The Black Death: The Plague, 1331-1770
1331-34: Plague outbreak in Southwestern China spreads through Asia to the Mediterranean.
1345: Plague occurs in Volga River basin and spreads through Eastern and Central Europe eventually reaching Constantinople the main trade link between Europe and Asia.
1347: Black plague reaches Italy
Jan. 1348: Plague reaches Marseille, France
Nov. 1348: Plague reaches London
May 1349: Plague reaches Scotland, Wales and Ireland
1349: Scandinavia affected by the plague
1350: Uncharted Eastern Europe affected by plague
1382: Black plague returns to Europe, takes an especially heavy toll on Ireland
1466: Plague of Paris
1559: Amsterdam plague
1647: Great plague of Seville
1665: Great plague of London
1666: The Plague in England up until the Great Fire of London that kills the rats carrying the disease
1679: Plague in Central Europe, small outbreak in England
1710-11: Outbreak of plague in Sweden and Finland
1720: Plague in Marseilles
1722: Defoe publishes A journal of the Plague Year, a fictional account of the London 1665 outbreak
1770: Plague in the Balkans; lasts about 2 years
Note: While the plague spread through most of Western Europe, not all areas were uniformly devastated by the epidemic. Places with little trade were impacted far less than large ports.
©2017 John Martin Rare Book Room, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, 600 Newton Road, Iowa City, IA 52242-1098
Image: Pieter Bruegel, The Triumph of Death (detail), c. 1562, oil on panel, 117 x 162 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid
Acknowledgements to Alice M. Phillips for her work editing the original exhibit material and subsequent web design.