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Dorsey Armstrong

Dorsey Armstrong >

25
Videos
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Europe on the Brink of the Black Death
Episode 1 of The Black Death
Begin to contemplate the enormity of the Black Death's impact on the medieval world. As context for the harrowing events to come, take account of the state of medieval society on the eve of the plague. In particular, investigate the…
Did Plague Really Cause the Black Death?
Episode 3 of The Black Death
In recent years, scholars have reassessed the causes of the Black Death, questioning how it spread through medieval Europe with such astonishing speed and virulence. Here, investigate additional factors that may have contributed to the devastation, such as other diseases,…
The Epidemiology of Plague
Episode 2 of The Black Death
Explore the medical understanding of plague, as seen in the 6th-century Plague of Justinian, the Black Death of the 1300s, and the 19th-century Third Pandemic. Examine the three predominant varieties of plague, the symptomatology of each, and scientific theories as…
The Black Death’s Ports of Entry
Episode 4 of The Black Death
Now examine the plague's first sustained appearance in Europe, at the Crimean trading port of Caffa. Learn about the Mongol siege of the city that preceded the outbreak, and how the plague moved west with escaping sailors. Follow the spread…
The Black Death in Florence
Episode 6 of The Black Death
Observe how Florence, the most advanced community in medieval Europe, dealt with the crippling effects of the plague. Learn about the extraordinary and diverse responses of citizens, and see how city leaders took steps to slow the spread of the…
The Black Death in France
Episode 7 of The Black Death
Witness the plague's horrific impact at Marseille, and uncover how citizens responded with unusual solidarity. Study the ravages and drastic measures taken at Bordeaux, and see how news of outbreaks sparked violence and the scapegoating of Jews. Grasp the monumental…
The First Wave Sweeps across Europe
Episode 5 of The Black Death
Explore how the plague traveled by sea across the Mediterranean, invading port cities and then radiating inward. To get a view of the unfolding devastation, study the events in Sicily, Mallorca, and Avignon, highlighting first-person accounts. Assess ways of measuring…
The Black Death in Avignon
Episode 8 of The Black Death
As the 14th-century seat of the papacy, Avignon presents an exceptional case. Learn about the lavish, hedonistic lifestyle of the papal court under Pope Clement VI, and review the range and complexity of Avignon's responses to the Black Death, encompassing…
The Black Death in England
Episode 9 of The Black Death
The plague ravaged England with stunning ferocity. Consider evidence of other possible disease agents that added to its effects, as well as factors in the environment that exacerbated the epidemic. Follow how the plague spread through inland waterways, with staggering…
The Economics of the Black Death
Episode 20 of The Black Death
Investigate how the plague initially brought massive loss of labor, administrative manpower, and the tax base, as well as far-reaching disruption of farming. Grasp the process by which economic opportunities for the lower and merchant classes--including women--were transformed, and how…
The Black Death in Scandinavia
Episode 11 of The Black Death
The Black Death reached Scandinavian countries at different times, by different routes. Follow the plague's arrival by ship in Norway, then its movement into Sweden and Denmark, and observe how Scandinavian social customs worsened its toll. Learn also about a…
The Black Death’s Political Outcomes
Episode 21 of The Black Death
The social and economic changes brought by the plague were inextricably linked to the sphere of politics. Witness how numerous governmental functions dramatically broke down during the plague, and study how, in the aftermath, many governments attempted to maintain the…
Artistic Responses to the Black Death
Episode 18 of The Black Death
Discover how artists confronted the plague through new and innovative forms of expression. Among these, study the creation of transi tombs with graphic sculptural effigies of the dead, as well as the remarkable paintings, murals, and woodcuts of the memento…
How the Black Death Transformed the World
Episode 24 of The Black Death
In conclusion, reflect on how the economic, social, and political worlds of Europe reinvented themselves to accommodate the deep changes brought about by the plague. Finally, through examples ranging from medieval smallpox to the recent occurrence of Ebola, consider how…
Jewish Persecution during the Black Death
Episode 15 of The Black Death
Examine the history of anti-Semitism in medieval Europe and the unfolding of conspiracy theories during the plague that Jews were poisoning the Christian population. Witness how anti-Semitic hysteria led to horrific violence and the execution of Jewish populations, even as…
The Black Death in Walsham
Episode 10 of The Black Death
The village of Walsham provides a vivid view of how English society was upended by the plague. Learn about the manorial system, where peasants lived under a local lord and landholder. Discover how the plague's death toll dramatically altered the…
The End of the First Wave
Episode 12 of The Black Death
Track the final stages of the plague's initial path through 14th-century Europe, from its incursion into Germanic lands to its devastation of Poland and Russia. Study the socioeconomic conditions within Russia, where lack of labor led to a slave-like system…
Literary Reponses to the Black Death
Episode 19 of The Black Death
The events of the Black Death inspired some of history's greatest literary masterpieces. In this lecture, uncover the range of textual responses to the plague, highlighting William Langland's dream-vision poem Piers Plowman and Boccaccio's Decameron. Learn how the plague set…
Later Plague Outbreaks: 1353–1666
Episode 23 of The Black Death
Chart subsequent occurrences of plague across Europe following the Black Death of the 14th century, culminating with the Great Plague of London of 1665-66. Learn how people developed critical strategies to combat outbreaks, from administrative bodies created to deal with…
Medieval Theories about the Black Death
Episode 13 of The Black Death
Observe how learned minds responded to the plague through the writing and dissemination of plague treatises. Review theories regarding the plague's appearance, from astrological conjunctions and weather to those of "corrupted" air, eclipses, and earthquakes. Take account of contemporary sanitation…