Skip to main content

Home/ History with Holman/ Group items tagged Middle death

Rss Feed Group items tagged

Garth Holman

The Siege of Kaffa and the Black Death - History in an HourHistory in an Hour - 0 views

  • Between 1347 and 1350, the Black Death raged through Medieval Europe. Historians and biologists have traced the origins of this deadly pandemic to the remote steppes of Central Asia. Plague had certainly erupted there by 1331 but how exactly did it spread from East to West? After ravaging Central Asia, the plague descended on China, India and Persia. In China alone, the plague killed around half of the human population. Despite such destruction, commercial activities continued unabated. This meant that the traders, their vessels and the rats aboard became the agents of infection. As they travelled along the established trade routes of the medieval world, they unwittingly carried the plague with them.
  • For several years, the Mongols had allowed a group of merchants from Genoa to control Kaffa, a bustling seaport on the Crimean Peninsula. This was highly advantageous for the Mongols as it provided a direct link to Italy’s largest commercial centre and encouraged trade across all corners of their vast empire. Tensions and disagreements, however, were a common feature of this commercial relationship, arising primarily from their religious differences; the Italians were devoutly Christian and the Mongols had been practising Muslims since the 1200s.
  • ‘This Pestilential Disease’
  • ...2 more annotations...
  • “Whereupon the Tartars (Mongols), worn out by this pestilential disease, and falling on all sides as if thunderstruck, and seeing that they were perishing hopelessly, ordered the corpses to be placed upon their engines and thrown into the city of Kaffa. Accordingly were the bodies of the dead hurled over the walls, so that the Christians were not able to hide or protect themselves from this danger, although they carried away as many as possible and threw them into the sea.”
  • summer of 1347, the Italian merchants headed to their ships and the fled the city of Kaffa. En route, however, the Italians stopped at Constantinople, inadvertently infecting the city. Thousands of people were killed, including Andronikos, the son of the Greek Emperor, John VI Cantacuzenos. Those who were able fled the city, many not realising that they were already infected. By the autumn, the western coast of Asia Minor was experiencing the full force of the Black Death and it would not be long before returned home to infect their native Italy.
  •  
    Mongols, Kaffa, trade and the Black Death .
1 - 1 of 1
Showing 20 items per page