By Barbara W. Tuchman
"Wise, witty, and lovely . . . a superb publication, in a very good old tradition." Commentary
The 14th century provides us again contradictory photos: a glittering time of crusades and castles, cathedrals and chivalry, and a gloomy time of ferocity and religious affliction, a global plunged right into a chaos of warfare, worry and the Plague. Barbara Tuchman anatomizes the century, revealing either the good rhythms of heritage and the grain and texture of household existence because it was once lived.
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Extra resources for A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
Sixty hospitals served Paris in 1328—but probably not enough for its population of two hundred thousand. The many hospitals in the Iberian Peninsula continued the Muslim tradition of care for the poor and ill. Merchants in the larger towns of the German Empire, in Poland, and in Hungary also founded hospitals in the fourteenth century, generally later than those in western Europe. Sailors, long viewed as potential carriers of disease, benefited from hospitals reserved for them; in 1300 the Venetian government paid a surgeon to care for sick sailors.
Unfortunately, he died shortly after the return. At Gregory’s death, Roman citizens demanded an Italian pope who would remain in Rome. Between the time of Gregory’s death and the opening of the conclave, great pressure was put on the cardinals to elect an Italian. At the time, none of them protested this pressure, and they chose a distinguished administrator, the archbishop of Bari, Bartolomeo Prignano, who took the name Urban VI. Urban VI (1378–1389) had excellent intentions for church reform, but he went about this in a tactless and bullheaded manner.
Population losses caused by the Black Death led to increased productivity by restoring a more efficient balance between labor, land, and capital. What impact did visits of the plague have on urban populations? qxp 380 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50S 51R 52L 9/17/07 CHAPTER 12 2:40 PM • Page 380 T H E C R I S I S O F T H E L AT E R M I D D L E A G E S , 1 3 0 0 – 1 4 5 0 1427 and 1430 is fascinating.
A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W. Tuchman