Migration, epidemics, war and famine in the Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages Europe was inhabited by Greeks, Romance peoples, Celts, Thracians, Germans, Balts, Slavs, Finno-Ugrians, and Asian and African minorities. In the V-XI centuries. the tribes and peoples of Europe have already sufficiently mixed up among themselves.

Medieval people were restless. The merchants, schoolchildren, students, beggars, tramps, monks, pilgrims, masters, artists, singers, etc., used to measure the feet of Europe. Europe knew the Middle Ages and the resettlement of entire peoples. Such resettlements are called Migrations or Migration Movements. The largest migration movement in medieval Europe was the Great Migration of Peoples of the 4th-7th centuries, which radically changed its historical map.

Migrations for the indigenous people were a real heavenly punishment, forcing many to flee to where the eyes look. The medieval monk reported that after the invasion of the Franks only the land survived, and even then only because the Franks could not carry

it with them. The people of the Franks were taken prisoner, then sold into slavery.

The composition and quantity of the population in Europe also changed terrible epidemics, almost uninterrupted wars and frequent famine. Medieval physicians did not know anything about the real nature of the disease, so their “treatment” more harmed patients than they helped them. They were powerless to prevent epidemics of tuberculosis, anthrax, jaundice, malaria, dysentery, typhoid and other fatal ailments. Many were affected by leprosy, which turned a person into a living corpse. But the most terrible disease of the Middle Ages was the plague, the only salvation from which until the XVIII century. there was a hasty flight from the contaminated area as far as possible and for as long as possible. In the people’s memory for a long time captured terrible memories of the “Black Death” – the plague epidemic, which struck Europe in the years 1347-1350.

XIV century. Medieval author of the “Black Death” in Sicily in 1347.

And in October 1347 in the port of the city of Messina,

the Genoese moored…

They brought with them a disease that pierced them to the bone, so much so that everyone who spoke to one of them was struck by this deadly disease; It was absolutely impossible to escape this instant death, it was absolutely impossible to escape… Realizing that an unexpected sea fell on them because of the Genoese galleys arriving at the port, the inhabitants of Messina hastily drove them out of the city port, but the deadly scourge did not leave this city, and the city This corpse completely died out… The corpses remained in the houses, and not a single priest, not a relative – whether the son, father, or someone close – did not dare go in there… The houses of the dead stood unlocked with all the treasures, money and jewelry; if anyone wished to enter there, no one prevented him…

Residents of Messina, stricken by this terrible and unheard of disaster, chose to leave the city rather than die in it…

They scattered throughout Sicily… the cities… like Messina, were also plagued by a plague…

Fear of the epidemic often pushed people to insane acts. So, rumors circulated, as if the Jews poisoned wells in order to kill Christians. In Western European countries, especially in Germany, pogroms of Jews began. Saving their lives and property, the Jews rushed to Eastern Europe, but the people there treated them not very cordially.

“Black Death” almost perepolovalil population of Western Europe, which affected its economic life. There were people who took property from those who died during the epidemic, and made themselves rich in untold wealth. They turned into merchants and bankers, which promoted the development of trade. The peasants began to sell their produce more.

Contained the growth of the population of Europe and the war, without which it is difficult to imagine the European Middle Ages. It is estimated that, due to the great migration of peoples and numerous wars and uprisings in medieval Europe, about a third of the adult population died.

Not spared people and hunger – a common phenomenon in the life of Europe.

In the X-XI centuries. every third or fourth year was lean. Chronic malnutrition has exhausted the human body, so it easily succumbed to various ailments.

Medieval Europeans did not live long, as they were often victims of wars, deadly diseases and hunger. The average life expectancy was then 40-45 years for men and 35 years for women. Up to 60 years and older lived only kings, clerics, theologians.

In the Middle Ages, the number of people in Western Europe was gradually increasing, but, on the contrary, it was sharply reduced. At the end of the Middle Ages, when the West recovered slightly after the “black death”, there were about as many people living there as in today’s Ukraine.

Migration, migration movements are mass movements of people.

“Black Death” is the biggest epidemic of plague in the history of Europe.

Theologians are church scholars.

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Migration, epidemics, war and famine in the Middle Ages