There are several things that affected cities of the world as they were developing. There were many overthrowing wars and a couple of plagues that came to thrive during this time and Venice was not an exception. In 1347-1350, there was a certain pandemic which came to existence and claimed the lives of many people. This plague devastated the population of Europe and Asia at large.
What did Venice do to combat the Plague?
Are you wondering how the authorities and doctors tried to combat this plague? Definitely you must be wondering how this came to an end.
During the first few years, doctors didn’t know how to approach the problem. However, for some resident who believed the home remedies prepared their own medications.
- Some of the traditional doctors left the blood of the patients flowing after a cut to reduce the instances of hot blood. Similarly, they recommended clearing the throat or blowing the nose as a way of getting rid of too much cold.
- Some health practitioners at this point in time also used mint sauce, apple sauce, and horseradish to balance the dry, hot and cold diets. Other cures they tried included:
- Use of onions, chopped snake and herbs. They were boiled and rubbed over the affected areas on the body.
- They also administered Vinegar for drinking and eating crushed minerals. Some others also opted for mercury and arsenic.
- Many people would as we’ll sit around a sewer or a fireplace to drive out the fever. They also chose to fumigate the house with herbs to purify the hair.
- As we all know, Italy had a religious tradition and so many people believed that God was punishing them. What they did to seek forgiveness was to whip themselves.
Later in the century, doctors learned that they can help patients by bursting the buboes. They later started testing the urine for color and health and later administered some cures that people believed were helpful.
This tragedy was known as the Black Death that resulted in many changes in the Italians way of life. It actually marked an end of an era in Italy. Similarly, it had so many influences on the way people lived in Italy and also resulted in a wider social and economic change. By the end of the plague, there were also many economic, social-economic, religious and cultural changes that impacted the lifestyle of the people living in Venice.
The changes also had some influence either directly or indirectly on the way people lived and conducted themselves. The changes also lead to the development and the emergence of renaissance which is known as one of the greatest episodes of art, architecture, and literature in human history.
Impact of the Plague
This plague spread from modern-day Russia to Italy. The means through which this plague spread was very easy. The Genoese Merchants spread it while they were fleeing from the Mongol attacks in Crimea. This is actually what spread the plague from modern-day Russia to Italy.
Furthermore, the fleas that were known to live on the Black Rat carried this plague. These rats were actually brought to Italy on the Genoese ships. The people in Italy were less prepared for the disease and for this reason many people had to follow a series of famine and food shortages in the region. Their population became weak and vulnerable which explains the reason why the majority of them were affected and died in large numbers.
Additionally, the population didn’t have natural resistance. By this time, Italy was known as the most urbanized society in Europe. The cities in Italy including Rome, Milan, and Florence were among the most developed in Italy. However, in several other parts of Italy, people lived in dirty conditions and improvised areas which also affected their health.
The above conditions and the fact that the children didn’t have enough food to eat, promoted the spread of diseases which continued to affect the masses. This means that the disease spread quite fast. There was also a high level of mortality among the poor class of people. This doesn’t mean that the rich escaped this plague. The diseases spread like wildfire and affected people in the villages and areas around the Peninsula.
The Consequences of the Plague
Most people would call the plague an unprecedented human tragedy in Italy. This tragedy shook the Italian Society and also had some devastating influence on Italian society. This shows that it transformed society and in a greater measure caused a source of worry for many people in the cities.
Although there is no data about the effects of this plague on the people in Italy, there are several examples that show the impact it had in Venice and Milan. At this point in time, the plague had already halved the population in Florence and several other cities in Italy. As a matter of fact, Florence initially had a population of 100,000 but later halved to 50,000.
The impact in Florence spread to other parts of Italy including Venice and the population was not spared. We wouldn’t say for sure the death toll was as high but we can state there was a significant loss of life. Some major cities in Italy also experienced the same drastic falls in their population. In general, the population in Italy may have dropped by as much as a third.
This plague was an economic crisis because many people ceased to undertake in any intercountry trade out of fear for the disease. It affected businesses to an extent trade stagnated and most economic activities failed. It also affected the number of people who were employed. The majority of them didn’t want to interact with their international merchants because of such risks.
All these issues show that the plague caused a specific and significant social breakdown in many areas. There were cases of people abandoning their occupations and others ignoring the sick because they feared the risk of infection. The majority of them risked living in the wilderness because they didn’t want to be associated with the people in urban areas.