of these articles is concerned with the plague as illness, other meanings is under plague (term clarifying) to be found.

The plague (v. lat. pestis = epidemic) is a high-grade sticking on illness, which is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis.In several large Pandemien concerned this illness repeats substantial parts of the population of world, whereby mankind history was lastingly affected.

Above all a large plague epidemic disease coined/shaped the process of European history in 14. Century. There however at this time stillany means for the accurate diagnosis of the illness as well as clearly usable eye-witness reports were missing, are not not free of doubts proven that it concerned with the epidemic disease at that time an outbreak of the plague in the actual sense (Yersinia pestis as exciters).

With this plague epidemic diseaseis concerned a separate article with the title black death.

„Doctor bill of Rome “copper pass of Paulus prince 1656 (after J. Columbina). By this clothes the physicians hoped themselves during the plague epidemic disease of 1656 in Rome, before thatTo protect plague infection. They carried a wax coat, a kind eye protector and gloves. In the bill was „wolriechende Specerey “.

Table of contents


fluorescent Yersinia pestis

one differentiates between four manifestations of the plague: Dent plague also Bubonenpest mentioned (gr. bubo = dent), Pestsepsis, lung plague as well as the abortive plague. With Pandemien stepall forms of the illness up, at the most frequent however the dent plague and the lung plague. From a dent plague a Pestsepsis without treatment, which leads to a lung plague nearly always, develops.

dent plague

with the dent plague usually takes place the infectionby the bite of a rat flea, which carries the exciter as an intermediate landlord in itself. By the landlord change the bacterium will transfer from an infected to a so far healthy food victim, after it increased in the flea.

As a stationary parasite is the rat flea to its landlord animal bind actually closely. It strikes humans only then if it finds no more suitable landlord. Therefore at least always a massive rat dying preceded the dent plague.

The incubation period is at few hours to seven day.The symptoms are fever, head and pains of the joints, strong disease feeling and behaviourness. Later it comes to consciousness disturbances. The name dent plague comes from, the very painful dents at the neck, in the shoulder caves and in the borders, swollen strongly, by those Infection of the lymph nodes and the lymphatic vessels within the range of the flea bite develop. These dents can become centimeters large up to ten and are blue colored due to internal bleedings in the lymph nodes. The ulcers disintegrate, after they melted festering.

The dent plague assuch is not deadly, and the dents are welfarable after opening. However it comes with up to 75% of the untreated patients to an infection of the blood and thus to the Pestsepsis and also to the lung plague or to a dispersion of the exciterswith expanded skin bleedings. These forms lead untreatedly to death.

The dent plague spreads in the winter more slowly than in the summer, since the carrier flea falls at temperatures under 12 °C into a cooling rigidity. The epidemic high point of this kind of plague always fell with thatReproduction time of the fleas in the autumn together.


the Pestsepsis results from infection of the blood. This can take place by means of infection from the outside, for example over open wounds, in addition, as complication from the two other heavy process forms, toExample by blow-out of the plague dents inward. The exciters in the blood distribute themselves with the bloodstream in the entire body. The infection causes high fever, vibration frost, headache and a general indisposition, a later wide striking and organ bleedings. Pestsepsis is untreatedly practicalalways deadly, usually at the latest after 36 hours.

Today the number of deaths can be lowered clearly by the treatment with antibiotics.

lung plague

Infizierte LungeStreifige Zeichnungsvermehrung im mittleren Teil der linken Lunge, atypische Lungenentzündung
infected lung
Streifige design zeichnungsvermehrung in the middle part of the left lung, atypical pneumonia

if the exciterswith a dent plague over the bloodstream in run a Pestsepsis into the lung turned out, speak one of secondary lung plague.

If it is transferred however by a droplet infection from humans to humans, one speaks of primary lung plague.

The lung plague runsmore violently than the dent plague, because the defense protection against the lymph nodes are gone around by direct infection of the lung. It begins with difficulty in breathing, cough, blue color of the lips and black-bloody ejection, which are extremely painfully coughed up. From this a pulmonary edema developswith cycle failure, which leads untreatedly after two to five days to death.

The incubation period amounts to only until two days, the number of deaths rate lies here with 95%.

Abortive plague

the abortive plague is the most harmless variant thatPlague. She expresses herself usually only in easy fever and more easily swelling of the Lymphdrüsen. After endured infection anti-bodies were formed, which ensure a long continuing immunity against all forms of the illness.

transmission path

„in the morning 16.April stepped the physician Berne pool of broadcasting corporations Rieux from its dwelling and stolperte on the corridor over a dead rat (...) in the same evening saw in the middle it from the darkness of the course a thick rat emerging, with damp skin and uncertain course.The animal stopped, seemed its equilibrium to look for, turned against the physician, stopped again, turned with a quiet cry in the circle and fell finally to soil, whereby from the half opened Lefzen blood poured… to “
rat flea

alsothese lines introduces the French Literaturnobelpreisträger Albert Camus its 1947 published novel the plague . Even if the work is fictitious Camus', then it describes nevertheless appropriate the large rat dying, which tends to precede a plague epidemic disease. Fleas, in particular however that Rat flea Xenopsylla cheopsis play during the transmission of the plague exciter on humans a crucial role.

Fleas are parasites, which schmarotzen from the outside at their landlord, however occasionally parasites in their inside accommodate and their landlord with this parasiteto infect can. The plague bacterium is such a parasite. If the rat flea of an infected rodent - for example the moving rat or the house rat - changes to its death to another landlord, it is able, this with the plague bacteriumto infect. The rat flea prefers thereby as a new landlord again rats, for which the plague illness is just as deadly as for humans. If it is missing however at rats, the rat flea accepts also humans as new landlords and infects then alsothis with the plague bacterium (zoo eye). This situation results above all, if many rats die due to the plague.

The question, which further kinds of flea beside the rat flea are involved in the transmission of the plague, became for the 1950er yearsamong scientists and medicine historians controversially discusses. Meanwhile agreement that about 30 kinds of flea are conceivable as a carrier of plague bacteria, exists among them also the people flea (Pulex irritans). The plague bacterium can survive longer time beyond that also without animal landlord -for example in earth, in the dust, in the excrement or in animal wastes - infect and from there from disease victim.

Apart from this indirect infection by means of the flea as an intermediate landlord it can however also to a direct infection at infected rodents or humans overopen wounds and saliva come. If the exciter in humans arrives into the lung blood cycle, the secondary lung plague with highly infective bloody ejection develops. Who has contact with a patient suffering from it, can infect itself directly with this primary lung plague in such a way specified. Is the jump of the plague bacterium from a rodent population on humans only once carried out, represents the direct infection very rapidly the main infection way. 100 to 200 inhaled exciters is already sufficient for an infection.

Also Raubtiere, the infected rats eatenhave, can bacteria and fleas transfer.Hauskatzen do not get sick likewise with the plague, from dogs are well-known this however. These transmission paths are under normal conditions rare, play however in the context of larger Pandemien a role.

savage rodent populations asRetreat area of the plague bacterium

Ausbreitung der Pest 1998
propagation of the plague 1998

the plague bacteria also today still pre comes as for example with the prairie dogs, ground squirrels and Murmeltieren into wildly living rodent populations. These populations are the natural reservoirs of the plague bacterium, from thoseoccasionally domestic rodents as for example rats to be infected.

While in Europe and Australia admits no infected animal populations are, such come in the Caucasus, into Russia, into Southeast Asia, the People's Republic of China, that Mongolia, south and east Africa, Central and South America as well as in the southwest of the USA forwards.

To North America the exciter arrived thereby over a trading vessel during a plague epidemic disease, which grassierte starting from 1894 in Southeast Asia. Although only very few humans in North America at the plague got sick, infectedthe exciter the American squirrel population. Occasionally it also today still comes therefore into North America to transmissions from animal to humans. Usually there is hunters, that are infected with a rodent;Norman F. CAN gate refers however also in a North American casefrom the 1980er years, with which a Mrs. a squirrel with a Rasenmäher transfer and thereby with the plague infected themselves.

The plague outbreak in the Indian city Surat in the year 1994 confirms therefore the statement, the Camus already to 1947 approximatelyEnd its novel the plague makes:

„During Rieux, remembered it listened to the joy cries, which penetrated from the city up to the fact that this Fröhlichkeit was threatened constantly. Because it knew, what was unknown to this glad quantity and which into thatStands for books: The fact that the Pestbazillus never becomes extinct or disappears but for many decades in furniture and the laundry schlummern can that he waits in the rooms, the cellars, the suit-cases, the handkerchiefs and the bundles of old papers patiently and that perhapsthe day to come will wake, at that the plague to the misfortune and for the instruction of humans their rats and will again send (...) “

world-wide registers the World Health Organization (WHO) about 1000 to 3000 cases of plague per year, mostly in form of smaller, locallylimited epidemic diseases. In Europe there was the last documented plague outbreak in the Second World War. One assumes that the plague does not exist at present in Europe any longer.

medical treatment

Gangrän der Pest
gangrene of the plague

diagnosis and therapytoday

the diagnosis is made by the proof of the exciters in the blood, in the secretion of the dents or with the lung plague in the ejection. Anti-bodies can be proven starting from the tenth disease day.

The plague is treated nowadays with antibiotics, and with earlierGood chances insist recognition on healing. Assigned antibiotics are for example Streptomycin and chloramphenicol as well as combinations of Tetracyclinen and Sulfonamiden. Streptomycin can be only given intramuskulär. Chloramphenicol is highly effective, is considered however because of its side effects only as reserve medicine.

In addition stand Protective inoculations for the order, however the immunity only for three to six months grant and this also only with the dent plague, not however with the lung plague. The authors Eberhard butchers and Ries refer however to the bad compatibility of these protective inoculations.The World Health Organization recommends the inoculation therefore only groups of risks, among which for example farmers, agricultural workers and hunters in regions rank, in which infected rodent populations is common.

Further measures, in order to contain a plague epidemic disease, are improved hygiene, fight of the rats and the prevention of theTransport of rats on ships. Since to the death of the rats the fleas change their landlord, humans with insecticides must be protected against the fleas.

quarantine and obligation to register

the plague belong apart from the smallpox, Cholera and hemorrhagic fever (Ebola, leaving among other things) in Germany to the four quarantine - diseases. Patients, who are gotten sick with it, must become shielded in special infection departments. Landspreading quarantine regulations for ship, air, course or motor traffic are in the international medical regulation of 1971held. A reference to the plague, the illness on or death by plague must be announced in Germany after the infection law for the protection also to suspicion in particular. The messages are passed on from public health authorities to the national health authority and the institute for Robert cook. ThatInstitute for Robert cook announces it in accordance with international agreements to the World Health Organization.

the plague as biological weapon

the plague is counted from the World Health Organization to the twelve dangerous biological agents. To this dirty dozen in such a way specified belong beside thatPlague also spleen fire - and Tularämie bacteria, smallpox -, Ebola - and Marburg viruses.

First historically occupied employment of the plague as biological weapon found 1346 in the port Kaffa , as the Tartarenführer Khan Djam Bek plague corpses overto throw and besieged before the plague the escape left the walls of the city moved.

During the second Chinese-Japanese war the Japanese army manufactured in unit 731 camps mentioned with Harbin in the Manchuria weapons, which infected with plagueFleas contained and their employment in the republic China in the years 1940 to 1942 local of plague outbreaks caused. During the destruction of the manufacturing plants by the Japanese army 1945 with end of war infected rats became released and solved into that with plagueProvinces Heilongjiang and Jilin an epidemic disease also over 20.000 victims out.

The USA used plague exciters as biological weapon in the Korea war .

At present the cold war concerned themselves Russian scientists with the employment of plague exciters as biological weapon. Like thatformer Russian researchers for biological weapons Ken Alibek it reported, succeeded to Russia end of the 1980er years to bring and make the plague resistant to antibiotics into a sprayable form.

In Germany the institute for Robert cook concerns itself with the dangers throughbiological conduct of operations. There also the information centre of the federation for biological security (IBBS) was furnished. As largely the danger of an attack with biological agents is actual, is disputed. The IBBS does not guess/advise to an inoculation against the plague in Germany. ThisRecommendation applies both to the population altogether and to groups of risks.


plague, smallpox and spleen fire

large Pandemien are already delivered from the Bible: The plague belongs to troubles, in the BiblicalNarration Egypt afflict, and it causes also the mass dying of the Philister , which had seized the Jewish federal drawer. Since any means to the diagnostics just like clearly usable eye-witness reports was missing, it is not free of doubts proven that it itself with the Pandemien,us from the time up to the late Middle Ages were delivered, really around plague outbreaks acted. Historians call a multiplicity possible different diseases. The spectrum reaches infection from Ebola - similar diseases , smallpox, by cows transferred spleen fire - up to Gonorrhoe. Which concerns the infection ways and the symptomatology, are applicable as alternative to the plague apart from the smallpox rather typhus fever, Cholera and typhoid fever .

Finally the word plague comes from latin pestis and means like also Greek loimós the nothingother one than epidemic. Beyond that perishable person or thing, Scheusal, Unhold, agony, suffering, hunger emergency stands for misfortune, spoiling. The classical texts, of the old-eastern Gilgamesch Epos (around 1800 a.c.), of the Aeneis over the Ilias up to the Bible, mark thereforeall large epidemics as plague. Following disease waves mentioned of in are however convinced many historians that trip of the epidemic diseases was actually the plague exciter.

antique ones to the early Middle Ages

the large epidemic in the antique Greece

oneEpidemic, which many humans fell to the victim, became already in the antique Greece around 430 v. Chr. from Thukydides described in detail. Thukydides reports, how the illness, which arose suddenly in a crucial phase of the Peloponnesi war, in Athens over-populated with war refugeesto rage began.

„The bodies were appropriate, while they ended, for one over the other one; some rolled, thirsting for water, on the ways, which led to the wells, half dead on earth. The geweihten places, in which one itself furnishedhad, lay full corpses, humans had died, where they go had. Before such a provoking the wrong they, since they did not know, respected what from them became, nothing at all more, not göttliche, not human order. “(Thuk. II52)

Perikles, the famous athenische field gentleman and politician, died according to Thukydides at the consequences of the epidemic, just as a large number of other Athener. Diodor estimated that Athens lost a third of its population at that time.

Two years long those ragedEpidemic disease in Athens and contributed also to Athens defeat in the Peloponnesi war , Athens against Sparta led.

Whether this epidemic by plague exciters one released, is today however disputed. Many historians subordinated long time that it itself here either overthe plague or around the smallpox acted. Since Thukykides did not describe however the typical characteristics like the plague dents and blackish marks on the skin and the described symptoms in their whole fit on no today well-known illness, became ofHistorians and the medical profession long time also different exciters discusses.

During new excavations under the line of the archaeologist Manolis Papagrigorakis knew as exciters in the meantime typhoid fever - bacteria to be identified. In order to find traces of the germ, the archaeologists opened a grave on thatand from this three tooth roots from the start time of the tragedy saved antique cemetery Kerameikos in Athens. In several gene tests they could prove the hereditary material of typhoid fever bacteria in the tooth remainders.

Typhoid fever spreads particularly under bad hygenic conditions. It is extremesticking on, violent failure and strong fever releases. In Athens the outbreak of the epidemic disease led to a dramatic decrease in population and a collapse of the social structure with fatal economic consequences and a military and political fall - quite comparable with thatEffects of later, clearly occupied plague epidemic diseases.

the plague in the Roman realm

also the Roman realm was repeated met by large epidemic diseases. First was the Antonini plague in such a way specified at present the emperor Mark Aurel (161 -180), which was spread by the soldiers returning from the part ago wars 166. Whether it concerned with this epidemic disease the plague, is however likewise unclear. Plague waves with profound effects on the Roman realm stepped in particular in the timebetween 250 and 650 n. Chr. up.

The Justiniani plague in such a way specified at present emperor Justinians (527 - 565), who 542 in Konstantinopel broke out, possibly contributed to the failure of the Restauratio imperii and is considered as the largest antiquePlague epidemic disease of Europe. It fallow first in the Orient from of where it rapidly generally speaking Mediterranean area spread.

On the basis the detailed descriptions of the lateantique historian Prokopios the research assumes mostly it itself with this epidemic actually overthe dent plague acted, which perhaps arose together with other diseases.Justinian , which had been gotten sick, left 544 but had survived, the end of the plague epidemic disease to announce. This fallow however 557 again out, returned in the year 570 again and steppedup to the center 8. Century in twelfe-year-old rhythm again and again in feature. Against 770 the epidemic disappeared then for over five centuries.

From the early Middle Ages up to the outbreak of black death in such a way specified in the second half14. Century seems to have remained to a large extent exempted Europe from the plague.

„black death “- the medieval plague epidemic diseases

representation of the dent plague in the Toggenburgbibel (1411)

with the designation „black death “nowadays those becomeslarge plague epidemic disease designates, which raged in Europe from 1347 to 1353. Beyond the following summary the effects of this plague epidemic disease are in detail described on the medieval society in their own major item black death.


the epidemic was obviously in the 30's 14. Century in central Asia broken out and spread along the trade routes also toward Europe. 1347 reached it to the Krim Kaffa lain. Kaffa, which was today's Feodosija, as genuesischeCommercial town closely into the commercial net of the Genueser merged, which extended over the entire Mediterranean area. Common by ships reached the illness still in the same year the coastal towns Konstantinopel, Cairo as well as Sicilian Messina. In March 1348 those hadTo epidemic disease over the Landweg already Toulouse reached, in May the first victims got sick in Paris, in August died first in Avignon at the plague. Germany, Norway, Sweden and Ireland were reached 1349 by the plague.

Oneit estimates that about 20 to 25 million humans, approximately a third of the population at that time of Europe, by whom black death died. Over the number of victims in Asia and Africa no respectable data are present. Any numbers are however with cautionto treat, since contemporary sources set the number of dead ones rather too highly, in order to underline the fright and the inexorability of these Pandemie.

Black death raged not evenly in Europe, but left some few areas nearly unaffected. Large parts Poland, Belgium and South Germany remained for example exempted from this first plague wave. Also Milan escaped afflicting by the plague, while in Florenz four fifth of the citizens died. In the introduction to its novella collection Decamerone describes Boccaccio impressively, as devastatingthe epidemic disease affected itself:

Spreading of the Pestilenz between 1347 and 1351
„thus could see innumerable corpses lying, who - particularly in the morning - would have gone through the city. Then they let come Bahren or put, if it were missing at these,their dead ones on a bare board. Also it happened that on a Bahre two or three were carried off, and not even, but many marks one have counted could, where the same Bahre the corpses of the man and the woman or twoand three brothers and the father and its child carried. “ (Boccacio, Decamerone)

social effects

many of humans felt the plague as God punishment. Religious movements developed spontaneously as a result or in expectation of the plague: One thatmost remarkable were the movement of the Flagellanten, which geisselten themselves as penalty for their own sins as those the society in public removals and preached in the cities regret and reversal. They understood themselves as direct intermediaries betweenSky and earth - without engagement of the church authorities. Pope Klemens VI. therefore already 1348 public Selbstgeisselungen forbade, without being able to implement this prohibition however.

Ausschnitt aus dem Holzschnitt Totentanz (Hans Holbein der Jüngere). Holbein verdeutlichte, dass die Pest weder Stand noch Klasse kannte.
Cutout from the woodcut dead dance (Hans's getting leg the younger one). Getting leg clarified that thosePlague neither conditions nor class knew.

At the beginning of of 1348 had already arisen the rumor, which plague spread by well poisoning. In the Karwoche in Provence Jews were pursued for the first time because of the plague; the reproach, it träufelten poison in wells andSources and spread so the plague, are in the sources to be found a little later. In Savoyen 1348 Jewish accused under the torture of such offenses for guilty admitted itself in the autumn. The confessions found spreading rapid and formed the basis fora wave of Jews pogromen particularly in the Elsass, in Switzerland and in Germany. Pretty often the Jews came thereby between the fronts of older arguments, so for instance into Strasbourg. The situation of the Jewish minority in the realmthe Luxemburger was extremely precarious by the arguments between the houses of the Wittelsbacher and.

After abating a first Pogromwelle approximately in March 1349 this extended-range weather situation was responsible for the beginning of a second wave: In the fight for loyalty individuallyCities (Frankfurt/Main, Nuremberg) Karl gave IV. the Jews the interests of the urban groups of guidance price. The often maintained responsibility of the Flagellanten for the Judenpogrome can be proven in the rarest cases, earliest still for Cologne. In most cases it applies that the Jews were murdered still before the arrival of the plague. In Böhmen and Austria they were protected by the national rule, in Regensburg by the city municipality.

And accelerated the plague caused on a long-term basis throughthe substantial population break-down a deeply seizing change of the medieval society, whose long-term effects were evaluated also positively. Thus David Herlihy called the plague the hour of the new men: The depopulation made the entrance for a larger percentage possible of the populationto farms and worthwhile jobs. Unprofitable become soils were given up, what led in some regions to the fact that villages abandoned or were no more again-settled (so-called Wüstungen). The guilds permitted now also members, those before the admission refusedwas, and during the market for agricultural leases broke down, the wages in the cities rose clearly.


the identification of the medieval epidemics with the plague caused by Yersinia pestis became still repeated and becomesdoubted, so by the historians David Herlihy, Samuel K. Cohn and Sue Scott, the zoologist Chris Duncan and the Anthropologen James Wood. Meets in particular the objection that neither the rapid propagation speed at that time nor the historically describedDisease characters with with a dent plague to expecting agreed. Also none had been observed at that time Epizootie which can be expected with house rats.

Alternatively now the possibility is discussed that it itself either acted around spleen fire or a slow variant of a hemorrhagic feverto have could. An argument for it supplies also a mutation of the gene CCR5 in humans, with which 32 pairs of cousins are missing. This mutation with the name CCR5Δ32 becomes in approx. 10% of the European population found, not however in Asia orEast Africa. Mathematical models for the spreading of this mutation suggest a large selection pressure before approximately 700 years, the time of the plague in Europe. This mutation could have been thus a genetic survival advantage of the plague exciter. This change on the CCR5Towards offers today to the homozygotischen carrier a limited protection from one HEAVE - infection. If it is left only by parents, it retards the outbreak of AIDS on the average by three years. Against Yersinia pestis this mutation does not protect from it. [[Bei]]the illness designated in the Middle Ages as plague could it thus directly from humans to humans transferred a hemorrhagic fever have concerned, thus a virus illness, whose most well-known form the Ebola - fever is.

The opposite standpoint becomes in the article plague epidemic diseasesin Norway represented.

modern times

15. to 19. Century

after a heavy plague epidemic disease, which began 1347, endemisierte the epidemic: In local epidemic diseases it looked for next three centuries into areas different in almost regular intervalsOf Europe home. In the city pc. Gallen for example arose the plague between 1500 and 1640 to at least fourteen time. After 1580 it came in addition into cycles from four to five years to smallpox outbreaks, at those above all younger childrendied.

The only three weeks continuing plague epidemic disease of 1555 in the hessian Nidda 300 humans fell to the victim. That was a third of the population of this city. Something similar applies to the small city Uelzen, those at the beginning 16. Century approximately1200 inhabitants had. Uelzen already belongs to the cities, in 16. Century exact registers across their inhabitants led. Thus one that in the year 1566 in Uelzen exactly one quarter of the inhabitants died, knows i.e. 295, from those 279 thatSuccumbed to plague.1597 - Uelzens inhabitant shank had risen meanwhile to approximately 1600 inhabitants - 554 inhabitants died, of it 510 at the plague.

To further heavy epidemic diseases it came 1665/66 into London with approximately 99,000 dead ones and 1678/79 in Vienna at the time, when the so-called dear Augustin lived there. The last plague epidemic diseases met Europe in 18. Century: From 1709 to 1711 the plague raged in East Prussia; 15,000 humans there usually died per year (ofinhabitant shank of approximately 600,000), altogether 230,000 humans died in these three years.

From concern before an outbreak also in Berlin king Friedrich I. left. (Prussia) there a plague house establish, from which the Charité came out. In May 1720the plague arose again in Marseille and in Provence and disappeared only again 1722. After 1771 in Moscow a further plague epidemic disease had arisen, further plague epidemic diseases in Europe were missing.

Moving rat (Rattus norvegicus)

expiring the plaguein Europe one brings with the fact in connection that since that 16. Century the house rat was displaced gradually by the moving rat. Since the moving rat scrub is as its Vorgängerin, comes it less frequently to direct contacts between humans and animal, whichan infection by infected fleas reduces. The historian Vasold, which itself very intensively with the plague busy, points out however that the outbreak took place in Moscow in the year 1771 at one time, when the moving rat already lengthens the house rathad displaced.

A further possible explanation is that the plague exciter changed genetically or that rats became immune to the plague exciter and did not die after infecting by the flea any longer, so that it for the fleas no necessitymore gave to move away. Also the progress in the health service and the improvement of the hygiene contributed to being missing the plague epidemic diseases.

The last Pandemie began in the 2. Half 19. Century in central Asia and cost during the next 50 yearsworld-wide approximately 12 million human life. During this plague epidemic disease the exciter could be identified and the transmission path be explained.

the plague today

the plague is also today not yet defeated: From 1979 to 1992 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced 1451Deaths in 21 countries. In the USA there were for example 1992 thirteen infections and two deaths.

The last larger plague epidemic disease occurred from August to October 1994 in the Indian Surat. The WHO counted 6344 assumed and 234 proven cases of plaguewith 56 dead ones. The plague exciter white thereby, determined there, so far yet did not observe characteristics up. It was characterised by a weak Virulenz and applies due to some molecular-biological characteristics as new exciter trunk.

In February 2005 the lung plague spread inNorthwest of the Congo out. After reports of the WHO there were 61 dead ones. By the intervention of the organization of physicians without borders a further spreading could be prevented.

the plague in literature and art

hardly another disaster coined/shaped the collective conception of powerlessness, fall and misfortune as much as afflicting by the plague.

The earliest epidemic reports come from antique authors such as Homer, Thukydides, Lukrez, Prokopios ofCaesarea and Ovid. In book VII, 501-613 of its metamorphosis it reports very in detail concerning the plague of Aegina.

Above all however the plague epidemic disease 14. Century strongly art and literature affected. Humans acquired so-called Plague sheets, in order to protect itself with the help of the holy ones illustrated on it against the plague. Boccaccio wrote its novella collection IL Decamerone before the background of the plague, which raged 1348 in Florenz: Filters ladies and three young men flee forwardsthe plague from Florenz on a countryseat. In a remarkable contrast to the darkness and drama TIC of the plague descriptions stand here erotisch cheerful stories, which tell themselves the ten Florentiner for maintenance. They find a way out of the disaster in oneeasier lives. The unusual situation of the plague gives them the possibility of analyzing in its narrations the medieval standards and values.

In Luebeck 1350 under the impression of the devastating plague epidemic disease the painting developed „for dead dance “in the again builtMarienkirche. In the same year Francesco Traini created the Wandmalereien of the Campo Santo of Pisa. Death is here no bone man, but a black dressed, old Mrs., those with blowing hair and a breitschneidigen Sichel in the hand on oneGroup of carefree, young humans down-drives. Among the masterpieces of the September joke ral art, which refers to the changed picture of death in the latemedieval art, ranks also toward end 14. Century developed tomb of the cardinal La Grange. The cardinal is as nearly naked, decaying body represented and the inscription reminds all still living persons, how futile the life is:Which you blow yourself on in your pride. Dust you and dust are must you become, a verfaulter Kadaver, the meal thatWorms.

Those probably first medical thesis over the plague wrote the physician originating from Nidda Johannes Pistorius the younger one: De vera curandae pestis ratione (over the right kind of treating the plague), Frankfurt 1568.

In Vienna 1879 those developed- when did not recognize such today often no more - Pestballade O you dear Augustin, everything is. (see. Marx Augustin), which opposes a Galgenhumor to the plague.

1722 appeared in London Daniel Defoes journal OF the Plague Year (too German: The plague to London). The narration was published at one time, when a plague outbreak in Southern France let a renewed afflicting fear by this illness, and found a broad readership. Long time was considered it as eye-witness report of the plague outbreakin the year 1665. Defoe was however at the time of the outbreak still another child of four or five years; the narration however describes the plague outbreak from the view of an adult of man, to that in material clay/tone the events describes and compassionful andprojecting SAM the reactions of its fellow citizens pursues. Together with Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders justified this narration the call of Daniel Defoe as Schaffer of the art form of the realistic novel.

The plague (Arnold Böcklin, 1889)

in the I Promessi Sposi Alessandro Manzoni describes a raging of the plague epidemic disease in the Milan of the yearly 1630. Its representation are the basis reports of several time witnesses, in particular the Historiae Patriae of the Historiografen Giuseppe Ripamonti (1573 - 1643) and the plague chronicle of the physician Alessandro Tadino(Ragguaglio dell' origine et giornali successi della gran peste contagiosa, venefica et malefica, seguita nella città di Milano…), which had appeared 1648. Goethe - supposed the first German reader of Manzonis novel (this had it the Promessi Sposi directlyafter the pressure of the third volume 1827 sent) - noticed, the author am located in the plague chapters „as naked historians “there and criticized „the pedantic detail “with things „against being tiger kind “. Regardless of its pityless precise description of the epidemic applies inthe Promessi Sposi today as one point of gloss of the Italian Prosa. - With events in Milan during the plague year 1630 also Manzonis 1829 developed Storia della Colonna infamous one is occupied.

Edgar Allan Poe created 1842 the narration the mask of theRed death, which was inspired actually by a newspaper report over a Choleraepidemie in Paris, but similarity to other plague narrations exhibits. Although an illness (red death, talk Death) dahinrafft the half country, the duke gives Prince up Prospero,its lock fled, a pompösen Maskenball. The framework action, with which one flees before the epidemic disease in the Hedonismus, reminded here of Boccaccios Decamerone, but takes Poes history another idiom. At the end red death penetrates also into thatIncluded, and because the duke did not worry about his country, the epidemic disease continues to rage.

In the framework novella the black spider converted Jeremias Gotthelf 1843 old legends over a trade with the devil to a sneezeful narration overthe plague.

Arnold Böcklin created the picture plague / black death, which is issued today in the Basler art museum to this topic 1889 in Italy. Böcklin does not personifiziert the plague in its picture as flying, blind monster, before that it escapinggives. The scythe and the skeleton-like shape fall back to the medieval death symbolism.

Albert Camus wrote the novel the plague (fr. La Peste) over a modern plague outbreak in the Algerian city Oran (1947 publish). Therein a physician meetsdespite the Aussichtlosigkeit and absurdity of the fight against the plague on humanity and solidarity. The plague is here often interpreted as symbol on the national socialism.

acquaintance victim of the plague

of the plague many millions humans succumbed. To thatVictims of this illness count among other things (in chronological order):

quoted works

  • Boccaccio; IL decamerone - an English translation outton of IL decamerone Albert Camus is to the introduction, from which the above quotations originate,
  • under Introduction: The plague, 1947
  • Thukydides reports in its work on the Peloponnesi war in detail on the epidemic, which afflicted the Athener. Beside that Reclam - (or the library of the old persons world) translation is also after readable these under the following English-language Website: Peloponnesi war: Thukydides; The Peloponnesi war (Reclam), hrsg. of H. Vrestka and W. Rinner, Stuttgart 2000. ISBN 3-150-01808-0


  • Manolis J. Papagrigorakis, Christos Yapijakis, Philippos N. Synodinos, Effie Baziotopoulou Valavani: DNA examination OF ancient dental pulp of incriminates typhoid more fever as A probable cause OF the Plague OF of Athens in “internationally journal OF Infectious Diseases”, volume 9 ISSN 1201-9712
  • Pauline everything: The Justinianic Plague, in: Byzantion 49 (1979), S. 5-20.
  • Klaus Bergdolt: Black death in Europe, Beck row, C.H. Beck publishing house, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-406-45918-8
  • Norman F. CAN gate: Into the Wake OF the Plague -The Black Death and the Word it larva, London 1997, ISBN 0-7434-3035-2
  • Claudia Eberhard butcher, Renate Ries: Misjudged and insidiously - the unbroken power of the epidemics, Basel 1996, ISBN 3-7643-5399-6
  • Franz pure Erkens: Penalty in times of black death:The courses of the Geissler, in „magazine for historical research “, 26. Volume 1999, Berlin, S. 483-513
  • František Graus: Plague - Geissler - Jew murders. 14. Century as a crisis period, Goettingen 1987, ISBN 3-525-35622-6
  • David Herlihy: Black death and thoseConversion of Europe, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-8031-3596-6
  • Kay Peter Jankrift: Illness and medicine in the Middle Ages, scientific book company, ISBN 3-534-15481-9
  • Arno Karlen; The flying corpses of Kaffa - a culture history troubles and epidemics, Berlin 1996, ISBN 3-353-01054-8
  • Mischa Meier (Hg.): Plague. The history of a mankind trauma, Klett Cotta, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3608943595. Overall display of the plague history from the antique one into the modern trend.
  • William Naphy, Andrew mirror-image cerium: Black death, Magnus publishing house, meal 2003, ISBN 3-88400-016-0
  • Norbert Ohler: A dying and death in the Middle Ages, Patmos PAPER-bake, ISBN 3-491-69070-6
  • Jacques Ruffié, Jean Charles Sournia: The epidemics in the history of mankind, Stuttgart 1987, ISBN 3-423-30066-3
  • Barbara Tuchman: The far mirror - dramatic 14. Century, Duesseldorf1980, ISBN 3-546-49187-4
  • Manfred Vasold: The propagation of black death in Germany after 1348, into historical magazine volume 277, 2003, S. 281-308
  • Manfred Vasold: Plague, emergency and heavy troubles - epidemics and epidemic diseases from the Middle Ages to today, Munich1991, ISBN 3-406-35401-7
  • Manfred Vasold: The plague, Konrad Theiss publishing house, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-8062-1779-3
  • Stefan bends: Culture history of the epidemics, 2000, ISBN 3933366542
  • Karl George tin: Cannons and plague, Opladen 1989, ISBN 3-531-12107-3
  • Sue Scott, Christopher Duncan: Return OFthe Black Death: The World's Greatest Serial killer, John Wiley & Sons, Canada 2004, ISBN 0470090006

Web on the left of

  • link collection about plague
  • chronicles from the time of black death
  • Jewish museum Göppingen employsitself with the connection of plague and Jew pursuit. Informative is also the map shown in this article, which shows the gradual propagation of the plague in Europe 1347 to 1350.
  • CDC Plague Home Page
  • death - endemic spreading inunite regions of the USA
  • hunger and plague in the dreissigjährigen war - Ulmer monthly sheet on-line one: an imaginary weekly paper for history, politics and culture from the year 1636
  • private side
please consider you the reference to health topics!
This articleto the list of exzellenter articles one took up.

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