The Black Death
The Black Death was a devastating global epidemic. It struck Europe and Asia. According to the scientists of today that plague spread due to a bacillus called Yersina pestis. The French biologist Alexandre Yersin discovered this germ at the end of the 19th century.
In August of 1348 came this Black Death. It is said that it travelled from Asia to Europe. This terrible pestilence changed the course of European history. It wiped out over half of European population. It was spread by fleas. The bodies of victims were buried in mass graves. The medical science of that time became helpless.
An official named Henry Knighton had reported that almost the whole strength of Bristol had died. According to him sometimes death ensued in the course of a few hours.
In A History of English Literature Arthur Compton Rickett has written that the result of this prodigious mortality was a sudden scarcity of labour. Efforts were made to keep the wages under control with the help of legislation. A series of Statutes were enacted.
The Italian poet Giovanni Boccaccio has pointed out that that malady affected men and women alike. The mere touching of the clothes used to communicate the malady to the toucher.