Walka z czarną śmiercią w świetle wybranych pism i traktatów z XIV w.

Janusz Smołucha


Combatting the Black Death in the light of selected writings and treatises from the XIVth century

This article analyzes texts that show attempts to resist the plague epidemic in Europe in the second half of the XIVth century. Much information on this subject has survived in writings by Italian authors, including Giovanni Boccaccio, Matteo Villani, and Francesco Petrarch. In Italian cities, the sickness led to demographic disaster, permanently changing the social order and the daily life of their inhabitants. Using the above mentioned texts, the author reflects on the triumphal march of the plague, searching for answers to the question as to the extent to which contemporary doctors were responsible for the state of affairs. When they encountered the first attack of the plague, they were helpless, not possessing either appropriate knowledge of medicines. Authors of chronicles noted that when examining the sick, doctors only took simple steps such as measuring temperature and analyzing body fluids, and the drew on philosophy and astrology when doing so. Sharper and sharper criticism fell on their heads as a result, and accusations not just of ignorance but also of cowardice. This was because many medical persons fled from territories affected by plague. Francesco Petrarch was one of the fiercest critics of doctors at this time. In the course of the epidemic, he lost Laura, the love of his life, and his beloved son. Petrarch wrote of the plague and the death that accompanied it in several tracts and poetic pieces. In those, he showed the fear and terror that haunted people when the world they had hitherto known lay in ruins.

Słowa kluczowe: czarna śmierć, traktaty, średniowieczna medycyna, Petrarca

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