The Black Death first hit Europe in 1347. This horrific disease ripped through towns, villages and families. Men, women, children, young and old succumbed to a painful, drawn-out death as pustules, abscesses and boils erupted over their bodies. SUbsequent attacks of the disease, coming almost every decade, so limited the population that it was not until the eighteenth century that it managed to surpass the levels of the 1340s. For over three hundred years, Europeans were stalked by death. In the end, this mysterious disease that had terrorized, terrified and killed millions, disappeared at inexplicably as it had appeared. William Naphy is Senior Lecturer and Head of History at the University of Aberdeen. his other books include Born to be gay and Sex Crimes, both by Tempus. Andrew Spicer is Lecturer in Early Modern European History at Oxford Brookes University.
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