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Lost documents shed light on Black Death
The Times ^ | June 1, 2007 | Simon de Bruxelles

Posted on 06/01/2007 6:38:06 AM PDT by Daffynition

For centuries, rats and fleas have been fingered as the culprits responsible for the Black Death, the medieval plague that killed as many as two thirds of Europe’s population.

But historians studying 14th-century court records from Dorset believe they may have uncovered evidence that exonerates them. The parchment records, contained in a recently-discovered archive, reveal that an estimated 50 per cent of the 2,000 people living in Gillingham died within four months of the Black Death reaching the town in October 1348.

The deaths are recorded in land transfers lodged with the manorial court which – unusually for the period – sat every three weeks, giving a clear picture of who had died and when. The records show that 190 of the 300 tenants holding land in the town died during the winter of 1348-49, at a time when a form of bubonic plague spread by rat fleas would have been dormant.

Experts now believe that the Black Death is more likely to have been a viral infection, similar to haemorrhagic fever or ebola, that spread from person to person.

The records came to light after they were donated to the Dorset History Centre by a firm of solicitors in whose office attic they had been stored.

The historian Dr Susan Scott, of the University of Liverpool, said the documents backed up her theory that the outbreak was not caused by bubonic plague.

She said: “Bubonic plague relies on fleas breeding and it is too cold during winter in Britain for this to happen.”


TOPICS: Hobbies
KEYWORDS: blackdeath; blackplague; bubonicplague; epidemics; godsgravesglyphs; theplague; yersiniapestis
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So boyz ... you're off the hook for now.


1 posted on 06/01/2007 6:38:07 AM PDT by Daffynition
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To: rainbow sprinkles

Well, maybe. I’d want to see a lot more evidence than this.

Some historians or epidemiologists have suggested that the people were so dirty they were supporting fleas that usually lived on rodents, or that the exterior temperature was irrelevant, since the people and rodents lived indoors.

Others have suggested a strain of disease that could be carried by human-hosted fleas.

Others say the evidence indicates an air- or droplet-transmitted strain in conjunction with the flea-carried strain.


2 posted on 06/01/2007 6:43:09 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("Is there any extra food around here anywhere?")
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To: rainbow sprinkles
too cold during winter in Britain for this to happen

Was it so back then or might that have been during a warming period? And while it may have been too cold even in the house for fleas to breed on pets and vermin, hygiene was not high on the list of traits of those ancestors. I'm sure humans carried enough fleas and kept themselves warm enough for them to breed. I suspect that once the disease had a foothold, humans were fully capable of doing the rats' work to spread it. Heck, if the court met on an extraoridnarily frequent basis, there's your vector!!! The unusually chummy folk ensured the spread!

3 posted on 06/01/2007 6:49:13 AM PDT by NonValueAdded (Fred Thompson in 2008 - there is no doubt about it! [GWB has jumped the duck])
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To: NonValueAdded
The Medieval Warm Period was a time of unusually warm weather around 800-1300 AD. So, the Black Death comes a little after this, but it seems possible that fleas were breeding during the "cold season".

But in fact the notion that a pneumonic form of plague -- spread by sneezing and coughing, and not dependent on fleas, has been around for a long time. I guess one of the questions is: Did the Bubonic Plague take two forms, or were there two different diseases?

4 posted on 06/01/2007 6:58:24 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Enoch Powell was right.)
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To: NonValueAdded
I wonder if the origin of the term "flea circus" came out of the monarchy?


5 posted on 06/01/2007 7:53:11 AM PDT by Daffynition (A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.)
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To: rainbow sprinkles

Bubonic Plague is native to America, which is where it came from during pre-Columbian trade.


6 posted on 06/01/2007 7:55:40 AM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Treaty)
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To: rainbow sprinkles
Plague is an infectious disease that affects animals and humans. It is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. This bacterium is found in rodents and their fleas and occurs in many areas of the world, including the United States.

Y. pestis is easily destroyed by sunlight and drying. Even so, when released into air, the bacterium will survive for up to one hour, although this could vary depending on conditions.

Pneumonic plague occurs when Y. pestis infects the lungs. This type of plague can spread from person to person through the air. Transmission can take place if someone breathes in aerosolized bacteria, which could happen in a bioterrorist attack. Pneumonic plague is also spread by breathing in Y. pestis suspended in respiratory droplets from a person (or animal) with pneumonic plague. Becoming infected in this way usually requires direct and close contact with the ill person or animal. Pneumonic plague may also occur if a person with bubonic or septicemic plague is untreated and the bacteria spread to the lungs.

Bubonic plague is the most common form of plague. This occurs when an infected flea bites a person or when materials contaminated with Y. pestis enter through a break in a person's skin. Patients develop swollen, tender lymph glands (called buboes) and fever, headache, chills, and weakness. Bubonic plague does not spread from person to person.

Septicemic plague occurs when plague bacteria multiply in the blood. It can be a complication of pneumonic or bubonic plague or it can occur by itself. When it occurs alone, it is caused in the same ways as bubonic plague; however, buboes do not develop. Patients have fever, chills, prostration, abdominal pain, shock, and bleeding into skin and other organs. Septicemic plague does not spread from person to person.
7 posted on 06/01/2007 7:57:41 AM PDT by Old_Mil (Duncan Hunter in 2008! A Veteran, A Patriot, A Reagan Republican... http://www.gohunter08.com/)
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To: RightWhale
Bubonic Plague is native to America, which is where it came from during pre-Columbian trade.

I had heard that it originated in Kazakhstan, and moved Westward.

8 posted on 06/01/2007 8:03:20 AM PDT by Cowboy Bob (Withhold Taxes - Starve a Liberal)
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To: rainbow sprinkles

It was spread by one infected traveler who was warned by his doctor not to travel, and wasn’t quarantined.


9 posted on 06/01/2007 8:22:25 AM PDT by shekkian
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To: SunkenCiv; blam
Maybe the 'Graves' part of GGG.

blam, you might be interested.

L

10 posted on 06/01/2007 8:23:58 AM PDT by Lurker (Comparing moderate islam to extremist islam is like comparing small pox to plague.)
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To: rainbow sprinkles

Sorry, I thought this thread was about the Rose Law Firm records.


11 posted on 06/01/2007 8:24:45 AM PDT by Silly (http://www.paulklenk.us)
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To: Cowboy Bob

It came in on the fur trade from Central America. Hit Iceland first, a year before it reached the continent of Europe.


12 posted on 06/01/2007 8:36:08 AM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Treaty)
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To: RightWhale
It came in on the fur trade from Central America. Hit Iceland first, a year before it reached the continent of Europe.

The version I heard (believe it was on History Channel), was that it came from Central Kazakhstan, moved Westward through Russia (no record of the deaths in this part of the World), and moved onward to Turkey.

During a battle between the Turks and Venetians, the Turks began flinging the bodies of dead Turks over the walls of the Venetian fort.

Venetians returning to Italy brought the Plague back with them.

That's the story I heard. I'll have to "Google" the subject...

13 posted on 06/01/2007 10:20:54 AM PDT by Cowboy Bob (Withhold Taxes - Starve a Liberal)
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To: Lurker; LucyT
"blam, you might be interested."

Yup, thanks. I read a pretty good article some time back that made a pretty good case that at least two (maybe three) infectious agents was involved during the Black Death.

14 posted on 06/01/2007 11:21:55 AM PDT by blam
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To: Cowboy Bob

That is the story. Of course, Columbus discovered America and there was nothing before, as taught (by whom?). Neither Greenland nor Vinland existed, nor the Grand Bank fishing waters. There were neither Turkeys nor turkey corn in England. Ignore the Vikings, the English, the Portugese, the Chinese, the Turks, and the Irish. Ignore the tobacco leaves used to line the insides of Egyptian mummies 2000 BC and the cocaine in their hair. Google away, don’t forget Wikipedia.


15 posted on 06/01/2007 11:26:22 AM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Treaty)
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To: rainbow sprinkles

bump


16 posted on 06/01/2007 11:31:33 AM PDT by VOA
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To: blam
at least two (maybe three) infectious agents was involved during the Black Death.

Considering the states of personal hygiene, potable water, and waste disposal at the time that wouldn't suprise me in the least.

L

17 posted on 06/01/2007 12:03:34 PM PDT by Lurker (Comparing moderate islam to extremist islam is like comparing small pox to plague.)
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To: Silly

LOL ...nice one!!!!


18 posted on 06/01/2007 1:44:54 PM PDT by Daffynition (A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.)
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To: RightWhale

Domesticated South American turkeys were brought to Europe by the early Spanish explorers. The original Pilgrims brought some of those turkeys back to North American when they came to settle. Some got into the wild and now all wild US turkeys have some of the DNA from those ‘European’ turkeys. The Indians didn’t introduce the Pilgrims to turkeys...the Pilgrims already had them.


19 posted on 06/01/2007 1:50:44 PM PDT by blam
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To: rainbow sprinkles
:-)


20 posted on 06/01/2007 1:52:53 PM PDT by Silly (http://www.paulklenk.us)
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To: Silly

THANK YOU! After the day/week I’ve had ... that made me ***smile***!


21 posted on 06/01/2007 1:54:37 PM PDT by Daffynition (A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.)
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To: rainbow sprinkles

You’re welcome! I’m glad it brought a smile!


22 posted on 06/01/2007 1:55:47 PM PDT by Silly (http://www.paulklenk.us)
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To: Silly

It did ...BIG time! Have a super weekend!


23 posted on 06/01/2007 1:56:52 PM PDT by Daffynition (A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.)
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To: rainbow sprinkles


24 posted on 06/01/2007 2:09:23 PM PDT by Silly (http://www.paulklenk.us)
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To: Silly

AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW ...I owe you one! Thank you!


25 posted on 06/01/2007 2:12:57 PM PDT by Daffynition (A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.)
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To: blam

That was after 1620, but there were turkeys in England before 1492, and turkey corn as well. They were called turkeys because it was thought they came from Turkey. Too simple, probably.


26 posted on 06/01/2007 2:29:51 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Treaty)
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To: Lurker
Experts now believe that the Black Death is more likely to have been a viral infection, similar to haemorrhagic fever or ebola, that spread from person to person.
Thanks Lurker.
Pneumonic plague occurs when Y. pestis infects the lungs. This type of plague can spread from person to person through the air. Transmission can take place if someone breathes in aerosolized bacteria, which could happen in a bioterrorist attack. Pneumonic plague is also spread by breathing in Y. pestis suspended in respiratory droplets from a person (or animal) with pneumonic plague. Becoming infected in this way usually requires direct and close contact with the ill person or animal. Pneumonic plague may also occur if a person with bubonic or septicemic plague is untreated and the bacteria spread to the lungs. -- CDC: Facts about Pneumonic Plague

27 posted on 06/01/2007 2:43:43 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Time heals all wounds, particularly when they're not yours. Profile updated May 31, 2007.)
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To: Lurker; blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 24Karet; ...
Thanks lurker.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

28 posted on 06/01/2007 2:44:40 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Time heals all wounds, particularly when they're not yours. Profile updated May 31, 2007.)
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To: RightWhale

Furs from Central America? Really? How ratty.


29 posted on 06/01/2007 2:51:21 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: Ditter

Yeah. Black Plague is native to Central America and is in Denver right now. They find sick rats all the time. The furs would have been moved overland to Rhode Island and sold at the trading post to traders going back to Europe.


30 posted on 06/01/2007 2:54:07 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Treaty)
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To: RightWhale
I know there is plague in New Mexico and Colorado but it was furs coming from central American that surprised me. A warm climate doesn’t produce good furs.
31 posted on 06/01/2007 2:57:23 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: SunkenCiv; Ditter; RightWhale
I did a DNA search on my son's mtDNA, which is 'H', and the most wide spread in Europe. I came across an article in the Lancet about survival advantages in Haplogroup 'H' people. Persons from haplogroup 'H' are twice as likely to survive infections such as MRSA and pneumonia and a very high survival rate for sepsis when compared to other haplogroups.

No doubt, this reflects something from our past and may explain why mtDNA haplogroup 'H' is the most wide spread in Europe today...they're the survivors, huh?

32 posted on 06/01/2007 3:11:56 PM PDT by blam
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To: Old_Mil
"Patients develop swollen, tender lymph glands (called buboes) and fever.."

I recently learned this reading a book recommended here on FR and immediately wondered if 'buboe' was the source for 'boo-boo'. Wouldn't surprise me since 'Ring around the Rosy' morphed from a song about death by the same means.

33 posted on 06/01/2007 3:29:36 PM PDT by norton
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To: shekkian
"It was spread by one infected traveler who was warned by his doctor not to travel, and wasn’t quarantined."

Good for him that there were still seats on the Moscow to Montreal mail boat.

34 posted on 06/01/2007 3:31:01 PM PDT by norton
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To: norton
"Moscow to Montreal"

All right, maybe it was the Moscow to London stage.

No, the Moscow to London stage and mail boat package tour.

Yeah, that's it.

35 posted on 06/01/2007 3:32:59 PM PDT by norton
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To: Ditter

That’s true. I have no idea what furs they produced. They must have been amazingly valuable to be wanted across the Atlantic. Not cheap.


36 posted on 06/01/2007 3:38:15 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Treaty)
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To: rainbow sprinkles

But...

the documents were LOST!

??????

FOUND documents might tell us something, but LOST documents can tell us nothing!

Pesky rodents!

/s


37 posted on 06/01/2007 3:39:06 PM PDT by djf (Skulz wurk gud! My last Wopper was purfict!)
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To: RightWhale

Jaguar? Farther south you’d have alpacas & llamas, but I think they would have been more like wool shipments than pelts.

I think of Central & South America, sure they weren’t shipping feathers more than fur? They had a habit of shipping exotic animals willy nilly.


38 posted on 06/01/2007 4:10:01 PM PDT by GoLightly
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To: blam

I haven’t had my DNA checked yet, I keep forgetting.


39 posted on 06/01/2007 6:36:17 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: GoLightly; RightWhale; norton; Ditter
A couple hundred years later, these folks died in the millions too.

Historical Review: Megadrought And Megadeath In 16th Century Mexico (Hemorrhagic Fever)

The epidemic of cocoliztli from 1545 to 1548 killed an estimated 5 million to 15 million people, or up to 80% of the native population of Mexico (Figure 1). In absolute and relative terms the 1545 epidemic was one of the worst demographic catastrophes in human history, approaching even the Black Death of bubonic plague, which killed approximately 25 million in western Europe from 1347 to 1351 or about 50% of the regional population.

The cocoliztli epidemic from 1576 to 1578 cocoliztli epidemic killed an additional 2 to 2.5 million people, or about 50% of the remaining native population.

40 posted on 06/01/2007 7:00:02 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Ward Churchill has this all figured out. The cause was "smallpox blankets" distributed by the U.S. Army.

(Don't bother telling him there was no U.S. Army in the 16th Century - you'd expect a fake Indian to produce fake scholarship.)

41 posted on 06/01/2007 7:37:03 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: norton
I recently learned this reading a book recommended here on FR and immediately wondered if 'buboe' was the source for 'boo-boo'. Wouldn't surprise me since 'Ring around the Rosy' morphed from a song about death by the same means.

Fascinating idea, I bet you're onto something there!

42 posted on 06/01/2007 8:37:46 PM PDT by To Hell With Poverty (In the end, history is what God remembers.)
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To: rainbow sprinkles
The noble and unfairly maligned rattus rattus gets a reprieve after 7 centuries.
43 posted on 06/01/2007 10:12:56 PM PDT by Pelham (theTerryAndersonShow.com)
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To: Pelham

Sorry I wandered on to this thread so late in the discourse, but there was a warm period in Europe from about (if memory serves me) 1100 to 1300. We’re talking major warm winters and stifling summers. You could even call it G——l W-——g. No, seriously, fleas could have survived those winters.


44 posted on 06/02/2007 12:33:41 AM PDT by Nucluside (Cultural Relativism is a lie; Western culture IS superior)
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To: To Hell With Poverty; norton
Ring around the Rosy' morphed from a song about death

Not so.

45 posted on 06/02/2007 1:35:39 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Peace Begins in the Womb)
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To: rainbow sprinkles
Was it not during this period that global warming was in effect? So the winter would not have been cold enough to defer the fleas and rats, but of course global warming is just now happening for the first time in history so that is not possible is it?
46 posted on 06/02/2007 5:57:37 AM PDT by YOUGOTIT (The Greatest Threat to our Security is the US Senate)
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To: blam

You’ve probably seen this map before....

http://www.scs.uiuc.edu/~mcdonald/WorldHaplogroupsMaps.pdf


47 posted on 06/02/2007 6:10:39 AM PDT by GoLightly
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To: Jeff Chandler
Not so.

No? It's a common take on the song & I didn't know there was any other. Do tell.

48 posted on 06/02/2007 6:27:23 AM PDT by GoLightly
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To: rainbow sprinkles
Are they saying that fleas living on warm bodies in the winter in England do not breed because it is too cold?

Is this another case of junk science?

49 posted on 06/02/2007 6:54:54 AM PDT by Dustbunny (The BIBLE - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)
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To: GoLightly

It’s possible.


50 posted on 06/02/2007 7:32:24 AM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Treaty)
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