Black Death

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Black Death:

see plagueplague,
any contagious, malignant, epidemic disease, in particular the bubonic plague and the black plague (or Black Death), both forms of the same infection. These acute febrile diseases are caused by Yersinia pestis (Pasteurella pestis
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Black Death


the name given by contemporaries to the plague that spread throughout Europe between 1347 and 1353. During that period approximately 25 million people—that is, almost half the population of Europe—died of the Black Death. The pandemic recurred on a smaller scale in 1361 and 1369.

The Black Death resulted in a decline in the number of workers and, consequently, in a rise in the cost of labor. To provide the feudal aristocracy and urban patriciate with cheap labor, the governments of some countries enacted laws fixing wages at pre-plague levels. These measures intensified the class struggle, which found expression in uprisings, the rejection of feudal obligations, and the flight of peasants from their feudal lords.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

black death

[¦blak ′deth]
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Black Death

killed at least one third of Europe’s population (1348–1349). [Eur. Hist.: Bishop, 379–382]
See: Disease
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Black Death

the. a form of bubonic plague pandemic in Europe and Asia during the 14th century, when it killed over 50 million people
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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