LIMINALITY: BLACK DEATH 700 YEARS LATER. WHAT LESSONS ARE FOR US FROM THE MEDIEVAL PANDEMIC?

Main Article Content

WOJCIECH BEDYŃSKI

Abstract

Black Death, global plague of the 14th century deeply changed the society of Medieval Europe. This unexpected catastrophe killed from 30 to 60 per cent of the continent’s population remaining the most deadly of all known wars, epidemics or natural disasters up to date1. It was an impulse to a profound transformation of European society, religiosity and art that opened doors for the Renaissance. Time of the catastrophe had a clearly liminal character, well described in Boccaccio’s Decameron. It is far too early to predict the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the world in long-time perspective, as we know little about how and when the disaster will end, but mechanisms of the liminal period are already to be seen and can be described, so is the influence of the virus on global economy, mobility, culture. There are similarities even in human reactions – from the hostility towards Asians (pogroms of Jews as a reaction to the Black Death) to ‘corona-parties’ (similar to the plays described by Boccaccio).

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
BEDYŃSKI, W. (2020). LIMINALITY: BLACK DEATH 700 YEARS LATER. WHAT LESSONS ARE FOR US FROM THE MEDIEVAL PANDEMIC?. Society Register, 4(3), 129-144. https://doi.org/10.14746/sr.2020.4.3.07
Section
Articles
Author Biography

WOJCIECH BEDYŃSKI, University of Warsaw

Wojciech Bedyński – ethnologist and historian of culture, graduate of the Paris IV (Sorbonne) University in Paris and the University of Warsaw. Currently employed in the Centre of Migration Research at the University of Warsaw. He specializes in the history of early medieval monasticism, inter-ethnic relations in pre-war East Galicia and cultural landscapes.

References

  1. Ariès, Phillipe. 1989. Człowiek i śmierć. Transated by E. Bąkowska. Warsaw: PIW.
  2. Assman, Jan. 2008. “Communicative and Cultural Memory”. Pp. 109-118 in Cultural Memory Studies: an International and Interdisciplinary Handbook, edited by A. Erll i A. Nünning. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
  3. Barras, Vincent and Gilbert Greub. 2014. “History of biological warfare and bioterrorism.” Clinical Microbiology and infection 20 (6):497-502.
  4. Boccaccio, Giovanni. 1929. Decameron. Translated by J. Payne. New York: Walter J. Black.
  5. Britnel, Richard. 1994. “The Black Death in English towns.” Urban History 21(2):195-210.
  6. Caferro, William. 2018. Petrarch’s War. Florence and Black Death in Context. Cambridge: CUP.
  7. Cesana, Deneb, Ole J. Benedictow and Raffaella Bianucci. 2017. “The origin and early spread of the Black Death in Italy: first evidence of plague victims from 14th-century Liguria (northern Italy).” Anthropological Science 125(1): 15-24. https://doi.org/10.1537/ase.161011
  8. Cohen, Daniel. 1974. The Black Death. 1347–1351. New York: Franklin Watts.
  9. Fukuyama, Francis. 1992. The end of History and the Last Man. New York: Free Press.
  10. Głowiński, Tomasz and Elżbieta Kościk. 2013. Od powietrza, głodu, ognia i wojny…: Klęski elementarne na przestrzeni wieków. Wrocław: Gajt.
  11. Gottfried, Robert S. 1983. The Black Death. Natural and Human Disaster in Medieval Europe. New York-London-Toronto-Sydney: Free Press.
  12. Harari, Yuval N. 2016. Homo Deus: A brief history of tomorrow. London: Harvill Secker.
  13. Huizinga, Johan. 1974. Jesień Średniowiecza. Translated by T. Brzostowski. Warsaw: PIW.
  14. Kaufmann, Vincent, Manfred M. Bergman and Dominique Joye. 2004. “Motility: Mobility as Capital.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 28 (4): 745-756.
  15. Kumpfer, Karol L. 1999. “Factors and Processes Contributing to Resilience: The Resilience Framework.” Pp. 179-224 in Resilience and Development: Positive Life Adaptations, edited by M. D. Glantz and J. L. Johnson. New York: Kluwer.
  16. Kelly, John N.D. 1997. Encyklopedia Papieży. Translated by T. Szafrański. Warsaw: PIW.
  17. Mika, Bogumiła. 2008. „Suplikacje ‘Święty Boże’ i ich muzyczny rezonans.” Muzyka Religijna - Między Epokami i Kulturami 1:149-172.
  18. Naphy, William and Andrew Spicer. 2004. Czarna Śmierć. Translated by A. Dębska. Warsaw: PIW.
  19. Patterson, David K. and Gerald F. Pyle. 1991. “The Geography and Mortality of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 65(1): 4-21.
  20. Putnam, Bertha H. 1915. “Maximum Wage-Laws for Priests after the Black Death, 1348-1381.” American Historical Review 21(1): 12-32.
  21. Shipman, Pat. 2014. “The Bright Side of Black Death.” American Scientist 102: 410-413.
  22. Slavin, Phillip. 2019. “Death by the Lake: Mortality Crisis in Early Fourteen Century Central Asia.” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 50(1): 59-90.
  23. Thevenet, André. 1993. “Guy de Chauliac (1300-1370): the ‘father of surgery’.” Annals of Vascular Surgery 7(2):208-212.
  24. Tognotti, Eugenia. 2013. “Lessons from the History of Quarantine, from Plague to Inflenza A.” Emerging Infectious Diseases 19 (2): 254-259.
  25. The Holy Bible, New International Version. 1973. London: Hodder.
  26. Tukidydes z Aten. 1988. Wojna peloponeska. Translated by K. Kumaniecki. Warsaw: Czytelnik.
  27. Turner, Victor. 1967. Betwixt and Between: The Liminal Period in Rites de Passage. In the Forest of Symbols: aspects of Ndemburitual. London: Cornell University Press.
  28. Twenge, Jean. 2019. iGen. Dlaczego dzieciaki dorastające w sieci są mniej zbuntowane, bardziej tolerancyjne, mniej szczęśliwe – i zupełnie nieprzygotowane do dorosłości. Translated by Olga Dziedzic. Sopot: Smak Słowa.
  29. van Gennep, Arnold. 2004. Rites of Passage. London: Routledge.
  30. Zhou, Peng et al. 2020. “A pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probable bat origin.” Nature 579 (7798): 270-273.
  31. Žižek, Slavoj. 2020. Pandemic! COVID-19 shakes the world. New York: OR Books.