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Black Death


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Lisa Wolfe
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« on: June 24, 2012, 05:58:52 pm »

Naming

Medieval people called the catastrophe of the 14th century either the "Great Pestilence"' or the "Great Plague".[14] Writers contemporary to the plague referred to the event as the "Great Mortality". Swedish and Danish chronicles of the 16th century described the events as "black" for the first time, not to describe the late-stage sign of the disease, in which the sufferer's skin would blacken due to subepidermal hemorrhages and the extremities would darken with a form of gangrene, acral necrosis, but more likely to refer to black in the sense of glum or dreadful and to denote the terror and gloom of the events.[15] The German physician and medical writer Justus Hecker suggested that a mistranslation of the Latin atra mors (terrible, or black, death) had occurred in Scandinavia when he described the catastrophe in 1832[14] in his publication "Der schwarze Tod im vierzehnten Jahrhundert". The work was translated into English the following year, and with the cholera epidemic happening at that time, "The Black Death in the 14th century" gained widespread attention and the terms Schwarzer Tod and Black Death became more widely used in the German and English speaking worlds, respectively
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