- When the "Black Death" invaded China and the world, time back
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When the "Black Death" invaded China and the world, time back



The following article, published in 1894 in a popular American scientific journal, reviews the conditions of the plague epidemic worldwide. It is coincidental with history that the plague known as the "third pandemic" spread in China at the end of the nineteenth century, and also from there to the rest of the world. Consequently, history repeats itself once more with the global spread of the emerging Corona Virus pandemic.


The day the Black Death swept China

Symptoms of the disease were severe fever, headache, swelling in the glands of the neck, armpits, and upper thigh, as well as nosebleeds and rashes; it killed 80 to 90 per cent of the affected cases, often within forty-eight hours of the injury. This is the classic depiction of the plague, or as it is known as the black plague or the great or bubonic plague; we referred to it when it appeared in Turkestan the fall of 1892 and died in six days 1300 people in a small town ..

Although he was considered the most terrifying infectious disease, he remained unknown to our modern civilization. Even the epidemiologists and bacteria did not study it enough, and the reason for this is that it is an outbreak of epidemics, or at least it did not appear in a region where science students could study it, and all this made us ignorant of all Almost anything about the reasons for its emergence or the ways to spread it.

The only thing known to us is that the plague spread in European countries during periods and for almost two thousand years, and it is the same epidemic that appeared during the reign of Emperor Trajan, as it destroyed Europe and Asia as a whole in the fourteenth century, and almost 25 million people died in Europe and 36 million Someone in Asia.

During a five-month epidemic in Naples in 1656, 300,000 people died from the pandemic. Everyone who reads "The Plague Diary" by its owner, Daniel Defoe, will remember the horrors of the epidemic in London in 1665, as it was depicted with his creative pen.

It is true that there are doubts hovering over whether the author actually found in London at the time, but his accurate description of the facts supports the possibility of this. Within a few months of its spread in the city, ninety-six thousand people were killed. When dealing with the symptoms of the plague, Defoe stressed that "some of them immediately exhausted, with the accompanying severe fever, vomiting, back pain and a severe headache to the point of getting into fits of frenzy and even delirium. Others show large swelling in the neck, thigh and armpits, which causes In unimaginable pain. "

The plague appeared in the city of Toulon in 1721 and eliminated a third of its population. Its last appearance was in Europe in both Turkey and Dalmatia during the period between 1840 and 1841. The best European doctors were able to see the plague in Egypt between 1833 and 1845, and this was a dream come true before the emergence of epidemiology and virology. Since then, the pandemic spread in West Asia on the banks of the Euphrates River between 1867 and 1873, in Baghdad in 1876, on the banks of the Tigris River in 1877, and in some parts of Mesopotamia in 1884.

The infection continued to spread, albeit slightly, to the banks of the Volga in 1878, and several European governments sent medical committees to conduct field research, but they disappeared before they arrived .. We have already indicated its spread in one or two villages in Turkestan in 1892.

The plague is one of the most deadly infectious diseases, neither humans nor animals. The epidemic continues to spread throughout West Asia. It may seem reassuring because we do not have commercial relations with us or mutual travel, but we believe that there is an urgent need to consider the spread of the pandemic in the Asian ports with which we are constantly linked.

This epidemic is extremely terrifying in its nature and appearance, very terrible in its development; and we are not fully prepared to face such an epidemic, knowing that we do not know its causes or methods of transmission of infection or the means of intercepting it .. It certainly deserves serious attention from our government and health care officials, especially Those stationed on ships bound for Asian ports.
Traders, craftsmen and clerics .. "Black Plague" reaps a third of the population
News reports indicate that a large number of Corona epidemics occurred in Italy, Spain and France.
It is useful to recall that this epidemic represents a link in a series of natural disasters and pests that these countries have witnessed since ancient times, distributed among famines, epidemics, earthquakes and torrents, among them the epidemic of the mid-fourteenth century AD / eighth century AH, known as the "black plague", which formed a topic A large number of research and studies in those countries, and some aspects of it are still the subject of discussion today.

It seems that this concern is in line with the scale of the human catastrophe that resulted from it; otherwise, it was not subject to research by those interested in the history of the Islamic West, although it killed a huge population. And our evidence in what we go to is that the bibliography of the research that I dealt with does not exceed a few titles, in addition to the fact that some of the basic texts that concern him have been manuscript until recent years, and were adopted only in a very limited scope.

From these considerations, Hespress, through four episodes, sheds light on this epidemic and its demographic consequences in Andalusia.

4- Black plague victims

In this paper, we tried to highlight a serious epidemic that appeared in the mid-eighth century AH / mid-fourteenth century A.D. It was famous among some modern and contemporary researchers for the "black plague". It has spread to most parts of the ancient world, and has killed a large number of people. And it included the Andalusia that we chose as a space for research, so we became acquainted with it and stopped at its near and far causes from the information that the texts that we dealt with provided us, and we talked about its location within the epidemiological cycle, and we discussed its symptoms and the chronology of its spread in the Kingdom of Granada. We tried, based on the material provided by these texts, to monitor the human losses that resulted from it. In light of the limited digital data it contains, we decided to expand the scope of the discussion of the geography of its spread. We reviewed his career in some of the metropolitan areas of the Christian area of ​​Iberia and the consequent losses in order to compare them with his losses in the Islamic field from the Iberian Peninsula.

Following this presentation, we can make the following comments:

First: This epidemic is still one of the topics that have not yet received attention in the Arab world, as evidence that research in it, in the Islamic field in general and in Andalus in particular, still has not yet crossed the threshold of achieving some of the texts that concern it. Contrary to what it is in western European countries, especially in France, in which the research on its subject has achieved an impressive accumulation. Even so, some of his issues remain debated today.

Accumulation in France exceeds what was achieved in Spain, which researchers began to take after the French; but judging from texts not full of numbers, similar to the French texts.

Second: The outcome of the epidemic was great, in Andalusia in general, and in Almería and Malaga in particular, according to the few digital impressions and data included in the Andalusian texts. Therefore, some of the authors of these texts went on to refer to it as "a wedge", "a tremendous disease", "an epic", "the great plague", and "the greater plague". And they did not mistake what they went to, because western researchers have long unanimously agreed that it had harvested nearly a third of the population of the areas it invaded.

Third: The mortality rate in the general community of Andalusia was great, because the epidemic found them more willing than others to present their souls as offerings. They have been reeling since the beginning of the eighth century AH under the weight of war and the blockade at times, and under the weight of starvation at other times.

Fourth: It has been the habit to identify the vulnerable epidemic in the first place. Although he was sometimes killed by a number of private individuals, as we have shown in research on "Deaths Among Andalusian Scholars", but the mid-eighth century AH epidemic "tried" to be less discriminatory, whether from a geographical or a social point of view. It has invaded various regions of the world, with the exception of very limited sites. It also killed a large number of poor people. The rich were not excluded. In the Kingdom of Granada, the poor were killed. Some dignitaries were also victims, including a number of judges and scholars. He killed Alfonso XI, the king of Castile, on the outskirts of Gibraltar.

Fifth: The researchers, who dealt with this epidemic in the Christian sphere from the Iberian Peninsula, unanimously agreed that it has killed the general public and their own, from farmers, merchants, craftsmen, administration men, politicians, and clergy. They had not returned since the 1980s, agreeing with Raymond Cazelles, who, in a research published in 1962, adopted the idea that "the plague of 1348 was a proletarian."

There is no doubt that his victims in Andalusia were from the same categories mentioned above. In the article of Ibn Khatimah, there is a talk about deaths among the clothing sellers. And if the texts that we adopted did not mention deaths among craftsmen, then its silence in this regard does not mean that the funerals that went every day to Almeria or Malaga cemeteries did not include the bodies of some craftsmen besides the bodies of other victims.

Sixth: It appears that most of the deaths consisted of adult males, especially those who were more likely to be infected. It was also a lot among women and children. Ibn al-Khatib, in his article, was aware of this fact, and he mentioned that the epidemic killed a large number of children. The jurist, Omar Al-Malqi, in turn confirmed that the epidemic was "favoring" children between the ages of seven and ten. This data is very significant from a demographic point of view. But European researchers did not stop there enough. Although the aforementioned Raymond Cazel raised the issue when he mentioned in his research that the plague of 1348 was "proletarian" and that its consequences were "many among children".

Christian Guilleré raised the issue in a 1984 article on "The Plague in Girona". However, he said only that there were relatively few deaths in this age group in the city of Girona during the first wave of the "plague". But it was relatively high during the wave of the year 1362 AD.

Instead of stopping at the deaths resulting from the "plague" in terms of gender or age, this researcher decided to allocate space to talk about these deaths in the professional circles, and he explained that the highest rate of deaths was among merchants and workers in the field of transportation in the city mentioned. It reached 26.5 per cent, while among the leather workers 16.1 per cent, among the textile sector employees 13.5 per cent, and the lowest among workers in the administration by 4.5 per cent.

Robert-Henri Bautier returned to the issue in 1988 in a long article about the "plague" of 1348 in the Catalan town of Vich ou Vic, and concluded, after extrapolating a set of documents of interest to the period, that "the plague was not a proletarian." Also, "the children did not line up." He explained that the disease spread to the town between May 1348 and the beginning of the year 1352. There were 795 deaths recorded between the months of August 1348 and April 1352, including approximately 100 ordinary deaths. Accordingly, the "plague" had killed seven hundred people during the aforementioned period; among them were 90 children, distributed between 50 males and 40 females. The largest number of deaths were among men, especially from society and its general community, including merchants, craftsmen, and clergy.
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