Showing posts tagged plague
“In…1348 the deadly plague broke out in the great city of Florence…Whether through the operation of the heavenly bodies or because of our own iniquities, which the just wrath of God sought to correct, the plague had arisen in the east some years before, causing the death of countless human beings. It spread without stop from one place to another until, unfortunately, it swept over the west . . Such was the cruelty of heaven and to a great degree of man that between March and the following July it is estimated that more than 100,000 human beings lost their lives within the walls of Florence.”
Dancing mania (also known as dancing plague, choreomania, St John’s Dance and historically St. Vitus’ Dance) was a social phenomenon that occurred primarily in mainland Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries. It involved groups of people, sometimes thousands at a time, who danced uncontrollably and bizarrely. They would also scream, shout, and sing, and claim to have visions or hallucinations.
The mania affected men, women, and children, who danced until they collapsed from exhaustion. One of the first major outbreaks was in Aachen, Germany, in 1374, and it quickly spread throughout Europe; one particularly notable outbreak occurred in Strasbourg in 1518.
Amidst our people here is come
The madness of the dance.
In every town there now are some
Who fall upon a trance.
It drives them ever night and day,
They scarcely stop for breath,
Till some have dropped along the way
And some are met by death.
So goes a grim ditty from the Straussburgh Chronicle of Kleinkawel.
article by by Leah Esterianna & Richard the Poor of Ely