What role do geography and economics play in spreading the Black Death?

1 Answer
Nov 17, 2016


The Black Death (Plague) virus originated in central Asia, travelling to Europe via trade routes


The virus spread from Central Asia along the Silk Route (the pre-eminent trade route from the far east towards the middle east and Europe, so in that sense economics (via the medium of trade) was the vehicle fr the spread of the epidemic

Graves in Kyrgyzstan which have been dated to 1338/9 are inscribed with references to "plague" and epidemiologists treat this as the first outbreak,

The plague reached the Crimea in 1343, thereafter it was spread via the fleas carried by Black Rats which infested the merchant ships of the time along the trade routes first appearing in Sicily in 1347 carried there by Gabonese trading galleys.

Those areas in Europe that were more isolated and carried out less trade activities seem to have suffered far less from the Plague (Poland. the Basque Area etc) supporting the conclusion that trade activity was a significant contributor to the spread of the pandemic