The Black Death is the name for a terrible disease that spread throughout Europe from 1347 to 1350. There was no cure for the disease and it was highly contagious.
The plague likely started in Asia and traveled westward along the Silk Road. The disease was carried by fleas that lived on rats. Historians think that black rats living on European merchant ships caught the disease, eventually bringing it to Europe.
Today we call this disease the bubonic plague. Very few people get the disease today and most of those that do recover fine. When people got the disease in the Middle Ages, they almost always died. People would get really sick including black and blue blotches all over their body. By the time the disease ran its course, it had killed at least one-third of the people in Europe and probably more. In Paris, France it's estimated that around 800 people died a day. There was so many dead that they couldn't bury them. They had to carry them to massive pits.
Many people were sure it was the end of the world. People locked their doors and tried to hide in their houses. However, this did little good in cities where rats, and therefore fleas, were everywhere. They also burned down houses and even entire villages to try and stop the disease.
Many people thought that the Black Death was punishment from God.It is estimated that somewhere between 75 million and 200 million people died of the plague.
Source: Ux Masrtery
Some scientists think it was a bacteria called Yersinia pestis that caused the disease.
The plague was not called the Black Death until many years later. Some think it was called this because of how the skin turned dark at the late stages of the disease, but it was more likely called "Black" to reflect the dark and horrible time in history.Some people thought that pockets of bad air released by earthquakes caused the plague. Others went so far as to blame Jewish people for bringing the plague to kill Christians.
The epidemic returned to Europe several times, but wasn't as bad as the Black Death period.
Fun fact!- Ring around the Rosie, song kids may know as a cute song; NOT! It was actually a depressing song from this time. This song explained how the people would protect themselves or how they got the black death.