In October 1347, a ghostly fleet of trading ships docks at a port in Sicily. The crew members – dead already, or well on their way – bear bubonic plague. The ‘Great Pestilence’ will ravage the populations of three continents over the next decade. What changes to society will result from this, the most devastating pandemic in history? How will people make sense of the terrible scenes before them? Are their methods of dealing with disease really as misguided as they seem? This is a Short History of the Black Death.

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