Presentations

Event Title

Where Have All the Lepers Gone?: Understanding the Impact of 14th Century Societal Collapse on Ostracized Communities

Date

4-10-2021

Location

Online

Description

During the Middle Ages in Europe, leprosy was a common and highly feared disease. Those inflicted with the condition were ostracized from their communities and forced into the margins of society. They relied on the charity of the healthy and the church to survive. However, Europe saw a drastic and unprecedented decline in the disease during the fourteenth century that has, up to this point, scarcely researched or explained. The purpose of this honors research project was to take a multi-dimensional approach to the problem in hopes of explain what exactly happened to lepers during this period and how they were impacted by the Black Death and it’s fallout in the mid and late fourteenth century. This project focused on four areas impacted by the upheaval of the fourteenth century that might explain this rapid decline including medical sciences, church and charity, agricultural production, and community violence. My goal with this research was to open further discussion on the impact of the collapse of vital societal systems on those on the margins of society in the Middle Ages.

Presentation Type

Presentation

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Where Have All the Lepers Gone?: Understanding the Impact of 14th Century Societal Collapse on Ostracized Communities

Online

During the Middle Ages in Europe, leprosy was a common and highly feared disease. Those inflicted with the condition were ostracized from their communities and forced into the margins of society. They relied on the charity of the healthy and the church to survive. However, Europe saw a drastic and unprecedented decline in the disease during the fourteenth century that has, up to this point, scarcely researched or explained. The purpose of this honors research project was to take a multi-dimensional approach to the problem in hopes of explain what exactly happened to lepers during this period and how they were impacted by the Black Death and it’s fallout in the mid and late fourteenth century. This project focused on four areas impacted by the upheaval of the fourteenth century that might explain this rapid decline including medical sciences, church and charity, agricultural production, and community violence. My goal with this research was to open further discussion on the impact of the collapse of vital societal systems on those on the margins of society in the Middle Ages.