Impacts of the plague epidemic on the Kingdom of Bohemia in the second half of the XIVth century and at the beginning of the XVth century

Martin Nodl


Although the medieval plague epidemic had a global impact, its intensity varied from region to region in Europe. Plague rates as well as mortality rates were conditioned by climatic and geographical conditions, population density, migration, and trade activities, as well as nutritional opportunities and mental or cultural habits. If we look at Europe as a whole, then the Czech lands, the Bohemian Kingdom and the Moravian Margraviate were among the areas affected by plague epidemics in the XIVth and XVth centuries much less than medieval France, England, Italy, or the German lands of the Holy Roman Empire. The causes of the lower intensity of the plague epidemic in Bohemia and Moravia can be seen in all of the aspects mentioned above, which does not, however, mean that the impact of the plague epidemic in the Kingdom of Bohemia was not, in some regards, comparable to that in Western Europe. Research on the medieval plague epidemic in Bohemia and Moravia has struggled with a lack of relevant sources from the very beginning. The limited explanatory power of the sources has also influenced the limited interest of Czech historians in this topic. The only debate that was ever conducted about the impact of the plague epidemic in a Czech intellectual milieu concerned its possible influence on the outbreak of the Hussite revolution, or the degree of the intensity of the plague in 1380. This debate quite clearly led to the conclusion that in plague epidemics, or in their impact on pre-Hussite society, it is not possible to see a significant or even decisive cause of the outbreak of the Hussite revolution.

Słowa kluczowe: Królestwo Czech, zaraza, medycyna, historia społeczna, Praga

Redakcja deklaruje, że wersja papierowa czasopisma naukowego "Studia
Historica Gedanensia" jest wersją pierwotną.