Is it reasonable to say approximately 500,000 people died within TWO months during the Black Death?I'm writing a news report and nothing on the Web talks about the monthly death toll. If I'm wrong,...

Is it reasonable to say approximately 500,000 people died within TWO months during the Black Death?

I'm writing a news report and nothing on the Web talks about the monthly death toll. If I'm wrong, please tell me the right answer.

Asked on by catalysts

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Of course, it is incredibly difficult for scholars to try to pin down actual numbers for deaths that occurred over 600 years ago.  With that caveat in mind, the estimates tend to say that the figure you are using may be a little low.

One textbook that I have sometimes taught from (Western Civilization by Jackson Spielvogel, 7th Edition, page 306) says that the best estimates say that 19 to 38 million people died in Europe in 4 years.  4 years is, of course, 48 months.  If you say that 24 million dead is a good number (on the low side of the estimates), you have half a million dying every month.  Your figure would yield "only" 12 million deaths in 4 years and is therefore too low for the most accepted estimates.

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