Possible Origin of the Black Plague

Here.

The standard view is that twelve ships from Florence docked at Messina in 1347, bringing the Plague to Europe. It would later kill 1/3 of all Europeans and an incredible 20% of all humans. It would be as if 1.6 billion people died in only seven years or as if 66 million Americans died over a seven year period. Can you imagine? In my city alone, 12,000 people would be dead. Of every five people you knew at the start of the period, one would be dead after seven years. Can you imagine? That would not have left one person unscathed.

A new view though is that the Plague, which had already been active in Asia for a while, came to Europe via a biological warfare attack by Genghis Khan’s raiders on the city of Caffa in the Crimea. The Caffans were probably Turkic speakers at this time, but it is hard to say what Turkic lect they may have spoken. Perhaps a dead language called Cuman.

Khan’s raiders besieged the city and a number of people died of the Black Plague in the conflict. Khan’s men suspected a thing or two about biological warfare, so they loaded up the bodies that had died of the plague and catapulted them over the walls of the city into the population. Can you  imagine the horror of looking out your window and see a dead, bubonic plague ridden corpse fly by in the air at rapid speed to splatter nearby. Good Lord. In due time, this biological warfare killed a lot of the people in  the city.

Khan knew nothing of the  germ theory of disease, but experience with the plague showed that those who came in contact with victims tended to sicken and die. No one knew what was causing it. One European physician posited that plague victims radiated some sort of death vapors or essence out of their very eyes. Without medical science, people had to fall back on spiritual theories.

But people caught on quickly that being around plague victims could quickly make you a victim yourself. Physicians refused to treat plague patients and patients were often abandoned wherever they sickened. Family members even fled from their own sickened members, leaving them to die in the home while countless people fled to the countryside. But even there they were not safe. Even farm animals, cows, pigs, goats and sheep, caught the plague. So many sheep died that there was an acute wool shortage all over Europe for years afterwards. There was no solace or respite anywhere. The epidemic ended almost as fast as it began in 1354, but Europe was ruined. Entire cities had been abandoned as thousands of residents fled to the false safety of the countryside.

Many people escaped from Khan”s raid on Caffa, and survivors fled all over the Mediterranean. This people soon sickened and died. It was possibly from some of this group, fled to Florence, that the ill-fated death ships docked in Messina on that warm October night. The disease was in Southern France the next year and Germany soon after that. Not long afterwards, it hit Paris. And despite the primitive conditions of the day, it was not long in  Paris before London was also hit. People did have ships in those days you know.

Despite the enticing new theory, the medical journal concludes that the entrance of the Plague to Europe was multifactorial and the infection of the Caffa population did not play an important role in the European pandemic.

13 Comments

Filed under Altaic, Animals, Asia, Britain, Death, Domestic, Europe, European, France, Germany, Health, History, Illness, Italy, Language Families, Linguistics, Middle Ages, Public Health, Regional, Turkic, War

13 responses to “Possible Origin of the Black Plague

  1. Jason Y

    Oh Gosh, 😆 Too bad it didn’t kill ALL those Europeans, then we SJWs would have nothing to complain about.

    Anyway, massive germ warfare took out the Amerindians, so that’s why the colonization of the New World was mostly a guilt-free event. Well, we can note the germ warfare wasn’t intentionally done in the New World.

  2. There is speculation that the Black Death was actually Anthrax spores.
    This is based off of the idea that the Bubonic plague must’ve been well established in rodent populations, which takes more time than how long it took the Black Death to spread.
    This would also make sense in an agricultural world….

  3. Kelly Wertz - Harris

    I hope you check your email soon. Eric alter contacted me

    On Jun 28, 2017 5:36 PM, “Beyond Highbrow – Robert Lindsay” wrote:

    > Robert A. Lindsay posted: “Here. The standard view is that twelve ships > from Florence docked at Messina in 1347, bringing the Plague to Europe. It > would later kill 1/3 of all Europeans and an incredible 20% of all humans. > It would be as if 1.6 billion people died in only seven yea” >

  4. jason voorhees

    Officially rats brought the plague but I want to add that next to Africa China has ushered for many plagues unto the world-SARS, Bird Flu. Africans of course seem to be the source of venereal plagues like AIDS because of their rampant screwing but China’s high population density seems to breed many contagions.

    • Yee

      Most diseases come from hot places and from animals, TRASH. China is not a tropical country. I’ll bet far more plagues happened in tropical regions throughout history, just not recorded.

      Anyway, I’m not buying the theory that Genghis khan brought Black Death to Europe. It kills too quickly to spread long distance.

      It’s not like you could ride a horse across thousands of miles within days. Genghis khan’s army would have been all ghosts before they reached Europe if they had Black Death among them.

  5. Daniel

    Gengis Khan had been dead for 100 years or so before this purported siege of Caffa.The siege was conducted by one of his successor states.

  6. Daniel

    OT: But Rob Lowe, the actor, claims an encounter with Bigfoot out in the Ozarks.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4650558/Rob-Lowe-says-feared-death-bigfoot-like-encounter.html

    In the past you have mentioned the Ozarks as one of the nesting grounds of a tribe of Bigfoot.

  7. Daniel

    The Black Death was good for the 2/3 of Europeans who survived it. Farm compensation shot way up. Landlords had no choice but to offer more attractive terms or their fields would lie fallow. Not so good for agricultural workers in part os Easter Europe. The Black Death was directly connected to the installation of the Serf system. When labor was free to move for more attractive arrangements, landlords got pissed off, so they instituted serfdom, tying labor to the land.

    The black death also, inadvertently, led to the establishment of African slaves by Europeans. There wasn’t enough free labor (at the right price, that is) for Europeans to exploit the lands and mines of the New World. They tried Indians, but it didn’t work and so came up with the idea of importing Africans.

    A generalized shortage of labor is good for workers, bad for capitalists. This is a prime reason why immigration should be restricted into western countries. Without immigration labor would have much greater leverage versus Capital. Open borders fanatics hate labor. All they care about is cheap labor, regardless of the consequences that befall society at large.

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