HIST 1100: History and Civilization
©Damen, 2020
A Guide To Writing in History and Classics
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The Black Death may also be tied to the disruption in the global climate under way at that time. Chinese histories do, in fact, contain records of droughts in 1333 and 1334 and of locust plagues in 1345, either of which might have caused rat populations to shift and migrate. Though not direct evidence of the Plague, an abnormally high number of memorial stones (burial markers) erected in central Asia around 1339 may be the first real evidence that Plague has spilled over into human populations. Or it may be that another type of rat holocaust, perhaps some sort of devastating rat epidemic, forced rat fleas to seek other hosts, thus spreading the Plague beyond its usual niche. It's well to remember, too, that the principal vector of Plague is not the rat itself but the rat flea. Therefore, any animal which carries Xenopsylla cheopis can spread Plague.

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