History books say the Bubonic Plague – the Black Death began sweeping across Asia, the Middle East and finally Europe beginning on this date in 1345 when Saturn, Jupiter and Mars all lined up in such an odd way that it affected Earth. That really wasn’t the cause but what is true is that 25-million people died as a result.

The plague was caused by bacteria carried by fleas that usually traveled on rats. When the rats died, the fleas jumped off to other mammals. The first sign of the plague was when people complained of headaches, fever and chills. Their tongues often appeared a whitish color, followed by severe swelling of the lymph nodes. Finally, black and purple spots appeared on the skin and death often followed within a week.

The plague began in Mongolia, spread to China and India and to the Middle East. Within a year, it made its way to Europe and legend is it was during a battle in the Middle East between the Turks and Italians. The Turks were already being devastated by the plague, so in desperation, they began catapulting dead bodies over to the Italians. The Italians fled back to Italy taking the disease with them.

The disease worked its way to France and eventually it made its way to England.

Human nature was to find somebody to blame. Most people didn’t go for the planets thing, so witches and gypsies were often the targets. Jewish people were tortured and burned to death by the thousands. Preachers said the disease was God’s punishment for immorality.

By the time the worst was over in 1352, one third of the population of the continent from Europe across Asia had been wiped out.

SOURCE: HistoryChannel