The Epidemics of the Middle Ages - The Black Death The Dancing Mania & The Sweating Sickness
B. G. Babington
The Epidemics of the Middle Ages is a book about several great diseases which turned up and brought horror to the people of Medieval Europe. The book is divided in three parts: 1) "The Black Death" provides descriptions of the apocalyptic destruction and death rates of the 14th century bubonic plague, which wiped out whole towns in England, France and Italy. Ninety percent of city populations died; 2) "The Dancing Mania" tells of a social phenomenon involving groups of people dancing erratically, sometimes thousands at a time. Affecting thousands of people across several centuries, dancing mania was not an isolated event. However, its causes were never explained; 3) "The Sweating Sickness" was a mysterious and contagious disease that struck England and later continental Europe in a series of epidemics beginning in 1485. The last outbreak occurred in 1551, after which the disease apparently vanished.