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Below is a will that offers a window into the family life of Carinus, a parchment worker, or cartolarius, a fairly common trade in the university town of Bologna. Although many wealthy people left long and complicated wills filled with lists of pious… [more]

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Cities in Italy passed legislation aimed at preventing or reducing the effects of plague. Since the scientific view was that plague was caused by miasma or bad air, the measures targeted rotting and smelling matter, viz. cloth which could retain… [more]

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Giovanni Boccaccio provided the most famous description of what happened during the Black Death in Italy. His report on the behavior of the Florentines after plague entered their city during the spring of 1348 serves as introduction and frame for his… [more]

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Shona Kelly Wray

This teaching module offers an array of evidence to investigate the experience of children during the Black Death and question the traditional view that the epidemic caused wide-spread social chaos resulting in the abandonment of family members, even of children by their parents.