The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-20-2011, 02:17 PM
AndyLee AndyLee is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Why Did The Black Death Skip Poland?

I was listening to a podcast by Chuck and Josh of "How Stuff Works," and they were mentioning that not all parts of Europe got hit by the Black Death.

I looked it up in Wikipedia and it seems they are right.

If you look at this gif from Wikipedia (article is here), the map shows the Black Death going right around, what looks like modern day Poland.

Why is that? Does anyone know why it just skipped that area. It seems to have covered Europe pretty well otherwise.

The maps show it skipping the area between France and Spain, and OK I can see that if I recall right, is high mountains, so that may make sense. But it also seemed to skip around the city, of what is now Milan too.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 09-20-2011, 02:32 PM
CaptMurdock CaptMurdock is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyLee View Post
I was listening to a podcast by Chuck and Josh of "How Stuff Works," and they were mentioning that not all parts of Europe got hit by the Black Death.

I looked it up in Wikipedia and it seems they are right.

If you look at this gif from Wikipedia (article is here), the map shows the Black Death going right around, what looks like modern day Poland.

Why is that? Does anyone know why it just skipped that area. It seems to have covered Europe pretty well otherwise.

The maps show it skipping the area between France and Spain, and OK I can see that if I recall right, is high mountains, so that may make sense. But it also seemed to skip around the city, of what is now Milan too.
Wasn't the Black Death mostly carried by fleas on rats? If the area now known as Poland had closed borders, there wouldn't be much commerce coming in. No carts, no rats. No rats, no fleas. No fleas, no Black Death.

Mind you, this is a shoot-from-the-hip supposition while eating my lunch. Feel free to shoot it down mercilessly.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-20-2011, 02:57 PM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
We just recently addressed this. Here's my post with a direct quote from a respected historian: link, but feel free to read the rest if the thread.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-20-2011, 03:06 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: America's Wing
Posts: 23,253
"Lord, the people have sinned mightily, and per your instructions I have hit all of Europe with the Black Death"

"You forgot Poland."
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-20-2011, 03:11 PM
Fish Cheer Fish Cheer is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailboat View Post
We just recently addressed this. Here's my post with a direct quote from a respected historian: link, but feel free to read the rest if the thread.
That is amazing. Does she say what happened with those houses afterwards? I assume they'd have to stay that way for quite some time to be sure. Or did they burn them down?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-20-2011, 04:42 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Dogpatch/Middle TN.
Posts: 28,563
Quote:
Why Did The Black Death Skip Poland?
Beeecause even rats have standards? <RIMSHOT>

Note I am partly of Polish ancestry--it is an "in joke".
__________________
FRIENDS! ROMANS! COUNTRY BUMPKINS!
Lend me your auditory canals!
Ask not what your clones can do for you, but what you can do for country music!
Never in the field of conflict was so much owed by so many who only had a few!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-20-2011, 04:55 PM
Vita Beata Vita Beata is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
I will give you the reason the Sami people of northern Scandinavian countries (reindeer herders) escaped the Bubonic Plague. This is taken from Wikipedia, Sami People

The method of movement of the plague-infested flea (Xenopsylla cheopsis) from the south was in wooden barrels holding wheat, rye, or wool – where the fleas could live, and even reproduce, for several months at a time.[34] The Sami having a non-wheat or -rye diet, eating fish and reindeer meat, living in communities detached from the Norwegians, and being only weakly connected to the European trade routes, fared far better than the Norwegians.[35]


ETA: Perhaps Poland was closed off to the wheat, rye, or wool trade.

Last edited by Vita Beata; 09-20-2011 at 04:56 PM.. Reason: addition
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.