And none could be found to bury the dead for money or friendship. Members of a household brought their dead to a ditch as best they could, without priest, without divine offices And they died by the hundreds both day and night And as soon as those ditches were filled more were dug And I, Agnolo di Tura, called the Fat, buried my five children with my own hands.
And there were also those who were so sparsely covered with earth that the dogs dragged them forth and devoured many bodies throughout the city. There was no one who wept for any death, for all awaited death. And so many died that all believed it was the end of the world. This situation continued [from May] until September. The scene di Tura describes is repeated over and over again all across Europe.
In SicilyGabriele de' Mussia notarytells of the early spread from the Crimea :. We reach our homes; our kindred Woe to us for we cast at them the darts of death! Going back to their homes, they in turn soon infected their whole families, who in three days succumbed, and were buried in one common grave.
Priests and doctors visiting O death! Lamenting our misery, we feared to fly, yet we dared not remain. That disease entirely stripped vills, cities, castles and towns of inhabitaints of men, so that scarcely anyone would be able to live in them. The plague was so contagious that thous touching the dead or even the sick were immediately infected and died, and the one confessing and the confessor were together led to the grave In the convent of Minors of Droghedatwenty five, and in Dublin in the same order, twenty three died These cities of Dublin and Drogheda were almost destroyed and wasted of inhabitants and men so that in Dublin alone, from the beginning of August right up to Christmas, fourteen thousand men died The pestilence gathered strength in Kilkenny during Lentfor between Christmas day and 6 March, eight Friars Preachers died.
There was scarcely a house in which only one died but commonly man and wife with their children and family going one way, namely, crossing to death. In addition to these personal accounts, many presentations of the Black Death have entered the general consciousness as great literature. La Danse Macabreor the Dance of deathwas a contemporary allegoryexpressed as art, drama, and printed work. Its theme was the universality of death, expressing the common wisdom of the time: that no matter one's station in life, the dance of death united all.
It consists of the personified Death leading a row of dancing figures from all walks of life to the grave — typically with an emperor, king, pope, monk, youngster, beautiful girl, all in skeleton-state. They Schäfflertanz produced under the impact of the Black Death, reminding people of how fragile their lives were and how vain the glories of earthly life. Schäfflertanz earliest artistic example is from the frescoed cemetery of the Church of the Holy Innocents in Paris The poem "The Rattle Bag" by the Welsh poet Dafydd ap Gwilym — or — has many elements that suggest that it was written as a reflection of the hardships he endured during the Black Death.
It also reflects his personal belief that the Black Death was the end of humanity, the Apocalypse, as suggested by his multiple biblical references, particularly the Schäfflertanz described in the Book of Revelation. This world uncertaine is, Fond are lifes lustful joyes, Death proves them all but toyes, None from his darts can flye; I am sick, I must dye:.
He made countryside visits to remove himself from London in fear of the plague. Lord, have mercy on us! I am sick, I must die. Standing on the keg in the middle of the circle of the dancers, he twirls his hoop over his head and between his legs, being careful, of course, not to spill one drop of wine from the glass.
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