external image 800px-Smallpox01.jpg
Miniatur aus der Toggenburg-Bibel (Schweiz) von 1411. Die Krankheit wird allgemein für Pest gehalten.
Die Lage der Beulen oder Blasen deuten aber eher auf Pocken hin.
This image is generally interpreted as a depiction of plague. the Black Death.
From //Wikimedia Commons//

Jews identified by w:Yellow badge are being burned at stake (w:Luzerner Schilling, 1515)
Heritage. Civilization and the Jews by w:Abba Eban p.160 Credit: Burgerbibliothek, Lucerne
image source: Wikipedia

See also Mrs. Davison's slides on The Black Death

Primary Resources

(in translation)

Michael Platiensis

A description of the plague. This first account is from Messina, and it described the arrival and initial progress of the disease; from Michael Platiensis (1357), quoted in Johannes Nohl, The Black Death, trans. C.H. Clarke (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1926), pp. 18-20.


The onset of the Black Death, was described by Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375) in The Decameron (Introduction)

Boccaccio (2)

The Black Death, 1348
"No doctor's advice, no medicine could overcome or alleviate this disease." The deadly Plague invades Florence, Italy.
from Boccaccio, Giovanni, The Decameron vol. I (translated by Richard Aldington illustrated by Jean de Bosschere) (1930); Gottfried, Robert, The Black Death (1983).

Jean de Venette

On the Progress of the Black Death, from Richard A. Newhall, ed., Jean Birdsall, trans., The Chronicle of Jean de Venette (New York: Columbia University Press, 1953), pp. 48-51.

The Flagellants Attempt to Repel the Black Death, 1349

The Flagellants Attempt to Repel the Black Death, 1349
"Each had in his right hand a scourge with three tails." Religious zealots of the Middle Ages resort to extreme measures in an attempt to thwart the onslaught of the Plague.

Bern Window


Map showing the history and distribution of the black death around the world.

Map of spread of the plague

Further Resources

A linked list of primary resources on the web, from the Khan Academy Black Death page.

The Black Death in 90 Seconds

This video was made as part of the 2012 cohort of the MERIT program at the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California.

The Black Death – lecture by Sir Richard J. Evans

Given at the Museum of London on Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Published on Oct 4, 2012 by GreshamCollege

Bubonic plague first swept Europe in the age of Justinian, in the sixth century, killing an estimated 25 million people in the Byzantine Empire and spreading further west. Its most devastating outbreak was in mid-fourteenth-century Europe, when it destroyed perhaps a third of the continent's population. Italian city-states pioneered the policies of quarantine and isolation that remained standard preventive measures for many centuries; religious revival and popular disturbances, crime and conflict may have spread as life was cheapened by the mass impact of the plague. The economic effects of the drastic reduction in population were severe, though not necessarily negative. Later outbreaks of the plague culminated in outbreaks in Seville (1647), London (1665), Vienna (1679) and Marseilles (1720) and then it disappeared from Europe while recurring in Asia through the nineteenth century. The plague set the template for many later confrontations with epidemic disease, discussed in the following lectures.
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:

Open University . 7 Wonders of the Microbe World

Uploaded by OUlearn on Nov 29, 2011

Free learning from The Open University

Black Death Genome Sequenced

12 Oct 2011

Read the report and the transcript of this portion of the Guardian Science Weekly Podcast (You can listen on the webpage, or download the mp3 file.)

Google Earth file

Web Pages

Google Timeline Search Results for "Black Death" between 1300 and 1500

Google Timeline Search Results for "plague"

Historians views of the Black Death

Overview of the Black Death

In the Wake if the Black Death

The Mongols and the Plague: Spreading the Back Death.

Mar 10, 2009, Rebecca Hersh
"Many people overlook the connection between the Mongol empire and the Black Death. However, the great Eurasian empire may have been responsible for this epidemic."

The Black Death and Its Impact

external image FC71_0.bignail.png


A Cultural History of the Plague

Laura Ashe tells the story of the Black Death and discovers how plague changed our cultural landscape, and influences our responses to
current emergencies such as Ebola. Published on November 30, 2014.

Podcast episode

Stuff you missed in history

"How the Black Death Works"

You can listen to it on this wiki's here:


Watch the videos in the Vidéothèque on the Black Death.:

The Black Death Page in this wiki's Vidéothèque

The Seventh Seal

The Navigator

The Plague Song

BBC Radio 4 In Our TIme: The Black Death

Mind Map

Click on the image to go to the live mind map page

Most recent bookmarks tagged "black death" in the IB DP History - Medieval Option Group on Diigo:

Best content in IB DP History - Medieval Option | Diigo - Groups
  • The Black Death and early public health measures
    Comments:The international effects of Black DeathDeath and disease were familiar features of life in the Middle Ages, but previous epidemics were dwarfed by the arrival of the Black Death. It erupted out of central Asia to create a pandemic g...
  • Museum of London - The Black Death, 1348–1350
    Comments:In 1347 news reached England of a horrifying and incurable disease that was spreading from Asia through North Africa and Europe. The Black Death struck London in the autumn of 1348. No one knew how to stop the disease. During the next 18 ...
  • BBC - History - British History in depth: Black Death
    Comments:The Black Death was 'a squalid disease that killed within a week' and a national trauma that utterly transformed Britain. Dr Mike Ibeji follows its deadly path. - International School of Central SwitzerlandTags: history, blackdeath, Black...
  • Khanate of the Golden Horde
    Comments:It is even thought that bubonic plague spread to Europe after the Mongols laid siege to the port of Kaffa on the Crimean peninsula in 1346. After their own forces were stricken with plague, the Mongols catapulted their corpses over the wa...
  • The Mongols and Plague: Spreading the Black Death
    Comments:Many people overlook the connection between the Mongol empire and the Black Death. However, the great Eurasian empire may have been responsible for this epidemic. - International School of Central SwitzerlandTags: mongols, plague, blackde...
  • The Black Death: Bubonic Plague
    Tags: history, blackdeath, plague, medievalby: International School of Central Switzerland
  • The Black Death
    Comments:The Black Death  - background, description - International School of Central SwitzerlandTags: lesson, blackdeath, Black Death, History, plague, medievalby: International School of Central Switzerland
  • EDSITEment - Lesson Plan
    Comments:Europe in the first half of the 14th Century seemed to be preparing itself for significant changes. Cities grew in importance, though most of the population was still rural. Population increases had led to overuse of the available land. P...
  • Black Death - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Comments:article from Wikipedia on the Black Death - International School of Central SwitzerlandTags: blackdeath, pandemic, bubonic, plagueby: International School of Central Switzerland

Student Presentations

Right click on these files to download them, and open them in your computer.

The Plague of Sicily

Florence- Black Death

The Back Death in Avignon

Fact file

The Plague in France

The Plague in Bristol, Dorset and London

The Plague in Scotland and Ireland