old from the Pontic steppe . The plague already affected Stone Age societies; its pathogen could be detected in skeletons from all over Europe between 4800 and 3800 years ago. However, it was not yet completely identical to the causative agent of the late antique and medieval bubonic plague, as some genes that increase virulence - which later strains of the pathogen should enable later strains to survive in the stomach of fleas - were still missing. It could be conceivable, however, that this early plague already had a strong demographic impact on the Neolithic , Copper Age and Early Bronze Age societies of the time, possibly as an infection via the respiratory tract that encountered populations with genetically different levels of sensitivity to the pathogen.

Antiquity to the early Middle Ages

Most researchers now assume that the plague that occurred in the Mediterranean basin in antiquity was not the plague before 541, although some scholars believe it possible that the disease was isolated and localized earlier. In 2011, the genome of a plague pathogen from 1349 could be fully reconstructed for the first time . Genetic information obtained from human remains in a plague cemetery in London showed that this medieval strain of plague was the forerunner of all plague bacteria still found today. The researchers conclude that the origin of the plague in East Asia lies in the 13th century. The first known outbreak of the epidemic, the Justinian Plague , was caused by a variant of the plague that became extinct in the 8th century.

In ancient Egypt

The outbreak of great plagues is already reported in the Bible : The "plague" is one of the plagues that afflict Egypt before the Israelites left ( Ex 9.1–7  EU ), whereby at this point it only attacks cattle and dissolves them and the mass extinction of the Philistines , which is the Jewish ark had taken possession ( 1 Sam 5-6  EU ).

Asia Minor, Eastern Europe to Altai

In the late 14th century BC A plague raged in the Hittite empire , which, according to written documents at that time, lasted at least 20 years and which among others succumbed to the great king Šuppiluliuma I , his successor Arnuwanda I and his son and intended heir to the throne. Even under the next Great King Mursili II , this plague continued for years, as is evident from the plague prayers in which Mursili implores the gods to finally put an end to the plague. From the texts it appears that the king regards the plague as punishment from the gods for previous wrongdoing. Therefore, he tries to atone for the injustices committed by his predecessors, but over time he understands less and less why the plague continues anyway and why the punishment of the gods is so severe.

However, this plague is only an extension of the Bronze Age plague, which can be detected paleogenetically in numerous graves between Eastern Europe and the Altai . However, the pathogen was not yet adapted to the comparatively efficient transmission by the rat flea, and the symptoms may also have looked different.

In Greece

Apollo and Artemis shoot plague arrows at the children of Niobe. Painting by Abraham Bloemaert .

In Greek mythology, the plague was caused by divine plague arrows. So Apollo sent the plague into the camp of the Greeks before Troy. The fact that the arrow was associated with the plague led to St. Sebastian being declared a plague saint.

Even Hippocrates (about 460-370. Chr.) Probably, like the Hippocratic writings stating seen the Pestplage in Greece. One in the years 430 to 426 BC The raging epidemic in Athens has attracted the interest of historians and medical professionals for many years. Among other things, it is referred to as the Attic plague and - in a misleading translation of the Latin pestis (plague) - also as "the plague of Thucydides ". For a long time, many scientists assumed that it was either the plague itself or smallpox. The fact that this epidemic was triggered by plague pathogens is now highly doubted, as Thucydides did not describe the typical characteristics such as plague bumps and blackish spots on the skin. Since the symptoms described in their entirety do not fit any disease known today, historians and medical professionals have long been discussing other pathogens - now a total of 29 - as possible triggers.

In new excavations in 1994/95 under the direction of the archaeologist Effie Baziotopoulou-Valavani and the subsequent investigation by Manolis Papagrigorakis and colleagues, the pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi was identified in 2005 by means of DNA tests .

Whatever the cause of the epidemic - in Athens the epidemic led to a dramatic population decline and the collapse of the social fabric with fatal economic consequences and a military and political decline - quite comparable to the effects of later, clearly documented plague epidemics.

In the Roman Empire

The Roman Empire was hit by major epidemics several times. The so-called Antonine plague at the time of Emperor Mark Aurel (161-180) is considered the first major epidemic , which was spread after 165 by soldiers returning from a campaign against the Parthian Empire . Whether this epidemic was the plague is unclear and is considered unlikely. Plagues with profound effects on the Roman Empire occurred particularly in the period between 250 ( Cyprian plague ) and 650 AD.

The so-called Justinian plague at the time of the Eastern Roman emperor Justinian (527-565), which raged in Constantinople in 542, possibly contributed to the failure of the Restauratio imperii and is considered the largest ancient plague epidemic in Europe or the first plague pandemic . As was shown in 2013, the actual plague was at least prominently involved in this pandemic: This was the first occurrence of the disease in Europe. It first broke out in Egypt in 541, from where it spread rapidly throughout the Mediterranean region and even as far as Ireland. Whether the epidemic was actually brought in from India, as was usually assumed in the past, or whether it reached Egypt down the Nile from sub-Saharan Africa is a matter of dispute today.

On the basis of the detailed descriptions of the late ancient Greek historian Prokopios as well as on the basis of DNA examinations of graves of the 6th century, which provided evidence of the plague pathogen, it has meanwhile been proven that this epidemic was actually the bubonic plague, but possibly together occurred with other diseases. At the beginning of 2013, an international study carried out in parallel at various laboratories under the direction of Michaela Harbeck and Holger C. Scholz, based on DNA material from graves in Aschheim , which can clearly be dated to the later 6th century, showed that a pathogen was actually dated Yersinia pestis tribe was involved in the Justinian plague. According to Prokopios, a quarter of the inhabitants of Constantinople died in 541 and 542. In 544 Justinian, who had survived an illness of his own, announced the end of the plague epidemic. However, this erupted again in 557, returned again in 570, and reappeared every twelve years until the middle of the 8th century. According to some scholars, a geopolitical power vacuum emerged in the Mediterranean and the Middle East as a result of the plague and its far-reaching effects on the population. Also Persia was according to the report of Prokopios hard hit by the plague. Several researchers emphasize, however, that the actual demographic effects of the epidemic can hardly be estimated due to the problematic sources. At least it has not yet been proven that the disease decisively weakened Eastern and Persia.

In 636 the Romans were defeated by the Arabs in the battle of Jarmuk ; In early 638, Muslim armies triumphed over the Persians in the Battle of Kadesia and then occupied Mesopotamia . Whether the plague played a part in this development, as is repeatedly assumed, is difficult to prove and rather unlikely (in the opinion of many historians, of greater importance for the victories of the Arabs was the fact that Eastern Stream and Persia had been apart for decades since 540 Wars against each other). In any case, the epidemic also found its victims in Islamic armies. For example, over 25,000 Muslim soldiers were allegedly killed in a plague outbreak in Syria . The number of victims was probably higher in the Eastern Roman Empire and in Persia than on the Arabian Peninsula with its completely different settlement structure.

In 746 the bubonic plague broke out in Constantinople and claimed numerous lives. Around 770, the plague disappeared from the Mediterranean and Europe for almost 600 years. How this came about has been discussed in research for a long time. As early as 630, Bab al-Mandab , the 27 km wide strait and the only natural connection between the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean , was under Muslim rule. For more than 1000 years it was hardly possible for western ships to use this old trading route. This made direct contacts with Inner Asia more difficult and rare. Over the next generations, Islam was able to expand further eastwards, but it did not interrupt the old trade routes of the Silk Road . Whether these changes in the 7th century can actually explain the disappearance of the plague in the late 8th century remains to be seen.

Burial of bubonic plague victims in Tournai . Part of a miniature from the chronicles of Abbot Gilles Li Muisis (1272–1352), Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, MS 1376-77, f. 24v.

Plague epidemics in the Middle Ages and in modern times

middle Ages

According to a hypothesis by authors such as William Bernstein, it was not until the Mongolian conquests towards the end of the 13th century that an era of direct trade contacts between Europe and Asia began, through which the plague bacteria, which are mainly found in wild rodent populations in Asia, could be reintroduced to Europe . In 1338 or 1339, the plague struck the Christian community of the Assyrian Church on Lake Issyk- Kul, as can be seen in tombstones. In the region there are still isolated cases of plague in people who deal with rodents (especially marmots ). In 1345 the first people fell ill in Sarai on the lower Volga and in the Crimea , both in the realm of the Golden Horde . In 1346 the Golden Horde sought to regain the Crimean peninsula and therefore besieged the port city of Kaffa, held by the Genoese . In the wake of the army of the Golden Horde, the disease also came to the city and from there to the west.

The late Middle Ages are marked by this devastating pandemic known as the " Black Death " from the middle of the 14th century . It is mostly thought to be a variant of the plague and is therefore considered to be the first outbreak of the disease since the 8th century. It spread to Iceland and Norway, where it was called " Svarte Dauden " and "Den store Mannfall". In 2011 it was established beyond any doubt that the pathogen was actually Yersinia pestis.

This “plague” was often seen as God's punishment. In many places this led to the fact that people gave in to their fate and did not even try to escape the approaching plague. Instead, penitential practices were recommended in order to reconcile God. This led to an upswing in the flagellation parades . In addition, the plague saints St. Rochus and St. Sebastian were addressed .

Starting in 1410, plague epidemics occurred repeatedly in southern Germany, starting in the Eastern Alps. Medical measures against the plague offered small plague pamphlets, which were also written by German-speaking doctors from 1348 and were, for example, put into circulation by pharmacists. One of the oldest German-speaking plague tracts is the treasure of wisdom , which was created in 1349 by doctors Rudolf Schwenninger, Bernhard von Rostock, Heinrich von Lübeck (probably identical to the author of a paint recipe called Heinrich von Lübegge in another Strasbourg manuscript ), Heinrich von Sachsen (at the time prominent Strasbourg doctor and clergyman, who treated Count Rudolf IV of Habsburg-Laufenburg , among others ) and Albert von Parma on behalf of the Strasbourg Council.

There is an order from the Bishop of Bergen (Norway) and the cathedral chapter to combat an unspecified plague epidemic of 1445, the beginning of which is unclear. There are masses, alms, processions, fasts and altar passage over five days. Such measures were common across Europe to combat the plague. Masses and processions in particular contributed to the spread of the plague. It was not until 1498 that when the plague occurred in Venice, all services, processions, markets and meetings were prohibited.

The massive deaths led to the creation of plague cemeteries with collective graves. If they were further out of town, sometimes dead streets led to them .

Treatment of the plague by bloodletting (1555, Michael Ostendorfer )

14th to 19th century

Doctor Schnabel of Rome : Doctor with a beak mask with herbs and a stick to keep the sick away (1656), a plague doctor .
Cast of a plague corpse from the 17th century

After the severe plague epidemic, the "Black Death", which began in 1347, the epidemic endemized : In local epidemics it struck various areas of Europe at almost regular intervals over the next three centuries. Constantinople remained the most dangerous place of plague at this time, with its many nested half-timbered buildings and catastrophic hygienic conditions. Constantinople has been called the "Kingdom of the Rats".

Through the so-called plague report , which the medical faculty of Paris on behalf of Philip VI. Created and completed in October 1348 and which commented on various epidemiological, preventive and therapeutic options for the disease, almost all of European plague literature was influenced in the 14th century and, in particular, the catalog of measures of the Paris plague report for disease prevention was translated and disseminated into many European national languages . The Paris Medical Faculty in 1348, following suggestions from Gentile da Foligno , considered a possible cause of the plague as a possible cause of the plague as a complex act of creation by magistrate forces with the interlocking of terrestrial and cosmic conditions when the plague or the breath of plague came about. The dietetic-curative recommendations and recipes from the derivative text from the Paris Pestgutachten emerged perhaps in 1349 from Prague widespread sense of the highest masters of Paris ( "the hogistin Meyster Paris sinn" ) of the wife of one was Plauen bailiff directed, so-called "(plague) letter to the wife of Plauen" spread between Austria and Flanders. It recommends immediate bloodletting if plague bumps (bubons) occur (depending on the occurrence of the plague bumps in eight different places). In particular as instructions for practicing (plague) doctors, but also for lay healers, graphic representations of the corresponding bloodletting points were published, which were still used in the late Middle Ages and early modern times. A common remedy for the plague used by doctors was the burning of aromatic substances. In 1371, the Prague letter Missum imperatori followed as another effective publication in Europe for the control of epidemics.

There were no curative therapies, but several recipes for treating people affected by the plague have survived. For example, the patients were sprayed with vinegar or (as in the 14th century when the swelling of the lymph nodes associated with the disease was interpreted as a sign of intoxication) treated with theriac . The plague sores were "ripened" with ointments and then cut open to drain pus and blood. The air was "purged" by fire at intersections. In some places, doctors ensured that all clothes and the house of a deceased family were burned after death. Potentially infected people were soon isolated , usually around 40 days, which is why the term quarantine (French "quarantaine de jours" = "forty days") , which is still used today, is derived. On July 27, 1377, the city council of Ragusa, today's Dubrovnik , decided to intern all people and goods coming from an area where the plague raged on a small island in front of the city for a month. So-called plague houses were built elsewhere . Quarantine became common practice in the 17th century.

Demographic analyzes have shown that a mortality rate that exceeds natural mortality by more than four times cannot be compensated and leads to a demographic crisis . Paul Slack estimates a death rate of 4 to 12 times the normal mortality rate for a typical plague epidemic.

Girolamo Fracastoro was the first to doubt the miasma doctrine and considered germs to be the carriers of the epidemics. He also separated the plague from other diseases such as smallpox and typhus for the first time. But it was still a long time before his point of view would prevail.

Ambroise Paré noticed for the first time the temporal connection between the massive occurrence of the otherwise light-shy rats as a result of a rat epidemic and the subsequent outbreak of the plague. His assumptions were also ignored.

Probably the first medical dissertation on the plague was written by the doctor Johannes Pistorius the Younger from Nidda ( Hessen ) : De vera curandae pestis ratione (About the right way to treat the plague), Frankfurt 1568. Christoph Schorer from Memmingen published one of the in 1666 first German-language manuals for plague prevention.

The plague as a permanent phenomenon

Picture of the great plague in London, 1665/66

As an example of how the epidemics developed into a kind of permanent problem, the epidemics in the northern part of Europe are listed below.

Some epidemics are mentioned directly in sources, while others are made accessible through a significantly increasing number of wills.

  • In 1356 Frankfurt a. M. and Hessen as well as Würzburg first afflicted by a plague and in 1357 Bohemia and Poland .
  • Around 1357 a plague is said to have ravaged all Wendish and German seaside towns and in Prussia 13,000 people are said to have died from it in a short time.
  • The great plague in Denmark in 1361 is said to have been brought in by King Waldemar's army from Skåne . The plague raged in Hamburg and Lübeck in 1358 and spread across the Netherlands from 1360-1362 : Holland, Gent , Deventer , Namur , Flanders , Liège and Huy .
  • The Icelandic annals report epidemics in Norway for the years 1360, 1370/1371, 1379, 1390 and 1392. The minimum population caused by the plague in Norway is estimated at around 200,000. The population from the time before the great plague was not reached again until the middle of the 17th century.
  • An epidemic is documented in Roskilde for 1360. It is called there “pestis gravis” and the Archbishop Jacob Nielsen Kyrning von Lund fell victim to it on Jan 23, 1361 on Bornholm.
  • The minimum population level in England, the Netherlands, France and Catalonia can be assumed to be between 1450 and 1500. In England, the population decline caused by the plague was 60% by 1500–1520. There the population of the Middle Ages was not reached again until 1750.
  • In the Swedish annal "Chronologia from anno 1266 ad 1430" is noted for the year 1360: "Iterum pestilencia fuit magna que vocabatur barnadödh."
  • For the Netherlands, 15 epidemics were counted between 1360 and 1494.
  • The "Second Pestilence" raged in England from 1361 to 1362, of which contemporary sources report that it was the first great plague since the Black Death. Local investigations in England from the "Inquisitiones post mortem" show that the mortality rate in 1361 was locally much higher than in 1349.
  • Schleswig-Holstein was afflicted from 1367-1369, where Hamburg, Lübeck, Ratzeburg and Stralsund were affected.
  • Another epidemic hit Denmark, Flanders, Holland, Deventer, Namur, Utrecht , Brabant , Tournai and Picardy , but also England, Wales and Ireland in 1367-1370 .
  • Around 1371 there was also a plague wave in Norway.
  • A plague in Norway for 1379 is mentioned in the "Flateyar annálar". For the next year these annals report that 6 ships came to Iceland that brought the bubonic plague to Iceland. This had spread over the whole country, including more than 12 priests died from it. Lögmanns-annáll reports the same event, but dates it to 1378.
  • For the period between 1378 and 1383 "The Fourth Pestilence" is mentioned in England and Scotland. There are also traces of an epidemic in Hamburg, Wismar and Stralsund in the period 1375–1376 and in the Netherlands 1382–1384.
  • Iceland was only affected twice by the late medieval pandemics: 1402–1404 and 1494–1495. The plague of 1402 is believed to have wiped out 50 to 60% of Iceland's population.
  • A Danish chronicle reports about plague in 1406 after a great flood of rain in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. One in ten died of the disease.
  • The Vadstena diary of the Birgittine monastery there is a "liber memorialis" with a lot of information about the late Middle Ages, especially about the years 1344–1545. It was probably run continuously from 1392. A number of plague epidemics in Sweden and Northern Europe are listed there. The following plague years are mentioned: 1350, 1413, 1421, 1422, 1439, 1450, 1455, 1465, 1484, 1495, 1508.
  • Schleswig-Holstein was affected in 1406, 1420–1421, 1439–1440, 1448, 1450–1451, 1464, 1483–1485, additionally in 1423, 1433 and 1438 with uncertain sources.
  • According to all well-documented sources, a particularly severe plague wave took place in Northern Europe around 1448/1449 in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, the Baltic States and England. Berlin was affected by a plague epidemic in 1451 and 1484, which two "Berlin Dances of Death " visually report.

In the 15th century Christian von Geren wrote a relatively comprehensive chronicle about the plague of his time. He originally came from Lübeck, received a clerical training and was secretary of the Hanseatic office in Bergen from 1449/1450. For the 1450s and 1460s, he wrote about the plague:

“Anno 51 [1451] was grote pestilencie to Lubeke; anno 52 to Bergen, there storven 200 Dudesche in 1/2 year; ok annao 59 to Bergen. Unde to Lubeke was pestilencie anno 64 ... "

- Friedrich Bruns: The Lübeck mountain drivers and their chronicle. Hansische Geschichtsquellen, Neue Reihe, 2, Berlin (1900), p. 353.

The plague of 1464 is also documented in the Baltic States and parts of northern Germany, the Netherlands, Stockholm and other parts of Sweden and England.

  • 1456–1459 plague in the Netherlands.
  • There are reliable sources of plague waves in Canterbury in the 15th century: 1413, 1419, 1420, 1431, 1447, 1457, 1465, 1467, 1470, 1471, and 1487.
  • For the period around 1500 there is a reference in a Swedish diploma that a planned meeting of the Reichsratsabteilung Nordafjells for 1500 was canceled due to the plague.
  • Many sources document a plague wave in the North and Baltic Sea area between 1502 and 1508.
  • The plague reached Finland in 1505 and Sweden again in 1508. Åbo was hit in 1504 and 1508.
  • There was the plague in Småland in 1510 and in all of Sweden in 1517.
  • The plague reached Pskov in 1506.
  • Novgorod was hit in 1508.
  • The plague occurred in the city of St. Gallen at least 14 times between 1500 and 1640. After 1580 there were also smallpox outbreaks in cycles of four to five years , from which younger children in particular died. Other places in Switzerland were also affected.
  • 1518–1525 there was a wave of plagues in Europe. The first professor at the newly founded University of Copenhagen, Petrus de Scotia, died of the plague on July 24, 1520.
  • The British source material indicates a plague for 1518–1521. In 1518 she was in Oxford and Nottingham. A ship came to Southampton from Venice with the plague on board. In 1521 there were major epidemics in York and London (great pestilence and death). The plague also spread to Scotland and Ireland.
  • In 1518–1519 there was a plague epidemic in the Netherlands. The source material refers to Gouda, Schiedam, Leiden, Gorinchem and Haarlem. A particularly high mortality is attested in Gouda for 1521 and in Amsterdam for 1522.
  • On July 25, 1521, a great plague began in Hamburg and lasted until December 6, 1521.
  • In Schleswig-Holstein there was an epidemic in 1524–1525.
  • Hamburg was affected in 1526.
  • The Netherlands were affected in 1524–1526, hardest in 1526.
  • It is documented in Schleswig in 1524
  • 1525–1529 the plague is mentioned in Lübeck. However, the minutes of the cathedral chapter of Lübeck in 1529 use the expression “pestis sudorosa” for the first time, which then becomes the common expression for “ English sweat ”. This wave is described in detail chronologically by the Stadtmedicus Rembertus Giltzheim .
  • The plague broke out in Hoorn in 1528 and in Dordrecht and Woerden in 1530 .
  • In 1529–1530 there was a widespread plague in Norway and Halland.
  • In 1545 and 1546 there was a widespread epidemic in England. Berkshire , Worcester , Leicestershire , Lichfield , Exeter and East Sussex were affected . The death rate was 26.6% above normal. With this small increase in the death rate, it should be noted that no more than 15% of the parishes in the counties mentioned were affected, which lowers the overall average for the county.
  • In 1547 there was also an epidemic in Hamburg and Lübeck.
  • In 1547–1550 there were epidemics further south in Germany, and in 1550 in Danzig.
  • In 1550, 1560, 1566, 1574, 1589, 1592–1594, 1628–1631 and 1635 the plague was in the Graubünden city ​​of Chur , most of the victims were in 1594 with 550 deaths, which comprised about a third of the population
  • The plague epidemic of 1555 in Nidda , Hesse, which lasted only three weeks , killed 300 people. That was a third of the city's population.
  • The same applies to the small town of Uelzen , which had around 1200 inhabitants at the beginning of the 16th century. Uelzen is one of the towns that had precise registers of their inhabitants as early as the 16th century. We know that in 1566 exactly a quarter of Uelzen's inhabitants, 295, died, of which 279 died of the plague. 1597 - Uelzen's population had meanwhile increased to about 1,600 inhabitants - 554 people died, 510 of them from the plague.
Silver commemorative medal for the end of the last plague epidemic in Erfurt in 1683; Obverse: Archangel with sword, on his right a plaque crowned with a skull with the inscription: SVM. D. IN A. 1683 ZV ERFF. DIED. PERSON. 9437; Back: View of the city of Erfurt from the north
  • The plague occurred in Germany in 1625.
  • The plague raged in northern Italy from 1629 to 1631. In just one year, between 1630 and 1631, around a third of Venice's residents , around 46,000 out of 140,000 , died . The epidemic peaked in November 1630: 16,000 Venetians died within that month.
  • The Dresden area in Saxony was hit by the plague several times as a result of the Thirty Years War (1626, 1632/33, 1637 and 1640). Then there was an even more devastating plague epidemic in 1680.
  • There were further serious epidemics in England in 1665/66 with around 100,000 deaths (see Great Plague of London )
  • In 1635, the plague took four hundred residents of the Westphalian town of Leiberg away.
  • The plague was rampant in Vienna in 1678/79, i.e. at the time when the so-called dear Augustine lived there.
  • In the small Thuringian town of Bielen , around seven times as many people died in 1682 as usual. On June 7th, 43-year-old Ursula Elisabeth Börnicke was the first to die, and on December 28th, Hans Weber was the last to die. In a follow-up to the deaths of the year, the pastor of Bielen explains how the infected were dealt with there: “Most of those who died of the plague this year have had to and are in a hut in front of the gate also been buried at the gate; But very few died in their tidy apartment and were buried in the quiet of the churchyard at night. "
  • The last plague in Erfurt in 1683 killed more than half of the population (9,437 dead). A medal made for this occasion commemorates this terrible event.
  • The Great Plague from 1708 to 1714 raged in Transylvania, Poland, Lithuania, East Prussia , Courland, Livonia, Estonia, Pskow and Novgorod in Russia, Finland, Sweden, Western Pomerania and Swedish Pomerania, Denmark, Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg and Bremen-Verden , Hungary, Bohemia and Moravia, Austria and the Upper Palatinate; over a million Europeans were killed in these seven years.
Plague in Marseille in 1720

The last plague epidemics hit Europe in the 18th century. In fear of an outbreak in Berlin too, King Friedrich I had a plague house built there, from which the Charité emerged . In May 1720 the plague reappeared in Marseille and Provence and did not disappear again until 1722. The plague wall there was built to combat it .

After the plague occurred in Moscow in 1771 , where its outbreak sparked the Moscow plague revolt, there were no further plague epidemics in Europe.

Third pandemic

The third plague pandemic began in Central Asia in the second half of the 19th century and killed around 12 million people worldwide over the next 50 years. During this plague epidemic, the pathogen was identified in 1894 by the French doctor Alexandre Yersin and the route of transmission was explained.

The two largest pneumonic plague epidemics occurred in the Chinese border region of Manchuria at the beginning of the 20th century . The occurrence was mainly linked to a cold climate. The epidemic in Manchuria 1910–1911 took place in winter (September – April) and was linked to the main transport routes. The plague was transported over 2,700 km in seven months. About 60,000 people died.

In 1905, hundreds of thousands died from a plague epidemic in India.

At the beginning of September 2017, a plague epidemic broke out in Madagascar , which spread to the capital Antananarivo and spread rapidly there. By October 30, the disease had already claimed more than 120 deaths. At the beginning of 2018, the outbreak of the epidemic was contained with the help of plague treatment centers and health agents who checked patient contacts with rapid tests for the plague pathogen. A total of 2348 people fell ill, about 10% of whom died of the plague.

Cultural aspects


Hardly any other catastrophe shaped the collective idea of ​​powerlessness, doom and misfortune as much as the affliction of the plague. The earliest epidemic reports come from ancient authors such as Homer , Thucydides , Lucretius , Prokopios of Caesarea and Ovid . In Book VII, 501–613 of his Metamorphoses , Ovid reports in great detail about the plague of Aegina . Thucydides in particular already reports on the demoralizing effect and the social disintegration that accompanied the epidemic. The poet Freidank lamented the same thing on the occasion of the mass extinction in Acre.

The epidemics also influenced political changes. The efforts of the Eastern Roman emperor Justinian to recapture the Eastern Gothic empire in Italy failed in 542 because of the epidemic. The Eastern Roman Empire was so weakened in 570 that the Longobards were able to conquer the Po Valley in 571. In 628, the plague raged in Byzantine Syria and Sassanid Mesopotamia to such an extent that the Arabs managed to conquer the Persian Empire in the east and the east of the Byzantine Empire without any particular difficulty. In 637, Damascus, devastated by the plague, fell to Caliph Omar without a fight. The plague also greatly hampered the crusades , and often more crusaders died from the plagues than from the fighting.

In China, a devastating plague in the 14th century led to the neglect of the infrastructure, especially the dams, which resulted in devastating flooding of the arable areas and famine. The Mongol rule was so weakened that it was replaced by the native Ming dynasty.

The eastern colonization of the Teutonic Order came to a standstill in the 14th century. The opinion that the Jews caused the mass deaths by poisoning wells led to pogroms against the Jews ( plague pogroms ), in which 350 Jewish communities were destroyed and which were "only surpassed by Hitler's genocide". The view that it was a punishment from God gave rise to the flagellation parades .

Plague epidemics in Norway and the decimation of the population as a result of the plague epidemics were partly responsible for the temporary loss of statehood.

The view that bad air, the miasma , causes the plague, led to many measures in the cities, which initially only combated the stench, but also indirectly improved the hygienic conditions. Frequent fires temporarily freed the cities from the plague of rats. It was the quarantine introduced. In addition, there was the plague letter , a health passport that had to be presented at the border and certified that the traveler's place of origin was free from plague.


Plague columns and plague crosses bear witness to the memory of the victims of the plague
The plague ( Arnold Böcklin , 1898)

Above all, however, the plague epidemic of the 14th century had a major impact on art and literature. People bought so-called plague leaves in order to protect themselves from the plague with the help of the saints depicted on them. Against the background of the plague that raged in Florence in 1348, Giovanni Boccaccio wrote his collection of short stories Il Decamerone : Seven women and three young men flee from Florence to a country estate. In a remarkable contrast to the gloom and drama of the descriptions of the plague, there are the erotic, cheerful stories that the ten Florentines tell each other for entertainment. You can find a way out of disaster in an easier life. The extraordinary situation of the plague gives them the opportunity to question medieval norms and values ​​in their stories.

Very often the "black death" was portrayed as a bone man (or half-decayed corpse) throwing arrows, often sitting on a galloping horse. In 1350 Francesco Traini created the wall paintings of the Camposanto of Pisa . Death ( la morte ) is not a skeleton here, but an old woman dressed in black, who, with flowing hair and a broad-edged sickle in her hand, descends on a group of carefree young people. A masterpiece of sepulchral art , which points to the changed image of death in late medieval art, is the tomb of Cardinal La Grange from the end of the 14th century. The cardinal is depicted as an almost naked, decaying corpse, and the inscription warns all still living how futile life is: “What are you puffing up in your pride? You are dust and you must become dust, a rotten carcass, the food of worms. "

The severe plague in Paris in 1348 is considered the impetus for the depictions of the dance of death . These murals on cemetery, monastery or church walls showed a long circle of people of all classes (from pope and emperor to monk and doctor to craftsmen and even the cradle child), and every person had death as an irresistible dance partner - a subtle indication of this how quickly any observer could find himself before the Eternal Judge. Printed collections of such images (such as the Imagines mortis by Hans Holbein ) soon began to show the intervention of death in particularly plastic moments of full life - a popular opportunity to (more or less) accommodate discreet criticism of the subjects.

In Vienna, during the plague epidemic of 1679, the street hit O you dear Augustin, everything is gone ( cf.Marx Augustin ), who countered the plague with gallows humor , was created in Vienna - its actual occasion and content are often no longer understood . After the plague subsided, the Viennese plague column was erected, which served as a model for numerous plague and trinity columns throughout the entire Habsburg monarchy .

In 1722, Daniel Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year (German: Die Pest zu London ) was published in London . The story was published at a time when an outbreak of the plague in the south of France raised concerns about the disease again, and found a wide readership. For a long time she was an eyewitness account of the outbreak of the plague in 1665. At the time of the outbreak, however, Defoe was still a child of four or five years; The story, however, depicts the outbreak of the plague from the point of view of an adult man who describes the events in a matter-of-fact tone and follows the reactions of his fellow citizens with compassion and empathy. Together with Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders , this story established the reputation of Daniel Defoe as the creator of the art form of the realistic novel.

In I Promessi Sposi , Alessandro Manzoni describes the ravages of the plague epidemic in Milan in 1630. His presentation is based on reports from several contemporary witnesses, namely the Historiae Patriae of the historiographer Giuseppe Ripamonti (1573–1643) and the plague chronicle of the doctor Alessandro Tadino ( Ragguaglio dell'origine et giornali successi della gran peste contagiosa, venefica et malefica, seguita nella città di Milano ... ), which was published in 1648. Goethe  - presumably the first German reader of Manzoni's novel (he had sent him Promessi Sposi immediately after the third volume was printed in 1827) - indeed remarked that the author was "a naked historian" in the plague chapters and criticized the "cumbersome detail "For things of a" disgusting kind ". Regardless of this, the relentlessly precise description of the epidemic in the Promessi Sposi is now considered a highlight of Italian prose. Manzoni's Storia della Colonna Infame, written in 1829, also deals with events in Milan during the plague year of 1630 .

Edgar Allan Poe created the burlesque story King Pest in 1835 , in which the title character allegorically embodies the horror of all horrors, but is defeated by two drunken sailors. Poe's story The Mask of the Red Death from 1842 was inspired by his memory of the cholera epidemic in Baltimore , which he witnessed in 1831, but shows parallels to other stories of the plague. Although an epidemic (the Red Death ) kills crowds, Prince Prospero, who fled to his castle, gives a pompous masquerade ball. The escape from the epidemic in amusement is reminiscent of the framework narrative of Boccaccio's Decamerone , but Poe's story takes a different turn: The Red Death comes “like a thief in the night”, penetrates the castle despite the welded gates and kills the autocratic Prospero and the entire party.

In the framework novella The Black Spider , Jeremias Gotthelf processed old legends about a deal with the devil into a parable about the plague in 1843.

The Es pastoret (English: The Shepherd) monument in Son Servera on the Spanish island of Mallorca commemorates the victims of the plague in 1820.

Known victims of the plague

Millions of people died from the epidemics known as the “plague”. Prominent victims of this disease include a .:


  • Klaus Bergdolt : The Black Death in Europe. CH Beck, Munich 1994; 4th edition, with the subtitle The Great Plague and the End of the Middle Ages , ibid 2017, ISBN 978-3-406-70594-6 .
  • Ronald D. Gerste : How diseases make history. From antiquity to today. Klett-Cotta Verlag, Stuttgart 2019, ISBN 978-3-608-96400-4 , pp. 81-98.
  • Stefan Leenen, Alexander Berner and others: Pest! A search for clues. (= Companion volume to the exhibition of the same name in the LWL Museum for Archeology , September 20, 2019 - May 10, 2020). wbg Theiss, Stuttgart 2019, ISBN 978-3-8062-3996-6 .
  • Mischa Meier (Ed.): Pest. The story of a human trauma. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-608-94359-5 .
  • Michael Schaper (ed.): The plague. Life and Death in the Middle Ages. (= GEO epoch. No. 75). Gruner + Jahr, Hamburg 2015, ISBN 978-3-652-00444-2 .
  • Manfred Vasold: Plague, hardship and severe plagues. Plagues and epidemics from the Middle Ages to the present day. CH Beck, Munich 1991, ISBN 3-406-35401-7 .
  • Manfred Vasold: The plague. Theiss, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-8062-1779-3 .
  • Manfred Vasold: flu, plague and cholera. A history of epidemics in Europe. Steiner, Stuttgart 2015, ISBN 978-3-515-11025-9 , pp. 15–73.
  • Stefan Winkle : Scourges of humanity. Cultural history of epidemics. 3rd, improved and enlarged edition. Artemis & Winkler, Düsseldorf / Zurich 2005, ISBN 978-3-538-07159-9 , pp. 422-515.

Web links

References and comments

  1. Susan Scott, Christopher J. Duncan: Biology of Plagues. Evidence from Historical Populations. Cambridge 2001, pp. 50, 357 f .; Samuel Kline Cohn: The Black Death Transformed. London 2002, pp. 188, 219; Graham Twigg: The Black Death. A Biological Reappraisal. London 1984.
  2. Stephanie Haensch, Rafaella Bianucci, Michael Signoli, Minoarisoa Rajerison, Michael Schultz, Sacha Kacki, Marco Vermunt, Darlene A. Weston, Derek Hurst, Mark Achtman, Elisabeth Carniel, Barbara Bramanti (2010): Distinct Clones of Yersinia pestis caused the Black Death. PLoS Pathog 6 (10): e1001134. doi : 10.1371 / journal.ppat.1001134 and the bacterium Yersinia pestis clearly identified as the cause of the great plague epidemic of the Middle Ages
  3. Verena J. Schuenemann et al .: Targeted enrichment of ancient pathogens yielding the pPCP1 plasmid of Yersinia pestis from victims of the Black Death. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), published online before print, Aug 29, 2011, doi : 10.1073 / pnas.1105107108
  4. Winkle, p. 435.
  5. In the book “Epidemien” of the Corpus Hippocraticum it is stated, for example: “The fevers which are added to glandular bumps are malignant; but the bumps that add to the fever are even worse if they sink in immediately with the onset of the heated fever. ”(Epidemics II.) In Epidemics VII there is talk of bumps that appear in the groin area of cloth walkers . (quoted from Winkle, p. 1194, note 20)
  6. See, for example, Heinz Jürgen Bergmann: "So the one man mark won". The plague tract of Jakob Engelins von Ulm. (= Studies on medieval plague literature. Volume 2). Medical dissertation Bonn 1972. Commissioned by the publishing house Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg.
  7. Deichmann p. 189.
  8. ^ Charles-Edward Amory Winslow: The Conquest of Epidemic Disease. (Madison, Wisconsin 1980, first edition 1943) p. 341.
  9. Susan Scott and Christopher Duncan: Biology of Plagues: Evidence from Historical Populations (Cambridge 2001) and the historian Samuel Cohn: The Black Death Transformed. Disease and Culture in Early Renaissance Europe. (Oxford 2002)
  10. Supplements to the lecture Virology 2005/2006. P. 145. Retrieved November 19, 2013 .
  11. ^ FV Mansa: Plagues in Helsingør og Kiøbenhavn 1710 and 1711. København 1854, pp. 384-385.
  12. D. Raoult, G. Aboundharam et al. a .: Molecular identification by "suicide PCR" for Yersinia pestis as the agent of Medieval Black Death. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of United States of America 97 (2000), 12800-12803.
  13. MTP Gilbert, J. Cuccui et al. a .: Absence of Yersinia pestis-specific DNA in human teeth from five European excavations of putative plague victims. Microbiology 150 (2004), pp. 341-354.
  14. ^ I. Wiechmann, G. Grupe: Detection of Yersinia pestis DNA in two early medieval skeletal finds from Aschheim (Upper Bavaria, 6th century AD) In: American Journal of Physical Anthropology 126 (2005) pp. 48-55. Raffaella Bianucci, Lila Rahalison, Ezio Ferroglio, Emma Rabino Massa, Michel Signoli: "A rapid diagnostic test for plague detects Yersinia pestis F1 antigen in ancient human remains". In: Biologica 330 (2007). S. 747-754 and "A rapid diagnostic test detects plague in ancient human remains: An example of the interaction between archeological and biological approaches (Southeastern France 16th-18th centuries)." In: American journal of physical anthropology . 2008 Vol. 136, pp. 361-367.
  15. Lars Walløe: "Var middelalderens pester og modern pest samm sykdom?" In: Historisk Tidskrift (Trondheim) 2010 vol. 89, pp. 14-28, 23.
  16. Moseng (2006) p. 594 ff.
  17. Raffaella Bianucci, Lila Rahalison, Ezio Ferroglio, Emma Rabino Massa, Michel Signoli: "A rapid diagnostic test for plague detects Yersinia pestis F1 antigen in ancient human remains". In: Biologica 330 (2007). Pp. 747-754 and "A rapid diagnostic test detects plague in ancient human remains: An example of the interaction between archeological and biological approaches (Southeastern France 16th-18th centuries)." In: American Journal of Physical Anthropology . 2008 Vol. 136, pp. 361-367.
  18. ^ G. Morelli, Y. Song et al. a .: Yersinia pestis genome sequencing identifies patterns of global phylogenetic diversity. In: Nature genetics . Volume 42, Number 12, December 2010, pp. 1140-1143. doi: 10.1038 / ng.705 . PMID 21037571 . PMC 2999892 (free full text).
  19. Mark Wheelis: Biological Warfare at the 1346 Siege of Caffa , Emerging Infectious Diseases 8-9., 2002
  20. Kirsten I. Bos, Verena J. Schuenemann a. a .: A draft genome of Yersinia pestis from victims of the Black Death. In: Nature . 478, 2011, pp. 506-510, doi: 10.1038 / nature10549 .
  21. W. Kolle (Ed.): Handbook of pathogenic microorganisms. Jena 1912, p. 8.
  22. Jean Noël Biraben: Les hommes et la peste en France et dans le pays européens et méditeranées I-II. Paris 1975–1976, IS 17.
  23. ^ Leonhard Fabian Hirst: The Conquest of Plague . Oxford 1953, pp. 343-347.
  24. MVS Import: Plague: acquittal for the rats . In: scinexx | The knowledge magazine . January 16, 2018 ( [accessed May 20, 2019]).
  25. Moseng p. 73.
  26. a b Graham Twigg: The Black Death. a Biological Reappraisal. London 1984, pp. 200-222.
  27. G. Blanc and M. Baltazard: “Recherches expérimentales sur la peste. L'infection de la puce de l'homme, Pulex irritans . ”In: Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des sciences (CR Acad. Sci.) 1941 Vol. 213, pp. 813-816.
  28. Pest researcher Karl Mayer wrote in the book review in 1954: “… some sections devoted to the present state of knowledge on plague ecology and control are all too short. It must be noted as well that some of the opinions vigorously propounded by the author are not shared by other modern plague workers. "( The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene . 1954 Vol. 3, pp. 580-581.)
  29. Lars Walløe: "Var middelalderens pester og modern pest samm sykdom?" In: Historisk Tidskrift (Trondheim) 2010 vol. 89, pp. 14-28, 21.
  30. David E. Davis, "The Scarcity of Rats: An Ecological History," in: Journal of Interdisciplinary Histora XVI, 3, 1986, 455-470.
  31. ^ Liber Canonis, Basel 1556 Liber IV. Fen. I tract. 4, p. 807: “Et de eis quae significant illud (the coming of the plague), et ut videas mures et animalia quae habitant sub terra fugere ad superficiem terrae et pati sedar (Arabic word), id est, commoveri hinc inde sicut animalia ebria. ”Quoted in Abel, p. 97.
  32. Joannes filius Mesue: Opera. Venice 1484. Quoted in Abel p. 98.
  33. ^ Carlo M. Cipolla: Christofano and the Plague. Berkeley / Los Angeles 1973, pp. 17-18.
  34. Abel quotes on p. 109 texts from the 16th century: “When rats, moles and other animals, whose habit is to live underground, leave their caves and dwellings, this is a sign that putrefaction is taking place in them go ”, and Stromer von Auerbach: Regiment, how to protect yourself against the pestilence. Leipzig 1517: Before the plague “an unnecessarily large number of poisonous animals, mice, rats, snakes, flies, caterpillars, etc. grow up, as they probably stay in caves under the earth, but if the earth rots and the cause is the pestilence, escape they get out of their loopholes and we see them often and a lot. "
  35. ^ Conrad Gessner : Historia animalium. Tiguri 1551. Book IS 831.
  36. ^ Matthew J. Keeling and Chris A. Gilligan, "Metapopulation dynamics of bubonic plague". In: Nature 407, pp. 903-906; and the same: “Bubonic plague: a metapopulation model of a zoonosis”. In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Biological Sciences 267 (2000) pp. 2219-2230.
  37. Matthew J. Keeling and Chris A. Gilligan: "Metapopulation ..."
  38. Michel McCormick; "Rats, Communications, and Plague: Toward an Ecological History." In: Journal of Interdisciplinary History XXXIV, 1, 2003, pp. 1–25, p. 14.
  39. David E. Davis: "The Scarcity of rats and the Black death. An Ecological History. ”In: Journal of Interdisciplinary History. 1986 Vol. 16, pp. 455-470.
  40. ^ Erik Pontoppidan: Norges natural history . 1752. Vol. 2 chap. I § ​​19. (English translation: The Natural History of Norway).
  41. PH Yvinec, P. Ponel and J.-Cl. Beaucournu: "Premiers apports arcéoentomologiques (Siphonaptera)." In: Bulletin de la Societé entomologique de France 105, 4, 2000, pp. 419-425.
  42. Susan Scott and Christopher Duncan: Biology of Plagues: Evidence from Historical Populations. Cambridge 2001, pp. 384-389.
  43. Twiggs: The Black Death ...
  44. ^ SR Duncan, S Scott, CJ Duncan: "Hypothesis: Reappraisal of the historical selective pressures for the CCR5- {Delta} 32 mutation." In: Journal of Medical Genetics . 2005, pp. 205-208.
  45. ^ Jean Gerard Dijkstra: Een epidemiologische Beschouwing van de Nederlandsche Pest-Epidemieën of the XVIIde Eeuw. Amsterdam 1921, pp. 66-74.
  46. ^ Alison P. Galvani, Montgomery Slatkin: "Evaluating plague and smallpox as historical selective pressures for the CCR5Δ32 HIV-resistance allele." In: Proceedings of the National Academy of the United States of America. 2003 Vol. 100, pp. 15276-15279. Here are the abstracts
  47. ^ "Hereditary resistance to AIDS." In: Uni | in | form of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. December 2004 issue 4, p. 4.
  48. Simon Rasmussen et al .: Early Divergent Strains of Yersinia pestis in Eurasia 5,000 Years Ago. In: Cell . Volume 163, No. 3, 2015, pp. 571-582, doi: 10.1016 / j.cell.2015.10.009
  49. Pest reached Central Europe and parts of Germany as early as the Stone Age. Max Planck Institute for the History of Human History, November 22, 2017 [1]
  50. Johannes Krause, Thomas Trappe: The journey of our genes. A story about us and our ancestors . 7th edition. Propylaea, Berlin 2019, ISBN 978-3-549-10002-8 , pp. 183 ff .
  51. Johannes Krause, Thomas Trappe: The journey of our genes. A story about us and our ancestors . 7th edition. Propylaea, Berlin 2019, ISBN 978-3-549-10002-8 , pp. 184 f .
  52. Genome of the Black Death completely reconstructed (PDF; 861 kB), press release of the University of Tübingen, October 12, 2011. A draft genome of Yersinia pestis from victims of the Black Death, doi : 10.1038 / nature10549
  53. David M. Wagner et al .: Yersinia pestis and the Plague of Justinian 541-543 AD: a genomic analysis , in: The Lancet. Infectious Diseases 14.4 (2014) 319-326.
  54. Henrike Frey-Anthes: Art. Illness and Healing (AT) . In: Das Wissenschaftliche Bibellexikon im Internet ( [2] ), 2007 (date of access: January 7, 2014), Section 6.1.
  55. The plague prayers are printed. a. in TUAT II pp. 803ff., 808ff.
  56. Marcel Keller: On the trail of epidemics , in: Archeology in Germany 02 | 2017, p. 28 f.
  57. Georg Sticker : Hippokrates, Der Volkskrankheiten first and third book (around the year 434-430 BC). Translated, introduced and explained from the Greek. Verlag von Johann Ambrosius Barth, Leipzig 1923 (= Classics of Medicine. Volume 28), p. 104.
  58. ^ Perry RD, Fetherston JD. Yersinia pestis - Etiologic Agent of Plague. Clin Microbiol Rev. 1997
  59. Yersinia pestis DNA from Skeletal Remains from the 6th Century AD Reveals Insights into Justinianic Plague
  60. ^ William Bernstein: A Splendid Exchange - How Trade Shaped the World. Atlantic Books, London 2009, ISBN 978-1-84354-803-4 , p. 136.
  61. ^ William Bernstein: A Splendid Exchange - How Trade Shaped the World. Atlantic Books, London 2009, ISBN 978-1-84354-803-4 , p. 137.
  62. ^ William Bernstein: A Splendid Exchange - How Trade Shaped the World. Atlantic Books, London 2009, ISBN 978-1-84354-803-4 , p. 138.
  63. ^ William Bernstein: A Splendid Exchange - How Trade Shaped the World. Atlantic Books, London 2009, ISBN 978-1-84354-803-4 , pp. 138f.
  64. ^ Li Tang: Searching for traces on historical paths. East Syrian Christianity in Medieval China [3]
  65. Kyrgyzstan: Plague in the tourist area of ​​Issyk Kul , September 5, 2013 [4]
  66. So u. a. Gerhard Fouquet , Gabriel Zeilinger: Disasters in the late Middle Ages. WBG (Scientific Book Society), Darmstadt 2011, ISBN 978-3-534-24699-1 , p. 107 ff.
  67. "Yersinia pestis" bacterium clearly proven to cause black death , August 30, 2011; Genome of the black death fully reconstructed ( PDF file, 841 kB), press release from the University of Tübingen, October 12, 2011 (with pictures)
  68. ^ Gundolf Keil: Hans von Lucken. In: Burghart Wachinger et al. (Hrsg.): The German literature of the Middle Ages. Author Lexicon . 2nd, completely revised edition, volume 3. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1981, ISBN 3-11-007264-5 , column 457 f.
  69. ^ Gundolf Keil: Schindler, Jordan. In: Author's Lexicon . 2nd Edition. Volume 8, Col. 679 f.
  70. ^ Wolfgang Wegner: Heinrich von Lübeck. In: Encyclopedia of Medical History. 2005, p. 563.
  71. ^ Wolfgang Wegner: Heinrich of Saxony. In: Encyclopedia of Medical History. 2005, p. 564.
  72. ^ Wolfgang Wegner: Bernhard von Rostock , Heinrich von Lübeck and Schwenninger, Rudolf. In: Encyclopedia of Medical History. 2005, pp. 169, 563 and 1311 f.
  73. ^ Diplomatarium Norvegicum XXI, 431.
  74. Winkle, p. 456.
  75. ↑ Plague cemeteries, plague chapels and broom chapels in the vicinity of Hergatz. Archived from the original on June 5, 2012 ; Retrieved November 19, 2013 .
  76. Ogier Ghiselin de Busbeeg, imperial envoy at the Sublime Porte from 1556 to 1562, in a letter (Winkle, p 466)
  77. ^ Rudolf Peitz, Gundolf Keil: The 'Decem quaestiones de medicorum statu'. Observations on the medical class of the 14th and 15th centuries. In: Specialized prose research - Crossing borders. Volume 8/9, 2012/2013 (2014), pp. 283-297.
  78. Gundolf Keil: 'Paris Pestgutachten'. In: Author's Lexicon . 2nd Edition. Volume 7, 1987, Col. 309-312.
  79. ^ Bernhard D. Haage: A new text testimony to the plague poem of Hans Andree. In: Specialized prose research - Crossing borders. Volume 8/9, 2012/2013, pp. 267–282, here: pp. 267 and 273.
  80. Rudolf Sies (Ed.): The 'Paris Pestgutachten' from 1348 in the old French version. (= Studies on medieval plague literature. Part 4), (Medical dissertation Würzburg) Pattensen near Hann. [now: Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg] 1977 (= Würzburg medical historical research. Volume 7). Review: Kurt Baldinger in the magazine for Romance philology. Volume 94, 1978, pp. 426-429.
  81. ^ Gundolf Keil: Remedium to ryme before de pestilenciam . In: Burghart Wachinger et al. (Hrsg.): The German literature of the Middle Ages. Author Lexicon . 2nd, completely revised edition. tape 7 'Oberdeutscher Servatius' - Reuchart from Salzburg. . De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1989, ISBN 3-11-007264-5 , pp. 1222 f .
  82. Gundolf Keil: The anatomei-term in the Paracelsus pathology. With a historical perspective on Samuel Hahnemann. In: Hartmut Boockmann, Bernd Moeller , Karl Stackmann (eds.): Life lessons and world designs in the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern age. Politics - Education - Natural History - Theology. Report on colloquia of the commission to research the culture of the late Middle Ages 1983 to 1987 (= treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen: philological-historical class. Volume III, No. 179). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1989, ISBN 3-525-82463-7 , pp. 336-351, here (cited): p. 345.
  83. ^ Gundolf Keil: Sense of the highest masters of Paris . In: Werner E. Gerabek, Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil, Wolfgang Wegner (eds.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte . De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2005, ISBN 3-11-015714-4 , pp. 1337 .
  84. ^ Gundolf Keil: 'Letter to the woman from Plauen' . In: Burghart Wachinger et al. (Hrsg.): The German literature of the Middle Ages. Author Lexicon . 2nd, completely revised edition. tape 1 . De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1978, ISBN 3-11-007264-5 , Sp. 1035 f .
  85. Wolfgang Wegner: Letter to the wife of Plauen . In: Werner E. Gerabek et al. (Ed.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte . 2005, p. 209 .
  86. ^ Gundolf Keil, Heinz Bergmann: The Munich Pest-Laßmännchen. Standardization tendencies in late medieval German plague therapy. In: Gundolf Keil, Peter Assion, Willem F. Daems, Heinz-Ulrich Roehl (eds.): Specialized prose studies. Berlin 1982, pp. 318-330.
  87. Matthias Nuewenburgensis : Cronica 1273-1350 . In: Johann Friedrich Böhmer (Ed.): Fontes rerum Germanicarum . tape 4 Heinricus de Diessenhofen and other historical sources in Germany in the later Middle Ages . JG Cotta'scher Verlag, 1868, p. 261 ( ).
  88. Manuscript Census .
  89. ^ Andreas Rutz: Old German translations of the Prague 'Sendbrief' ('Missum imperatori'). Studies on medieval plague literature, I. Medical dissertation Bonn 1972.
  90. See also Gloria Werthmann-Haas: Old German translations of the Prague 'Sendbrief' ("Missum imperatori"). Revised based on the edition by Andreas Rutz. (= Studies on medieval plague literature. Volume 1). Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1983 (= Würzburg medical historical research. Volume 27). At the same time medical dissertation in Würzburg 1983.
  91. ^ Rudolf Peitz, Gundolf Keil: The 'Decem quaestiones de medicorum statu'. Observations on the medical class of the 14th and 15th centuries. 2012/2013, p. 283.
  92. Cf. for example: Franz Gräser, Gundolf Keil: Die Pestrezepte des Fuldaer Codex Aa 129. Investigations into an East Franconian compilation of the 15th century. In: Journal for German Antiquity and German Literature. Volume 109, 1980, pp. 72-85.
  93. Wolfgang Wegner: Ostbrabanter Theriaktraktat. In: Encyclopedia of Medical History. 2005, p. 1081.
  94. ^ Lorenzo Del Panta: Le epidemie nella storia demografia italiana (secoli XIV-XIX ). Turin 1980.
  95. ^ Paul Slack: "Mortality crises and epidemic disease in England 1485-1610." In: Charles Webster (Ed.): Health, medicine and mortality in the sixteenth century. (Cambridge 1979) p. 40.
  96. ^ Joseph-Francois Malgaigne: Œvre de Paré. Paris 1841. Volume III. Book 24 chap. II p. 364.
  97. ^ Peter Kolb: The hospital and health system. In: Ulrich Wagner (Hrsg.): History of the city of Würzburg. 4 volumes, Volume 1: From the beginnings to the outbreak of the Peasants' War. 2001, ISBN 3-8062-1465-4 , pp. 386-409 and 647-653, here: p. 402.
  98. Erich Keyser: "The plague in Germany and its research." In: Actes du colloque international de Demographie Historique, Liège 1963.
  99. Peter Friedrich Suhm: Fra Aar 1340 to 1375. History of Danmark XIII. Copenhagen 1826, p. 389.
  100. ^ Peter Friedrich Suhm: Fra Aar 1340 to 1375.
  101. Ibs, pp. 97-99.
  102. Moseng (2006) p. 255.
  103. ^ EA Wrigley and Roger Schofield: The Population History of England 1541-1871. A reconstruction. London 1981, pp. 207-215.
  104. No. XII of the "Scriptores rerum svecicarum medii aevi ex schedis praecipue nordinianis collectos disposios ac emendatos". Uppsala 1818-1876.
  105. ^ Zvi Razi: Life, Marriage and Death in a Medieval Parish: Economy, Society and Demography in Halesowen, 1270-1400. Cambridge University Press 1980, pp. 124-131.
  106. lbs S. 199-204.
  107. There is not only information about this in the fragments of the Skálholts-annáll, in the Gottskálks-annáll, the Lögmanns-annáll and the Flatey-annáll, but also numerous documents in Norwegian documents. The Annálar limit themselves to one sentence and do not give any more precise information about the affected area, but say “in Norway” or “all over Norway”. The dates vary between 1371 (Skálholt and Gottskálk), 1372 (Lögmann) and 1373 (Flatey). Other sources point to 1370 and that the epidemic originated in Oslo and Nidaros. The sources also show that the crisis began in autumn. The epidemic can be assigned to the third Northern European plague epidemic ( Diplomatarium Norwegicum VI, 278, incorrectly dated to 1371, but it has been proven that the text was written in 1370).
  108. ^ Gunnar Karlsson and Helgi Skúli Kjartansson: "Plágurnar miklu á Íslandi". In: Saga XXXII (1994)
  109. Samlinger til den Danske Historie I, 1, p. 164.
  110. Anders Lindblom (ed.): Vadstena klosters minnebok Diarivm vazstenense. Stockholm 1918.
  111. lbs S. 206-207.
  112. Friedrich v. Zglinicki : Uroscopy in the fine arts. An art and medical historical study of the urine examination. Ernst Giebeler, Darmstadt 1982, ISBN 3-921956-24-2 , p. 81 f.
  113. John Hatscher, "Mortality in the Fifteenth Century: Some New Evidence." In: Economic History Review 2nd ser. XXXIX, 1, (1986) p. 17.
  114. lbs S. 124th
  115. Moseng p. 319.
  116. CF Allen: De tre nordiske Rigers Historie under Hans Christiern den Andes, Frederik den Første, Gustav Vasa, Grevefejden 1497–1536. IV. København 1864–1872.
  117. ^ John Alexander: Bubonic Plague in Early Modern Russia. Baltimimore / London 1980, p. 16 and the same: "Reconsiderations on Plague in Early Modern Russia." In: Yearbooks for the History of Eastern Europe. New episode 34, 2 (1986). Pp. 244-254.
  118. Silvio Bucher: The plague in Eastern Switzerland. Sankt Gallen 1979 (= New Years Papers of the Historical Association of the Canton of St. Gallen , 119).
  119. Shrewsbury pp. 162-166.
  120. Noordegraaf and Valck (1988) p. 225.
  121. a b Ibs p. 125.
  122. There is a letter from Hamburg to Christian II in April or May 1525, where this plague is mentioned (Diplomatarium Norwegicum XII No. 338, p. 350).
  123. lbs S. 126th
  124. ^ Report on sweat addiction from the year 1529 , printed in Georg Christian Friedrich Lisch : The sweat addiction in Meklenburg in 1529 and the princely personal physician, Professor Dr. Rhembertus Giltzheim. In: Yearbooks of the Association for Mecklenburg History and Archeology, Vol. 3 (1838), pp. 60–83 ( digitized version )
  125. Nordegraaf and Valck 1988, p. 226.
  126. Benedictow (1987) pp. 131-133.
  127. Moseng p. 327.
  128. Slack 1985, pp. 57, 58, 358.
  129. lbs S. 127-129.
  130. Archived copy ( memento of the original from January 31, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  131. H. Wendt, J. Leuschner: History of the Welfenfürstentums Grubenhagen, the office and the city of Osterode, Georg Olms Verlag, 1988, p. 5.
  132. 16,000 Venetians die of the plague
  133. ^ Frank Andert (Red.): Radebeul City Lexicon . Historical manual for the Loessnitz . Published by the Radebeul City Archives. 2nd, slightly changed edition. City archive, Radebeul 2006, ISBN 3-938460-05-9 , p. 149 f .
  134. ^ Church book Bielen, Volume 1b, p. 135
  135. The London Times reported on September 1, 1877, of a wave of plague in Persia and Mesopotamia, particularly in the spring months . The Dr. Tholozan, the Shah's personal physician , had presented statistical data to the Academy of Sciences in Paris that testify to 50 deaths per day in Baghdad and a mortality rate of around a third of those infected. The carriers were probably mostly pilgrims.
  136. HM Jettmar: "Experiences about the plague in Transbaikalia". In: Medical Microbiology and Immunology Vol. 97 (January 1923) pp. 322-329.
  137. ^ Dan C. Cavanaugh, James E. Williams: Plague: Some Ecological Interrelationsships. In: R. Traub, H. Starcke (Ed.): Fleas, Proceedings of the International Conference on Fleas. Ashton Wold, Peterborough, UK, 21-25 June 1977. Rotterdam 1980, pp. 245-256, here: p. 251.
  138. ^ Notification of illness from the Tropical Institute from September 20, 2017
  139. Announcement from the World Health Organization dated November 2, 2017
  140. Der Tagesspiegel from April 5, 2018
  141. ^ Thucydides, Peloponnesian War II 51 ff.
  142. Akers is des tôdes grunt,
    there is no wan tôt od unsunty;
    and die a hundred tûsent dâ,
    one complained an ésel mê anderswâ.

    (Humility: The Acre Proverbs)

  143. Winkle, p. 443.
  144. Ernst Kern : Seeing - Thinking - Acting of a surgeon in the 20th century. ecomed, Landsberg am Lech 2000, ISBN 3-609-20149-5 , p. 252.
  145. Review of Manfred Vasold: Die Pest . In: H-Soz-Kult .