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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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Several chroniclers wrote about the Black Death in their own town or region. They described the symptoms of the disease, which they generally called "the mortality," how it arrived with portents of warning from the East, and how many people it… [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.


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Susan Fernsebner

The Huntington Archive of Buddhist and Related Art offers a rich collection of images of Asian art and architecture. It is based upon the core… [more]

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The official records and reports of social welfare agencies and institutions provide insight into societal beliefs and attitudes related to deviance and changes in those beliefs and attitudes over time. While review of such documents may in some… [more]

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A state-funded, secular elementary education system was established in the colony of New Zealand in 1870, but the compulsory attendance provisions for 7 to 13-year-olds were not rigorously enforced, for Maori and Pakeha children alike, until the… [more]

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Beryl Rawson

Images of two Roman marble sarcophagi increase students' awareness of material sources from Roman society and help them explore cultural differences through images from an unfamiliar society compared with visual material from their daily lives, raising questions about the place of childhood as a separate stage of life in pre-modern societies and about changing notions of childhood over time. echo [more]

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Death is part of every society, but the rituals and objects surrounding death have varied across centuries and continents. They can often reveal many things about the role of children and families within a culture, from the nature of grieving to… [more]