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澳洲指导assignment:文艺复兴时期的黑死病Black Death in Renaissance

论文价格: 免费 时间:2019-07-03 13:13:24 来源:www.ukassignment.org 作者:留学作业网
Origins of the Black Death黑死病的起源
 
黑死病是人类历史上最具破坏性的流行病之一,在1348年至1350年间在欧洲达到顶峰。关于鼠疫的起源,人们普遍认为鼠疫是由来自中国和南亚的鼠疫杆菌通过丝绸之路传播的。(Varlik,2015:95)然而,关于瘟疫的爆发仍然存在许多争议(Varlik,2015:107-117),包括病原体及其起源的分歧,不仅在于历史学家的描述和科学家的工作之间,也在于科学界。(论文陈述:黑死病被认为是人类历史上最严重的灾难之一,同时也被认为是中世纪欧洲改造社会的机会。黑死病不仅在人口上,而且在社会经济、宗教、文化和其他社会领域造成了深刻的变化。)
 
The Black Death, one of the most devastating pandemic in human history, peaked in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Regarding its origin, it is widely believed that the plague was carried by the bacterium Yersinia pestis coming from China and South Asia through Silk Road. (Varlik, 2015: 95) However, there are still many controversies (Varlik, 2015: 107-117) over the outbreak of the plague, including the divergence over pathogen and its origins lying not only between the historians’ description and the works of scientists, but also within the science community. (Thesis statement: Black Death is considered as one of the most serious catastrophe in human history while it is also deemed as providing opportunities for the medieval Europe to transform the society. The Black Death caused profound changes not only in the population but also in socio-economy, religion, culture and other realms of society.)
 
Regarding the pathogen of the Black Death, scientists developed scientific knowledge of plague in the Third Pandemic background and came up with the conclusion that the plague was rat- and flea-borne disease, while in the historians’ description, there was no rat mentioned. Based on the way the plague was spread in perspective of scientists, the transmission of the disease shall be slow, which was contrary to historical source on the swift spread of the disease. Within the science community, several scientists remained skeptical to the existing knowledge on how the Black Death was transmitted and refused the possibilities that the plague was rat-based caused by Yersinia. Pestis. (Varlik, 2015: 92)关于黑死病的病原体,科学家们在第三大流行病背景下发展了鼠疫的科学知识,得出鼠疫是鼠疫和跳蚤传播疾病的结论,而在历史学家的描述中,没有提到鼠疫。根据科学家对鼠疫传播方式的看法,鼠疫传播应缓慢,这与鼠疫迅速传播的历史渊源背道而驰。在科学界,一些科学家仍然对黑死病是如何传播的现有知识持怀疑态度,并拒绝了鼠疫是由耶尔森菌引起的鼠源性的可能性。鼠疫。(瓦利克,2015:92)
 
With regard to the origin of the Black Death, John Norris stood against the hypothesis that the plague originated from China, India and Central Asia by challenging the fact that the knowledge on the first wave of the Black Death was mainly built on the Third Pandemic. In 2004, Benedictow in his work The Black Death, 1346-1353: The Complete History, argued that “neither China nor India seem to have been affected by the Black Death of the mid-fourteenth century” until seventeenth century. (Varlik, 2015: 96)关于黑死病的起源,约翰·诺里斯反对黑死病起源于中国、印度和中亚的假设,他挑战了关于黑死病第一波的知识主要建立在第三次大流行之上的事实。2004年,本尼迪克托在他的著作《黑死病,1346-1353:完整的历史》中指出,“直到17世纪,中国和印度似乎都没有受到十四世纪中叶黑死病的影响”。(瓦利克,2015:96)
 
Consequence of the Black Death
 
Drastic population decline 
 
The Black Death, also called as the Black Plague, was estimated to reduce 30 to 60 percent of the European population at the time, contributing to the 100 million decrease in the world population.  
 
The spread of the Black Plague caused a massive decline in population. The first wave of the Black Death had hit regions in Italy by the end of 1347 and then spread to the rest of Europe between 1348 and 1352. (Malanima, 2012: 4) As a result, there was a decline of the population by 30 percent between 1348 and 1352. (DeWitte, 2014: 1) Some other literature, however, suggests that there was a fall of 20 to 25 percent between 1348 and 1352 while there was another drop of 5 to 10 percent from 1350s to 1400. (Malanima, 2012: 4)
 
It is estimated that 25 percent of all the villages were destroyed by the plague as few villagers survived and fled to cities and towns. Some rural areas such as Eastern Poland and Lithuania, were relatively isolated from the plague while big cities experience worse situation as its population density and close residence seem to aggravate the plague transmission. Bremen in Germany had lost 7000 of its 12,000 citizens while in Florence, Italy there was a loss of 40,000 of 90,000 inhabitants. Drastic population drop also took place in other major cities in Europe including Paris. (Malanima, 2012: 4; Olea, 2005: 291-303)
 
Overall, 20 million people in Europe were killed between 1347 and 1352 when the Black Death peaked in Europe, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the European population. The population did not grow until the last decade of the 1500s. (Malanima, 2012: 4-5)
 
Changes in Economy
 
The plague changed the overpopulation in Europe by reducing 30 percent of its population, resulting in more land and food available and higher wages for peasants/workers. (Malanima, 2012: 9) The vast population deduction led to a series socio-economic changes including the increased social mobility and the weakened the attachment of peasants to land , higher competencies for the peasants/workers to bargain for higher wages and more physical and spiritual freedom for the workers/peasants.  
 
Wage
As the population of labor force went down, landowners found it more and more difficult to find peasants/workers to participate in farming and producing goods. Therefore, peasants were able to bargain for higher wages for work on lands and demand for better working conditions.  Given the reduced population, more fertile land resource became available and concentrated in hands of the survivors of the plague. In urban areas, the drop of population was followed by a rise in per capita wealth, increasing the spending in towns at the time.  Though in England, law  (Palmer, 2000: 19) was enacted to lower the wage of peasants and workers, it failed to adjust the price of labor due to protests from the peasant/worker community, with extreme expression in Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, a rebellion to smash the limit of peasants’ rights and high payments to landowners.  
 
Agriculture 
Due to the sharp drop of the population during the period, agricultural economy supported by labor force was profoundly influenced as well. Since the labor force for agriculture was reduced by the pandemic, scarce peasants/workers became more empowered to bargain for better pay and working conditions. As another side of the coin, the landowners held less control over the peasants/workers.  To avoid the extensive use of labor, some landowners shifted their business from farming to sheep raising that required less labor force. As a result, the society had less reliance on agriculture than how it did in the past and the industry of production was growing gradually. Peasants/workers who used to work on landowners’ land became more economically capable so that they could afford their own lands and participated in production as well. More goods were produced, boosting the transactions in towns and urban areas. In this way, labor force from peasant feudalism emerged, shaking the economic basis for the old society.   
 
Political transformation
 
The shaken authority of Catholic Church and the more developed local administrative machine made it possible to shift the political power from religion, dominant in both secular and religious life of people, toward local administrative institutions representing state power, providing a more open and tolerant environment for renaissance.  
 
Authority of church challenged
In the mediaeval Europe, religion was playing an important role in governing both secular and religious life of people. On the outbreak of the Black Plague, people came to churches for cure however found it failed the promise to heal plague victims. The incapability of clergies in healing the infected undermined the authority of the churches, leading to crisis to maintain people’s faith in religion.  During the treatment for the infected, a number of clergies were also infected by the plague and die, which led to a serious shortage of clergies after the epidemic. To deal with the shortage, churches hired new clergies who were not as qualified and convicted as the pervious, further deteriorating the position of the church in the eye of believers. Dissatisfaction with churches made it possible for the reform movements that broke the unity of the Catholic Church. Some of the believers fell within mysticism while some of them became flagellants, who conducting penance in public and were intended to kill Jews and clergymen speaking against them. #p#分页标题#e#
 
Organization of cities complicated
During the course of the pandemic, the cities and towns developed sophisticated mechanisms to prevent the epidemic disease from spreading and to minimize the damage it brought to the residents. The infected individuals and households were identified and isolated in special hospitals so that the contacts between the sick and the healthy were avoided. Accompanied by the regulations on the plague victims, cities also formulated Bills of Health and regulations for travelers and ships from exterior regions. Bans related to the movement of goods and travelers from the infected areas within the country were issued as well to reduce the possibility of the plague spread.  The need to control the plague transmission facilitated the development of a more sophisticated administrative system and the enforcement of the state power on controlling the residents within its territory, which indicated state restrains on the mobility and liberty of people. The necessity for sanitation improvement also required cities to make more efforts in pure water supply, garbage disposal and food inspection. Driven by the need, the city administrative machines was advanced to implement the social control. (Clark, 2015: 162)
 
Renaissance humanism
 
Though the Black Death did not directly result in the taking place of Renaissance, however, it led to a series of reforms that shook the foundations of Mediaeval Europe and paved its way to Renaissance. The idea of equality was permeated in heart of people. 
 
Education 
As more and more vacancies in Church were created due to the death of the previous clergymen, people with less education replaced the previous clergymen, changing the situation that education was blocked only to those who knows Latin and French. More and more informal languages were applied in education, allowing more plain people to access education. This revolutionary change shifted the function of education gradually from church to society, stimulating the founding of universities across Europe and providing the intellectual roots for the spreading of the ideas generated during Renaissance.   
 
Ideology and Art
The rejection of mediaeval Latin was accompanied by the trend to restore Ancient Greek and Roman knowledge and Art. The threat of death that came from the influence of the Black Death made people focus more on the happiness and pleasure in secular life, driving philosophers at the time to pay more attention on human conditions. 
 
The shadow brought by the Black Death created changes in the way people conceive the world and provoked people to change the traditional way of living their life taught by church. In this context, people gradually abandoned the idea of asceticism and pursued pleasure in life. Instead of imagine a world after death, the public realized that reality they were facing counted more. 
 
During the course of the Black Death spread in Europe, more art works featured with themes on death, hell and fear appeared, expressing the desperation people were undergoing at the time. After the Black Death, the literatures and paintings were pervaded by a profound pessimism. (DesOrmeaux, 2007) Nevertheless, it brought positive effect to the unity of artists (Gardner, 2008) which helped to ensure the quality of art works in Renaissance. 
 
The threat of the Black Death also made people realized everyone was equal in the eye of death regardless of their social status, watering the sprout of the idea of equality.  The tension between the peasants/workers and landowners caused by the shortage of labor force and high wage for the peasants/workers also leads to Peasant Revolt that challenged the unequal power relationship between the landowners and the peasants/workers. 
 
Conclusion
 
Although there are still controversies over the origin and the pathogen of the Black Death, the consequences of the Black Death seem to have more certainty. There are literature discussing its influence upon population, economy, politics and culture. As analyzed, the influence in different social realms interacted with each other. The drastic decline of the population caused a shortage of labor force, rising the wage for peasants/workers and making them more empowered in terms of bargaining for better working conditions and freedom from land. The feudalism based on the control over the bodies of peasants therefore collapsed due to a more balanced power relationship between peasants and landowners, which also provided economic foundation for the idea of equality advocated by renaissance. 
 
The hierarchy was also undermined as the authority of Catholic Church was challenged by people who failed to obtain any proper treatment and cure from church. Clergies also died from the infection of the plague, leaving a number of vacancies in church later filled with the unqualified clergymen. The recruitment of the unqualified individuals led to the popularization of informal language in preaching and teaching, decentralizing the function of education from church to society and driving more universities to be built to cater public needs for education. This change provided intellectual foundation for renaissance and placed church to the position not able to enforce dominant control over secular life of people. 
 
The Black Death also influenced the art in the period as amounts of them showed depression and fear toward death. The fear drove people to shift their attention from life after death to life at present, implying desire for pleasure, wealth and happiness in present life, especially when they realized that everyone was equal in front of death. Hence hierarchy and inequality were challenged by people who were taught to obey the hierarchy.
 
In conclusion, the Black Death though did not led to renaissance directly, it seemed to provide conditions to its occurrence and spread in various social realms. 
 
REFERENCE
 
[Book]
1. Varlik, N. (2015). Plague and Empire in the Early Modern Mediterranean World. Cambridge University Press. P.90-127
2. Campbell, B. M. (2016). The Great Transition. Cambridge University Press. P.276
3. Clark, L., & Rawcliffe, C. (Eds.). (2013). The Fifteenth Century XII: Society in an Age of Plague (Vol. 12). Boydell Press. P.162
4. Palmer, R. C. (2000). English Law in the Age of the Black Death, 1348-1381: A Transformation of Governance and Law. Univ of North Carolina Press. P.19
 
[Journal]
5. Malanima, P. (2012). The economic consequences of the Black Death. na.
6. DesOrmeaux, A. L. (2007). The Black Death and its Effect on Fourteenth-and Fifteenth-Century Art (Doctoral dissertation, Faculty of the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in The School of Art by Anna L. DesOrmeaux BA, Louisiana State University).
7. Gardner, J. (2008). Sienese Painting after the Black Death: Artistic Pluralism, Politics, and the New Art Market Judith B. Steinhoff. Speculum, 83(3).
8. Olea, R. A., & Christakos, G. (2005). Duration of urban mortality for the 14th-century Black Death epidemic. Human biology, 291-303.
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