Lecture No. 4 Europe in the 14 Century Friday, October 19 ,
The Roman Empire was the time of when Europe dominated. The Romans controlled the
Mediterranean, and parts of Africa. The Greco – Roman culture left some cultural traces. The
Romans had a system of patronage; seen in European nations and who they colonizes. They
left behind some language – closely related to Latin. The Romans left behind their laws. Ancient
Greece influenced the Romans. The Catholic Church had a lot of influence in the State’s
development. The Church personals were the most literate people who had the skills.
Successful European agriculture came from the Fertile Crescent. Europe had good agriculture
where they could build states.
In the 14 century, Europe was losing people because of famines, and disease. The Black
Death (Bubonic plague) happened from 1347 to 1351. One third is believed to have died in
Europe. There was too much rain which made it difficult to farm. The temperature was colder
than normal. The harvest was affected by fungus. Some farmers ended up with less harvest
then they had sewn. The humidity created disease among the livestock. 75 – 80% of livestock
had decreased. The price of food went up a lot in the cities. The price of grain went up by 4
times in France. Southern Europe was affected more by famine. Pregnant women were more
likely to suffer miscarriages; less likely to get pregnant.
The wars in Europe were mostly regional. A lot of times the soldiers are ordered to do the
Scorched Earth Policy. The pay for the soldiers pay was very low. When the fighting stopped, a
lot of them did not go back home. Most became common thieves. The rulers had to ask for
more taxes because of the wars.
Pestilence: “On a single day 1312 people died in Avignon.” – Henry Kingdom. The Bubonic
plague was caused by bubonic and mnemonic. In the bubonic form, the disease was entered
the body through a cut by fleas. It spread through the Asian rat that carried fleas. When the rats
died, the fleas moved onto humans. The disease is believed to move around because of trade
routes. Iceland did not get the plague till the 15 century. First wave, everyone was affected.
The second wave, mostly affected the children. First wave is called the Virgin Epidemic. “In the
face of its onrush, all the wisdom and ingenuity of man were unavailing” – Giovanni Boccaccio.
People locked themselves away or tried to get aw