Keeping Society Together in Time of Plague

Keeping Society Together in Time of Plague

This is a past event

We hope that you will join us for this virtual talk, exploring government responses to Covid-19 in comparison with the Black Death over 650 years ago.

For nearly 350 years after the arrival of plague in Europe in the Black Death of the 1350s, European societies (especially town and cities) faced recurring bouts of this lethal epidemic disease.  They developed many of the tools which we still use today: quarantine, isolation, control on social gatherings.  Most importantly, governments knew it was essential to be seen to be doing something and to control their populations to avoid panic.  While they never truly understood the causes and epidemiology of the disease, they still used the best scientific advice of the day on how to react to prevent the plague’s arrival, to contain its spread, and to end an outbreak.  While today, we have considerably better medical responses, most of the social and legal responses to epidemics are firmly rooted in ideas and regulations coming from the mid-1400s. This talk will explore the underlying assumptions and goals of governments and their populations faced with a lethal epidemic in the early modern period and what we might learn from their historical experiences as we, today, confront a dangerous epidemic disease.

This fascinating talk will be hosted by Professor Bill Naphy, Chair in History.

We will issue an email in advance of the talk with a link to join the session.

Online registrations have now closed. To join the session at 4pm please click this link.

Hosted by
Alumni Relations

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