Have you ever heard the nursery rhyme
called ring around the rosie? "Ring
around the Rosie. Pocket full of poesy. Ashes, Ashes, we all
fall down." This nursery rhyme is actually about a
disease from the 14th century that the people called the plague or Black Death.
This disease was highly contagious. It spread across Europe. It was so widespread
and so deadly that it is estimated to have killed one fourth of all the
people in Europe.
If you break
down the poem you can actually understand the effects a bit more
around the Rosie": Infected people broke out in a rash on
their arms and neck that had red ring
shaped marks with dark center spot that looked like a rose. They
would then get a a high fever, become unconscious,
and finally die.
"Pocket full of posey": People carried flowers,
often posies, to cover the smell of the
dead and dying.
Ashes": People would burn the houses of people with the
disease in order to try and stop it. Whole villages were burned
down. The sky was dark with the ashes of the burnt
"We all fall
down": The plague filled villages and cities alike with
dead and dying
victims. People would collapse in the streets and
be left lying there. People were afraid to touch them or near
Medieval people thought that the plague was a punishment
from God. They did not know that fleas transmitted the disease
from infected rats to people.
Today we have a vaccine against the
Map - Spread of the Black Plaque
that shows the spread of the Black Plague
to History - the Plague
Plague Doctor & Crossword
of the Plague
Mayor Rules OK?
Great Plague 1665
Fling Your Teacher
Piper of Hamlin by Robert Browning
Presentations in PowerPoint format
Online Games for the Middle Ages
Middle Ages Clipart for Kids & Teachers
Ages for Teachers
to The Middle Ages for Kids