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Where did the Black Death first appear in Europe?

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demon300 | Student, Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted December 8, 2012 at 1:23 AM via web

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Where did the Black Death first appear in Europe?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 8, 2012 at 1:51 AM (Answer #1)

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The Black Death is believed to have reached Europe first at the Italian island of Sicily.  This occurred in October of 1347.

The Black Death had its origins somewhere in central Asia.  It is believed that it was spread by the Mongols as they moved through the area.  It was also spread by changes in the ecology that encouraged rodents from Central Asia to move, carrying the fleas with them.  This is relevant because it tells us why Sicily was the first European area to experience the plague. 

During these times, trade from Asia moved overland to the Middle East.  From there, it went by water across the Mediterranean to ports in Italy and the south of France.  The first ship that carried the Black Death happened to land in Sicily.  This made it the first place that the plague appeared in Europe.

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