The black death
Hardcover, in-8, orig. decorated black cloth and in orig. black slipcase, illustrated endpapers (map of Europe showing spread of the plague), xiii + 280 pp., illustrations in colour, with bibliography and index. Describes the course of the plague through Europe, the state of medicine and hygiene, differential death rates in various regions, social and economic repercussions, spread of fear during the XIVth century. The Black Death is estimated to have killed 30% to 60% of Europe's population. It may have reduced the world's population from an estimated 450 million to between 350 and 375 million in 1400. The 14th century eruption of the Black Death had a drastic effect on Europe's population, irrevocably changing the social structure. It was a serious blow to the Roman Catholic Church, and resulted in widespread persecution of minorities such as Jews, foreigners, beggars, and lepers. The uncertainty of daily survival created a general mood of morbidity, influencing people to "live for the moment", as illustrated by Giovanni Boccaccio in The Decameron (1353).