Medieval Mystics Historical Context

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The fourteenth century in Europe was an extremely turbulent age for all levels of society. To begin with, there were more than the usual number of natural disasters. Famine, flood, and earthquakes caused misery and death for thousands, and the outbreak of the plague (Black Death) in 1348 was the most devastating public health crisis humanity has known. It began in Sicily in October 1347, and reached France in January 1348; it continued to ravage Paris until 1349. It reached England in August 1348, where it continued until early 1350. There were recurrences in 1360 and 1369. No one knows for certain what the death toll was, but it could have been one-quarter or even onethird of the entire population of Europe, which would have been about twenty million deaths. Paris lost half its population; London, one-third; Siena and Venice, two-thirds. (Catherine of Siena grew up during the period of the Black Death...

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This section contains 1,012 words
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Literary Movements for Students
Medieval Mystics from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.