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Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Medieval History

- The Middle Ages -
Black Death, The Black Plague

The Black Death
What if you came to class tomorrow and five people were missing? No big deal. The next day ten are out; the next day 20. Then you hear that some of them are dying - now what do you think?

The Black Death killed 25 million people throughout Europe. The Black Death was carried by fleas on rats. Yersinius pestis is the bacteria that causes the plague. Some places tried to take over others by catapulting infected corpses into their town (early germ-warfare).


In India, in 1994, when the Plague broke out and people were dying, the people wouldn't kill the rats because rats are sacred. The Plague can also be carried by prairie dogs. Areas of the south western United States, where there are fast growing suburban areas, are especially at risk. Do you still think the prairie dogs in Highlands Ranch are so cute?


Symptoms of Plague
Ring around the boil / cyst
Fever and sweating
Vomiting blood, blood in urine
Bloody boils


There are two types of plague. One type infects the bloodstream, causing the bubos and internal bleeding, and was spread by contact. The pneumonic type infects the lungs and is spread by respiratory infection.

How the Plague Spread to Europe
The Black Plague came to Europe on trading ships from the East. People thought that this was "the end of the world" because there had been several calamities at the time: droughts, earthquakes, etc. In Revelations (in the Bible) it says that God would send disasters and a sickness that would wipe out the earth.

Rat Effects of the Plague Rat

The population decreased by one-half.

There was less trade.

The people experienced flashbacks of earlier times.

There was a decrease in tolerance.

Peasants felt more equal since rich people were dying, too.

A feeling of helplessness, and loss of control.

Agriculture declined.

Back to Top of Page

1. Early Middle Ages: Dark Ages and Feudalism

2. Clovis, Charles the Hammer, Charlemagne,
Magyars, Vikings / The Life of a Serf

3. The Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages

4. High Middle Ages / National Monarchies


6. Knights and Medieval Warfare

7. The Hundred Years War

8. Medieval Culture

8th- to 15th-Century Poems and Prose
Dante Alighieri, Geoffrey Chaucer, William Langland & more.

Including: Divine Comedy, Beowulf, Canterbury Tales...
Medieval Poetry I
Medieval Poetry & Prose II

More Information
The Entire Bayeux Tapestry

Mr. Sedivy's Tour of Medieval Rothenburg

Medieval Penalties of Shame and Honor -
Crime and Punishment in the Middle Ages

Historical Periods of
World History Class Study

| Prehistory | Mesopotamia & Phoenicians |
| Ancient Egypt | Greece | Rome |
| Medieval History | The Renaissance |
| Exploration | National Monarchies |
| The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment |
| Colonial America and American Revolution |
| The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era



Highlands Ranch High School 9375 South Cresthill Lane Highlands Ranch, Colorado 80126 303-471-7000

Mr. Sedivy's History Classes
| Colorado History | American Government | Modern European History | Advanced Placement European History | Rise of England | World History |
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