Black Death Diaries

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade May 2001

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Black Death Diaries My name is Jean-Marc of Avingnon. I have two children and a lovely wife. I am just a simple shoemaker, yet I am the best in Avingnon. I have been living here all of my life, and have made many friends. My business is rather prosperous and my life was good until the First of February, 1348. I am now writing from my deathbed with no hope for recovery. My children are dead and my wife has fled. The Black Death has ripped my family and this town apart. This is my story of the past, hellish month.

Feb. 1-'Twas a normal Monday. I ate a hearty breakfast and went down to my shop. I opened my shop earlier then usual since I get more customers on Mondays. During the Mid-day, a man ran down the street shouting, "We're all doomed, the Pestilence is upon us!" Fear struck my heart.

I was aware of a horrid disease spreading about Italy. They called it the Black Plague because of the color of the victims skin when they died. I also heard it had come from Kaffa and that Genoan traders had spread it from Byzantium to Sicily to Venice. Many have thought the disease was brought down by God himself to punish the human race. Some thought it was bad air coming up from the bowels of the Earth. Wherever it came from, I feared for my family. I closed my shop and raced home.

Feb. 3-Fear has gripped Avingnon seemingly overnight. Many have fled and others have locked themselves in their houses, refusing to come out until the plague has moved on. My neighbor, who is a physician, suggested to me to burn odiforous wood and not to bathe. He said that many people in Milan...