[KINDLE] ✾ The Black Death and the Transformation of the West (European History Series) Author David Herlihy – Saudionline.co.uk

The Black Death and the Transformation of the West (European History Series) files The Black Death and the Transformation of the West (European History Series), read online The Black Death and the Transformation of the West (European History Series), free The Black Death and the Transformation of the West (European History Series), free The Black Death and the Transformation of the West (European History Series), The Black Death and the Transformation of the West (European History Series) da28a7fda The Black Death Was The Great Watershed In Medieval History In This Compact Book, David Herlihy Makes Bold Yet Subtle And Subversive Inquiries That Challenge Historical Thinking About This Disastrous Period As In A Finely Tuned Detective Story, He Upturns Intriguing Bits Of Epidemiological Evidence And, Looking Beyond The View Of The Black Death As Unmitigated Catastrophe, Herlihy Sees In It The Birth Of Technological Advance As Societies Struggled To Create Labor Saving Devices In The Wake Of Population Losses New Evidence For The Plague S Role In The Establishment Of Universities, The Spread Of Christianity, The Dissemination Of Vernacular Cultures, And Even The Rise Of Nationalism Demonstrates That This Cataclysmic Event Marked A True Turning Point In History


10 thoughts on “The Black Death and the Transformation of the West (European History Series)

  1. says:

    A very odd book because the introduction lays out and argues with the book before we ve read it Since this is an exceptionally short book maybe 60 pages without the back material and the intro I figure it was probably an effort to make the book longer I think it would have been better served by a concluding chapter by the author of the introduction Nothing Herlihy writes seemed so radical as to cause the dragging out of old lectures and putting together of a book But the book is pretty old I found the comparison between AIDS and the plague poor since the plague didn t seem to target out groups, especially culturally scorned groups like gays and drug users Since he was writing during the days when this was still common before people realized that anyone could get AIDS it seems strange.


  2. says:

    David Herlihy s revisionist work, The Black Death and the Transformation of the West, would have inevitably been cached away and forgotten a fate that most miscellaneous intellectual writings face when their authors pass away Luckily for historians, Herlihy s work, consisting of three unpublished essays about the Black Death, has survived intact and in many ways has been improved upon by Professor Samuel K Cohn s authoritative analysis As Cohn s extremely helpful, albeit critical introduction explains, Herlihy s perception of the Black Death and its direct effect on the development of Western civilization was shaped by the ever shifting environment of modern intellectual thought and his own personal observations In this, Herlihy s The Black Death and the Transformation of the West, reflects the historiographical truth that was captured by a fellow medievalist the knowledge of the present bears even immediately upon the understanding of the past Bloch, 45 During the 1960 s, Herlihy s conclusions regarding the Black Death implemented a modified Malthusian framework, that mirrored Marxist interpretations of the Middle Ages Herlihy, 2 However, 20 years later, his own observations of modern diseases and, specifically, modern society s attitude towards the sick, changed his historical perspective on the Black Death The growth of the AIDS pandemic during the 1980 s, a disease that defied socio economic boundaries, and also, like the Black Death, defied an exact origin, shaped Herlihy s historical interpretation of medieval epidemics The fact that the mysterious origin of AIDS could not be accurately pinned to class structure, or a broad Malthusian model, forced Herlihy to question the accepted biological and historical interpretations of the Black Plague Herlihy, 5 As Cohn argues, AIDS proved to Herlihy that a disease can mysteriously develop and spread uncontrollably throughout the world Herlihy s first essay provides a fascinating analysis of the historiography of the disease, and even goes as far as to suggest that the Black Death was not caused by the bubonic or pneumatic plague Herlihy flirts with the controversial theory developed by British Zoologists, Graham Twigg, which states that the plagues that devastated Western Europe were the caused by anthrax He however, cautions that perhaps different diseases worked synergistically to produce staggering mortalities Herlihy, 30 Herlihy opened the door for new ideas There still remains a heated debate among scholars about what disease or diseases characterize the Black Death In the latter two essays, Herlihy modifies his initial theory that stated the Black Death was the manifestation of classical Malthusian crises He instead argues that the miraculous development of the Black Death merely broke what he termed the Malthusian deadlock , which paralyzed social movement and improvement Herlihy, 38 The short term economic effect of the medieval epidemics, Herlihy argues, was shock Herlihy, 40 But the long term effects of the disease which was largely a function of massive depopulation, led to an increase in farm ownership and employment, a raise in wages, and lowering in rent which all contributed to an improving the standard of living for many Herlihy, 57 As Cohn explains, Herlihy was additionally influenced by finding parallels that linked the Black Death and AIDS to the creation of harsh divisions between the infected and unaffected As Herlihy explains the plague disrupted common daily practices and rituals, and in general incited a new tension between the living and the dead Herlihy, 62 Herlihy asserts that, Like AIDS victims today, the sick had become the enemy Herlihy, 62 The Black Death, argues Herlihy, also made the average person question medical expertise The AIDS epidemic, from what Herlihy has observed, also created a crises of confidence in expert opinion, which has led to parents demanding infected students taken out of school and in general, contact with infected limited Herlihy, 69 The modern AIDS epidemic had a transformative effect on Herlihy s analysis of the Black Death which occurred than six centuries earlier Its enigmatic origin, and its ability to thrust a society into a divisive panic, in which the average person questions the medical expertise of the time, has provided interesting parallels Thus, The Black Death and the Transformation of the West, despite its mere 110 pages, provides audiences with a complex analysis of the Black Death and important lessons in historiography.


  3. says:

    Interesting use of sources, bold conclusions and unfortunately wrongThis short book is actually three chapters 1 Bubonic Plague Historical Epidemiology and the Medical Problems2 The New Economic and Demographic System3 Modes of Thought and FeelingIn the first chapter Herlihy attempts to trace the cause s of the plague back through the Chinese epidemic in 1894 to the Medieval plagues of 1347 8 He questions the main culprit Yersinia Pestis and proposes, based on descriptive evidence from the victims, either tuberculosis, anthrax or Yersinia pseudo tuberculosis Then he moves on to a Malthusian description of Medieval life prior to the plague and noted that European health was greatly diminished by a series of famines prior to the outbreak Herlihy concludes that the plague was not a Malthusian reckoning or crisis, but a deadlock p 38 What he means by deadlock is unclear, for surely the famines, wars and finally the plague seems to have been than a deadlock.In the second chapter, he attempts to paint a balanced picture of the mid fourteenth century but ends up in self contradiction The Medieval world was both stagnant and dynamic, pre and post plague The economy was saturated nearly all available resources were committed to the effort of producing foodto support packed communitiesthe civilization of the central Middle Ages, might have maintained itself for the indefinite future That did not happen an exogenous factor, the Black Death broke the Malthusian deadlock p.39 Frequently too, the policy of factor substitution involved technological innovation, the development of entirely new tools and machines High labor costs promise big rewards to the inventors of labor saving devices Chiefly for this reason, the late Middle Ages were a period of impressive technological achievement p 49 What these advances were is not clear and Lynn White s and Jean Gimple s works not that most, if not all technological developments occured prior to the plague, resulting in growing populations, urbanization and the necessary criteria and conditions for something like the plague to occur.The final chapter, on thought and feeling, again vacillates between between conclusions Herlihy notes that St Francis calls death sister but then after the plague death is transformed into the ravishing monster, the master of the dance p 63 But the surviving danse macabres such as Hrastovlje seem to confirm a continuity than a transformation Similarly, Many spontaneous religious movements arose in the aftermath or even in anticipation of epidemics p 66 If someone could explain what is meant by that line I would be eternally grateful The medieval world was constantly seeing new religious movements, from the Cathars, Bogomils, Waldensians and Fraticelli to the Franciscans and Dominicans, Carthusians, Trappists and Cluniacs The worlds prior to the plague was dynamic Did the plague influence Europe, certainly Herlihy is right on the decline in University studies, the rise in nomenalism, the rise of nationalism, the development of medicine but his connection to the plague is weak or left understated And the discussion on the rise of religious names on page 76 is just odd The rise in Christian names likely has as much to do with religious reasons as the current popularity of Christian names in our ever secular western society.


  4. says:

    This book completely changed the way I thought about the Black Death Cohn basically argues that the Black Death was not, in fact, what we think of now as the Bubonic Plague, but he is wise enough not to try to say exactly what it was a few years prior, another historian had tried to argue that it was anthrax, and was shot down pretty hard.Cohn presents a good case that the disease that we know was spread by fleas on rats and trust me, almost everyone I talk about the Black Death with knows this one thing was actually something else Using epidemiological data from a turn of the century outbreak of plague in India as well as records from the Middle Ages burials, wills, tax records , he demonstrates that the death rates, periods and locations of highest mortality, and general weather data are inconsistent with the plague.Read Zigler, read Gottfried, they both hew to the rat flea line, but Cohn makes a convincing new case.


  5. says:

    Having read so many end of the world scifi books and having watched so many zombie apocalypse type movies, it was interesting and somewhat humbling to read about a very real apocalypse Presented in three lectures that examined different aspects of the plague, it definitely makes you wonder how civilization would transform if another event of this magnitude occurred today.


  6. says:

    A decent triplet of essays regarding the Black Death Less enjoyable than Defoe s Journal of the Plague Year , which while fictionalized, has the benefit of drawing vividly from first hand accounts of the 1666 plague The Herlihy essays suffer from a labored analogy with the AIDS epidemic, marking its mid 1990s inception and limiting its argument The AIDS epidemic could hardly be said to be transformational in the same way Ultimately this preoccupation renders the final work unnecessarily political and therefore lacking in sufficient seriousness to recommend it It does provide thoughtful jumping off points to consider both Boccaccio s Decameron as a plague narrative and the expansion of late medieval Christianity, post plague.


  7. says:

    I read this for a paper on the plague and tbh I was underwhelmed Herlihy did a good job of familiarizing me with the broad strokes of plague discourse, but his arguments frequently felt flimsy and dubious to me He has an interesting idea in tracing the religiosity of the common people through the names they give their children, tracking this against the rise of the plague, but spends all of three pages on this If you are looking for info on the plague and the way it impacted life, I would recommend you check out either Paul Slack or Sheila Barker Herlihy was fine, but you can do better.


  8. says:

    This was a very concise and engaging examination of the economic, social, political, and religious effects of the Black Death Herlihy hints at parallels between these effects in the late middle ages and the AIDS crisis that was ongoing when the book was published, but the links between the two are hinted at rather than fully explicated Herlihy does a good job of demonstrating the lasting effects that this profound crisis had on Europe, many of which are still felt today.


  9. says:

    A perfect summer read on the beachseriously.


  10. says:

    This was a fascinating read for James and I.It challenged everything we know about The Plague so far.


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