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Florence During the Renaissance The Plague in Italy Florence 1348 In the year 1348 AD an enemy quite unexpected and very uncontrollable came to the shores of Italy It struck viscously and quickly by the time this enemy had left more than half of the population of Italy was dead This is enemy as we now know was The Plague Although many are of unsure of the exact time that the plague arrived in Italy the rough estimate is late in 1348 The plague started in 1334 in Asia and killed about 90 of the population in Hopei a province of China It was carried along trade routes and began to work its was West striking India Syria and Mesopotamia Gottfried p1-3 In 1346 the plague came to Kaffa a Genoese cathedral city and a port central to the successful Genoese trade industry located on the Crimean Peninsula of the Black Sea The Tartar forces of Kipchak Khan Janibeg backed by the Venetian forces competitors of the Genoese had laid siege to Kaffa in hopes of removing the Genoese from one of the cornerstones of Europes defense against Eastern attack and Genoas dominance of East-West trade Kaffa was helpless barely able to sustain even the crudest living conditions Finding its chief means of supply cut off Kaffa spent the next year watching itself decline into a hopeless state But the in 1347 to the Italians surprise their opponents began to die off at an alarming rate Janibegs army was overcome by the Plague Janibeg had no choice but to call of his siege but not before he performed one last act of warfare against Genoa Using catapults designed to throw boulders and fireballs over the walls of fortified cities like Kaffa Janibeg launched the Plague infested corpses of his dead men into the city The Italians quickly dumped the bodies into the sea but the damage was done Due to the squalid conditions
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