MEDIOEVO

Peste Nera

Un flagello che devastò l’Europa, riducendone di un quarto la popolazione.

La peste fu la più grande calamità della storia umana, solo in Europa circa 25 milioni di persone persero la vita nel giro di quattro anni (1347-1351).

Probabilmente questa ecatombe fu originata dai batteri, di cui erano portatrici le pulci che si trovavano nel pelo di una specie di ratto; le persone venivano contagiate o dal morso delle pulci o dalle escrezioni di persone infette.

Per la popolazione questa calamità non costituiva altro che la punizione divina per i peccati dell’umanità.

Sembra che il morbo sia scoppiato nell’Asia centrale e portato in Crimea con le carovane dei mercanti, da lì per nave raggiunse il Mediterraneo e dilagò spietatamente attraverso tutta l’Europa.

La vita si fermò, i campi non furono più coltivati, il bestiame lasciato a se stesso.
I cadaveri gettati uno sull’altro erano lasciati sulle strade a putrefare. La vita nella città era bloccata, il contagio si diffondeva, l’aria era contaminata da un odore insopportabile.

Soltanto poche città furono risparmiate
A Milano l’arcivescovo ordinò che al primo caso di contagio arrivato vicino alla città, le prime tre case infette fossero immediatamente murate con gli inquilini dentro, sia che essi fossero vivi, malati o morti.
L’ordine fu rispettato e Milano si salvò.
Il vescovo aveva scoperto come fermare il propagarsi della pestilenza: l’isolamento.

Ampie distese dell’odierna Polonia furono risparmiate proprio grazie ad una quarantena imposta dalle autorità locali.

Papa Clemente VI, uno dei papi residenti ad Avignone si salvò, ritirandosi in un appartamento privato dove rimase in completa solitudine.

Il fuoco salvò un nobile d’Inghilterra, che spietatamente ordinò che fosse dato alle fiamme un villaggio vicino alla sua residenza, quando gli abitanti furono contagiati dalle peste.

Ma a parte questi rari casi, la peste fu un flagello per tutta l’Europa.

Dopo la peste nera, cambiarono radicalmente i rapporti tra servi e padroni.
Con un quarto della popolazione in meno, i lavoratori potevano esigere paghe più alte, mentre i proprietari terrieri furono costretti ad abbassare i prezzi.

Le tensioni economiche sociali portarono spesso ad agitazioni tra le classi meno agiate, che talvolta divennero vere e proprie sommosse.

Con il XVI secolo, il rapido aumento della popolazione significò il ritorno a retribuzioni ancora più basse

Ospedali
Lebbrosi e Lebbrosari
Peste nera
La lotta alla pestilenza
Medicina ed erboristeria
Rimedi naturali

59 pensiero su “PESTE NERA”
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