Plague Effects in Medieval Europe

TitlePlague Effects in Medieval Europe
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1966
AuthorsThrupp, SL
JournalComparative Studies in Society and History
ISBN Number0010-4175
Keywordsarticle, Europe, EUROPE : MEDIEVAL, Medieval (see also Middle Ages), MEDIEVAL : EUROPE, PLAGUE EFFECTS IN, SEX : RATIO IN PRE- & POST-PLAGUE EUROPE, Sex/Sexes/Sexism/Sexist/Sexists

J. C. Russell's contention (see SA 2045/C5385) that there was a spectacular diff between pre-plague & post-plague sexratio rests upon examination of skeletons in European cemeteries. But the techniques for dating these skeletons & ascertaining their ages are as yet unreliable. Furthermore, Russell fails to consider the effects of migration & econ circumstances, such as men working on the frontier. The effects of plague on sex-ratio can be checked by comparing the records of Catholic countries in the 16th & 17th cent's. Italian records of that time show no distinctive influence on sex-ratio. C. Rosenberg's contention (see SA 0104/C4674) that the traditional bifurcated reaction to plague, fear & guilt vs preventive measures operated in a historically new manner in 19th-cent Europe is shown to be mistaken by a comparison with responses to plague in medieval Italy. Med men recognized the importance of contagion even in the 14th cent. The diff in the emphases of the 2 reactions is probably due to the ability of the Renaissance rich to escape to country estates whereas the 19th-cent business class was townbound. Finally, the most important problem in a symposium on peasant's health in the medieval period is the availability of protein. M. Duke.