Part 1 -- Medieval European history Before beginning to analyze technology that developed during the Middle Ages, it is helpful to understand the time period.
Plague Arguably the ultimate scourge of mankind and over species of animals was the so-called Black Death. The generic "plague" with a lower case p has entered the language as a descriptor for any deadly epidemic disease.
Plague with an upper case P is caused by Yersinia pestis, a rod-shaped, Gram negative bacterium. As few as one bacterium is an infective dose!
This electron micrograph is from Dennis Kunkel's webpagewhich is definitely worth many a visit. Its reservoir consists of the fleas the Indian rat flea, Xenopsylla cheopsis, of which only adult females feed on hosts.
The micrograph of the flea was made at the University of Queensland in Australia. The following picture was obtained from the CDC website. It has been illuminated from the rear so that you can see that the flea's gut is filled with blood after drawing a meal from a host. Black rats Rattus rattus-which were common in ancient times, but have since been supplanted by the larger and more aggressive brown rats, Norvegicus rattus rarely move more than meters from their nest and are good climbers, hence their adaptability to the thatched roof homes of either the Middle Ages, present day rural Africa, or parts of the Asian subcontinent.
Normally the fleas live on the rodents in a form of equilibrium, but sometimes that equilibrium is upset when the organism multiplies rapidly in the flea's gut, eventually blocking the lumen the space within its gut so that the flea regurgitates infected material as it attempts to feed.
This infects the rodent and it contracts a form of the fatal disease called murine or silvatic Plague. When infected, rats are asymptomatic until near death, whereupon they swell up because the Y. The fleas then leave their dying hosts and seek residence in the nearest warm-blooded animals.
Considering that fleas can jump several feet, "nearest" is a relative term. One to six days after a human receives a flea bite, the lymph nodes in the armpit axilla and groin become very tender and swollen as large as an egg [They range from 1 to 10 cm in diameter.
These very painful swollen areas are called buboes from the Greek bubo, meaning groin. The buboes may suppurate, i.
Each of the buboes shown below are on children to give you a perspective of size. Sometimes the original bite site becomes infected and suppurates. It is not rare for the area of the bite to become gangrenous and necrotic, i.
Then one of two avenues is followed. If the fever breaks, there is usually remission and the immune system has gained the upper hand over the pathogen, which it then proceeds to destroy and expel. If the fever doesn't break, the infection spreads to the blood, causing septicemia and death.
This is the course of bubonic Plague. In some cases the microbe can proceed directly to the blood stream and this septicemic Plague can occur before the formation of buboes and results in death before a diagnosis can be made. Some scientists feel that this form of Plague can even be carried by either the common human flea or the body louse.
In septicemia, blood vessels break and leak under the skin causing a dark rash as the blood dries hence the name Black Death which was given in the s.Over time, however, Europeans were able to dictate the terms of trade, which went from fairly limited along the coastline to well inside the interior of Africa.
As time passed, families usually worked the same plot of land over successive generations, leading to the concept of ownership.
The earliest examples of settlements date to about BC to BC, and seem to predate agriculture. In C.E., Pepin of Heristal, a Merovingian ruler, united the Frankish territories and centered his kingdom in Belgium and other Rhine regions.
His son, Charles Martel, took over after he died and formed an alliance with the Church which helped the Merovingian Dynasty (and Christianity) to . The Middle Ages. The period of European history extending from about to – ce is traditionally known as the Middle Ages. The term was first used by 15th-century scholars to designate the period between their own time and the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
The art of weather forecasting began with early civilizations using reoccurring astronomical and meteorological events to help them monitor seasonal changes in the weather.
Around B.C., the Babylonians tried to predict short-term weather changes based on the appearance of clouds and optical phenomena such as haloes. The Harlem Renaissance brought about many great changes. It was a time for expressing the African-American culture.
Many famous people began their writing or gained their recognition during this time.