Here are 24 Black Death facts.

1-5 Black Death Facts

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1. The first outbreak of the Black Death was the Justinian Plague in the Byzantine Empire around the 6th and 7th centuries, which at its’ peak, killed about 5,000-10,000 people a day in Constantinople and killed about 40% of the city’s population in total. – Source

2. During the Black Death, incoming ships were forced to wait for 40 days to prevent possible infection. The Italian word for 40, “quaranta”, is where we get the word “quarantine”. – Source

3. An estimated 10% of Europeans are immune to HIV infection because they have an ancestor who survived bubonic plague the “Black Death.” – Source

4. A man was cured of HIV in Germany via a bone marrow transplant from a donor whose gene mutation made him immune to HIV. That gene is relatively common in N. Europe. Researchers have speculated that the gene is the result of natural selection during diseases similar to smallpox or Black Death. – Source

5. Medieval Pope Gregory IX considered cats to be the ‘incarnation of Satan’. Leading to a mass killing of cats, causing the rat population to swell, quickening the spread of the Black Death. – Source

6-10 Black Death Facts

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6. In 2012, the Black Death was reported in Oregon and Colorado. – Source

7. Jews were blamed and killed for the spread of the Black Death due to being somewhat unaffected by it. It was due to their isolation & better hygiene. – Source

8. During the Black Death, many people in Florence participated in orgies and got heavily drunk thinking that it would kill off the disease. – Source

9. During the Black Death, several French cities ran out of places to bury the dead, so Pope Clement VI had to consecrate the entire Rhone River so that it could be considered holy ground and bodies could be thrown into it. – Source

10. The Black Death arrived in Norway on a ghost ship that just so happened become beached near a major port. Even though all the crew had died the surviving rats and fleas managed to spread the disease throughout the country and later to Sweden and Russia. – Source

11-15 Black Death Facts

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11. When a flea is infected by Y.pestis Black Death, the bacteria build up and form a film that blocks the flea’s esophagus. After it bites a host, the flea cannot eat until it has vomited up this blockage, spreading a concentrated dose of the bacteria to its target. – Source

12. The Black Death killed half of the current Norweigan population in 1349. Because of this, Norway couldn’t sustain a kingdom and they were soon in a union with Sweden and Denmark. – Source

13. During the Black Death in England, physicians would cut pigeons from breast to back, break them open and apply them (while still alive) to the buboes to stop swelling. – Source

14. During the Black Death, life expectancy was only 17.33 years. – Source

15. The famous Medieval Plague doctor beaked masks were so shaped because they were stuffed full of good smelling herbs, believed to protect the wearer against the putrid, smelly air that was thought to have caused the Black Death. – Source

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Death, Fact List,

Last Update: May 3, 2022