Experiencing the apocalypse: the Black Death and the cittadini of Italy

Thumbnail Image
Chechotko, Matthew Evan
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of History
This thesis examines urban Italian citizens’ (cittadini’s) responses to the Black Death (epidemia) through the emotional scripts and social rituals that guided their decisions. This analysis focuses on three main questions: How did people feel about what they were doing, or what was being done unto them? What did they do about how they felt? What were the limits of what could be done, and who set those limits? This analysis portrays what cittadini understood about the disease, its cause, origins, and prognosis, and their available avenues for responses to the disaster. Cittadini adopted emotional scripts and social rituals provided by the cultural institutions of urban Italy; however, when these failed, cittadini developed their own scripts and rituals or modified existing ones to interpret the pestilentia and respond to the sick and dying, thereby altering their responses, and fundamentally shaping their distinct experiences of the epidemia.
the Black Death , history of experience , experience , history of disease , history of medicine , medieval Europe , Italy , bubonic plague , Black Death--Italy--14th century , Black Death--Social aspects--Italy--14th century , Italy--Social conditions--14th century , Plague--Italy--14th century , Diseases and history , Civilization, Medieval--14th century , City and town life--Italy--14th century , City dwellers--Italy--14th century--Attitudes , Cities and towns, Medieval--Italy , Historiography , Medicine, Medieval--Italy , Dissertations, Academic