Why was the Black Death the deadliest event in history?

Prof. Mark Bailey

There have been nearly 6m victims of Covid-19, but even this enormous death toll represents just a fraction of those lost to the Bubonic Plague in the Middle Ages. What do you need to know about the most fatal event in human history?

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The Black Death, also known as the Bubonic Plague, is considered one of the greatest disasters in human history. This pandemic devastated entire continents in the mid-14th century and is estimated to have wiped out between 5% and 40% of the entire global population. How did societies cope with this shockingly aggressive disease? What caused it? What was it like to live through it, and how did things recover afterward?

Mark Bailey is Professor of Late Medieval History at the University of East Anglia in the UK and a specialist in some of the biggest driving forces in Europe in the Middle Ages. He joins us in The Garden to go back to basics on the Black Death and its impact, and explore what lessons we can learn from this tragic period.

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Duration

50 minutes

Collection

Intro To

About the Fellow

Prof. Mark Bailey

Mark is currently teaching The Catastrophic Fourteenth Century at the University of East Anglia in the UK, where he's Professor of Late Medieval History. Oh, and he's the only Garden Fellow who's played in the Rugby World Cup.

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Intro To Collection

Our Intro To collection takes the events, people and ideas that have shaped, and continue to shape, the world around us, and builds your knowledge about them from the ground up. Let our Garden experts introduce you to your next passion.