[State at Wits] FW: Black Death - Wikipedia

colver at iafrica.com colver at iafrica.com
Sat Apr 3 14:39:17 SAST 2021

Some interesting articles on the topic. I didn't realise how far back the
analysis of the economic impact of the Black Death goes, but this piece by
Helen Robbins from 1928 already canvasses the differential impact on
economic organisation between England and France, even though she is at
pains to stress that a long term trend of rising prices and wages was
already underway because of the debased coinage, mainly due to the financing
costs of 100 years' war.


Ole Benedictow (2013) gives a great summary of the debates about the origins
of plague. Given the bio-geographic conditions required for its spread
(dense populations in unsanitary and confined spaces) it is unlikely that it
spread through caravans or nomadic migrations along silk road. Bubonic
plague had been endemic around Mediterranean / Black Sea / Caucasus region
since 1st millennium AD, probably originating in Pharaonic Egypt or east
Africa. Constantinople was famously afflicted by the plague of Justinian in
6th century AD. The start of the second plague in 1347 was first recorded in
the Tartar forces (who were part of the Mongolian army besieging the Genoese
on Caspian sea), and the Genoese carried the plague to the cities of the
Mediterranean 1347. The link to the Mongolian army is only by association,
and there is no evidence to support a Mongolian origin. In fact, as
Benedictow notes, the consolidation of the different Mongolian empires
disrupted previously established Silk Road trade routes, and would have had
a negative effect on the spread of plague.



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 <mailto:colver at iafrica.com> colver at iafrica.com


From: State <state-bounces at lists.wiser.org.za> On Behalf Of Karl von Holdt
Sent: Friday, 02 April 2021 11:26
To: state at lists.wiser.org.za
Subject: [State at Wits] FW: Black Death - Wikipedia


Hi everyone who attended yesterday's session!

Regarding the controversy over where the Black Death came from - the
Wikipedia entry suggests that it spread from the Mongol army besieging a
town in the Crimea, and from where there was spread by Genoese traders into
Constantinople and the Mediterranean. No doubt there are other explanations
as well, but the link to the silk roads and the Mongol Empire by Anievas and
Nisancioglu is not a wild Trotskyist plot!


Karl von Holdt


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-----Original Message-----
From: Karl Von Holdt <karl at yeoville.org.za <mailto:karl at yeoville.org.za> >
Sent: Thursday, 01 April 2021 18:33
To: karl at yeoville.org.za <mailto:karl at yeoville.org.za> 
Subject: Black Death - Wikipedia


Sent from my iPhone

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