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Bulletin of the History of Medicine The Black Death and the Transformation of the West. Edited by Samuel K. Cohn, Jr. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, This volume encompasses the text of three unpublished lectures of Professor Herlihy, rescued from the legacy of his research notes by the editor, who has also provided a useful critical introduction and editorial amplification. The central thesis of the work is to be found in the title--the transformation of the West.
Herlihy recognized a positive aspect to the catastrophe of the Black Death: a fresh start affording society and the economy an opportunity to move, and perhaps progress, in many alternative directions, thus breaking a relatively static equilibrium, a Malthusian deadlock.
The initial lecture approaches the question of the disease itself. Herlihy rightly questions the generally assumed etiology of the Black Death: was the agent the same as, or closely related to, that of present-day plague? He forcefully points out the greatest discrepancy, a lack of contemporary comments concerning rat epizootics paralleling the human epidemics; but his approach then becomes diffuse, based on the definition of contemporary verbal expressions and a need for the disease to fulfill all kinds of descriptions, be they contradictory or casual.
Remarkably, Herlihy ignores the historical continuity initiated by the Black Death, which was followed in western and central Europe first by three centuries of extraordinarily high mortality and consistent disease descriptions, then by continued activity in eastern Europe and the near East, and finally, by a retreat to Asia.
He is left with an undefined residue, a disease that simply appeared and soon disappeared, which is always a possibility but is essentially an untestable hypothesis.
Herlihy's view of the Malthusian crisis appears mechanistic: a too-numerous population calling forth an immediate, certain, and drastic readjustment. However, epidemics relate more to probabilities, requiring the presence of active foci of the etiologic agent and favorable contributing factors such as demographic state, population mobility, trade, climate, and so forth.
In the second lecture he discusses resultant changes in inflation; the relative values of rents, land, labor, and capital; and the relation of wage costs to increased efficiency, the introduction of new techniques, and alternative choices for capital investment. The final lecture explores the changing mode of thought and feeling. Formal religious practices deteriorated when the survivors were faced with the horror of the many dead, and with rising fears of contagion.
On the other hand, pilgrimages and spontaneous religious movements abounded. Herlihy proposed using the increased adoption of saints' names for children as a measure of a gradual rise in religious feeling. The disruptions in families also led to a greater regard for children, as attested to by larger provisions in wills; while at the same time those on the margins of society, particularly Jews and strangers, were regarded with intensified suspicion.
The heavy losses among the members of trades and guilds, among professionals and scholars, led to an immediate deterioration of [End Page ] quality but also stimulated reform and renewal. As one example, the small number of old international universities suffered from losses among students and faculties. But, at the same time, the need for clergy and professionals, aided by expanded benefactions, led to a rise in national universities, which in turn promoted cultural nationalism and eventually theological schisms.
The author and editor recognize the difficulty of defining precise causal relationships governing the social and economic changes because of the multiplicity of potential determinants and the variable time lag between cause and effect. They also point out the need for a great breadth of studies, rather than basing conclusions solely on a given limited region. This work is not a detailed study, but a stimulating overview by a mature mind.
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In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Bulletin of the History of Medicine Edward A. Eckert University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, emeritus If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution or have your own login and password to Project MUSE.
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Bulletin of the History of Medicine The Black Death and the Transformation of the West. Edited by Samuel K. Cohn, Jr. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, This volume encompasses the text of three unpublished lectures of Professor Herlihy, rescued from the legacy of his research notes by the editor, who has also provided a useful critical introduction and editorial amplification.
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Explanations have tended to invoke the effects of climate change increasing aridity , political transformations, and religious conversion. However, more recently scholars have increasingly suggested that this regional pattern could be in part the result of plague epidemics. In this paper we explore the methodological challenges inherent in linking abandonments with the effects of epidemics in the archaeological record through a contextualized examination of settlement pattern data from recent archaeological research at sites in Burkina Faso and Mali. While plague cannot be definitively identified based on settlement pattern data alone, current evidence supports the possibility that plague affected populations in this area of West Africa. A broader view of sites throughout West Africa indicates that the possible effects of plague were widespread.
Tags: The Black Death: A Personal History by John Hatcher Free download, epub, docs, New York Times, ppt, audio books, Bloomberg, NYT, books to read, good books to read, cheap books, good books, online books, books online, bookreviews, read books online, books to read online, online library, greatbooks to read, best books to read, top books to read The Black Death: A Personal History by John Hatcher books to read online. Search this site. In this fresh approach to the history of the Black Death, John Hatcher, a world-renowned scholar of the Middle Ages, recreates everyday life in a mid-fourteenth century rural English village. By focusing on the experiences of ordinaryvillagers as they lived—and died—during the Black Death —50 AD , Hatcher vividly places the reader directly into those tumultuous years and describes in fascinating detail the day-to-day existence of people struggling with thetragic effects of the plague. Dramatic scenes portray how contemporaries must have experienced and thought about the momentous events—and how they tried to make sense of it all. Susan says This excellent book is a creative reconstruction of a village in crisis, from -
It is widely thought to have been an outbreak of plague caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, an argument supported by The Black Death of was one of the great and possibly understated event in Western History. The second and largest outbreak was the medieval Black Death, the subject of this book. Author: American Historical Association. I found that the professor in the course, in fact, used significant material from Zeigler's work. The Black Death gives the reader a collection of primary sources written by various authors detailing everything to do with the plague. A fascinating work of detective history, The Black Death traces the causes and far-reaching consequences of this infamous outbreak of plague that spread across the continent of Europe from to
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Institution Western Illinois University.Reply
Looking beyond the view of the plague as unmitigated catastrophe, Herlihy finds evidence for its role in the advent of new population controls, the The Black Death and the Transformation of the West Read Online · Download PDF. Save.Reply
Published post-humously (Herlihy died in ), this is essentially three lectures concerning first the epidemiology of the plague of - , the economic.Reply
Top reviews from other countries This book is essentially a collection of 3 essays made from the notes of David Herlihy and published posthumously. The essays.Reply