Severity and Selectivity of the Black Death and Recurring Plague in the Southern Netherlands (1349-1450)
Keywords:Black Death, Plague, Fourteenth Century, Fifteenth Century, Southern Netherlands
The Black Death is the textbook villain when it comes to the study of historical diseases and to the general public it remains a thought-provoking subject. To illustrate, in 2016 almost three million viewers accessed the English Wikipedia’s Black Death page, compared to present-day Ebola which only had around one million. Despite the wide drawing power of the Black Death, some of its most basic characteristics are still debated in academic circles. The focus of this paper will be on the severity of the Black Death and recurring plague outbreaks in the Southern Netherlands. More specifically it will reflect on the general assumption that plague evolved from a ‘universal killer’ to a more selective and less severe disease over time. Due to the scarcity of late medieval sources and a lack of quantifiable indicators, little is known about the causal mechanisms at work during the late Middle Ages. This paper offers a newly-compiled database of 25.610 individuals that died between 1349-1450 in the County of Hainaut to test a number of assumptions on the selectivity and severity of late medieval plague outbreaks.
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
a) Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
b) Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
c) Authors are permitted to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process.
Authors are explicitly encouraged to deposit their published article in their institutional repository.