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The Black Death And The Dancing Mania

by J. F. C. Hecker, Trans. By Benjamin Guy Babington

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The work focuses on two of the most devastating phenomena ever suffered by the European population. The deadly plague known as “Black Death” spread in late 1340s while the “Dancing Mania” persisted from the 13th to 17th century where throngs of people suffered from a psychological problem. An analysis of both these maladies that shook the foundations of European society has been presented here.

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The account of "The Black Death" here translated by Dr. Babington was Hecker's first important work of this kind. It was published in 1832, and was followed in the same year by his account of "The Dancing Mania." The books here given are the two that first gave Hecker a wide reputation. Please Note: This book is easy to read in true text, not scanned images that can sometimes be difficult to decipher. The Microsoft eBook has a contents page linked to the chapter headings for easy navigation. The Adobe eBook has bookmarks at chapter headings and is printable up to two full copies per year. Both versions are text searchable.

Excerpted from The Black Death And The Dancing Mania [E-BOOK: MICROSOFT READER] by Justus Hecker. Copyright © 2000. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved
Cairo lost daily, when the plague was raging with its greatest violence, from 10,000 to 15,000; being as many as, in modern times, great plagues have carried off during their whole course. In China, more than thirteen millions are said to have died; and this is in correspondence with the certainly exaggerated accounts from the rest of Asia. India was depopulated. Tartary, the Tartar kingdom of Kaptschak, Mesopotamia, Syria, Armenia, were covered with dead bodies-the Kurds fled in vain to the mountains. In Caramania and Caesarea none were left alive. On the roads-in the camps-in the caravansaries-unburied bodies alone were seen; and a few cities only (Arabian historians name Maarael-Nooman, Schisur, and Harem) remained, in an unaccountable manner, free. In Aleppo, 500 died daily; 22,000 people, and most of the animals, were carried off in Gaza, within six weeks. Cyprus lost almost all its inhabitants; and ships without crews were often seen in the Mediterranean, as afterwards in the North Sea, driving about, and spreading the plague wherever they went on shore. It was reported to Pope Clement, at Avignon, that throughout the East, probably with the exception of China, 23,840,000 people had fallen victims to the plague



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