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Courses / Modules / HIST1191 Pandemic, Famine, War and Popular Revolt: The Apocalyptic Fourteenth Century

Pandemic, Famine, War and Popular Revolt: The Apocalyptic Fourteenth Century

When you'll study it
Semester 2
CATS points
30
ECTS points
15
Level
Level 4
Module lead
Peter Clarke
Academic year
2021-22

Module overview

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – War, Famine, Plague and Death – were believed to presage the end of the world, and many Europeans living through the fourteenth century believed this was close at hand. The Great Famine (1315-22) and the arrival of the Black Death in 1347 decimated the continent’s population and the effects of these natural disasters were exacerbated by the destructive conflict waged between England and France known as the Hundred Years War (1337-1453). Challenges to the established social hierarchy and demands for improved living standards also sparked a wave of popular rebellions including the English Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. Furthermore, the century witnessed religious turbulence with the growth of heretical movements and a split in the leadership of the Catholic Church between rival popes during the ‘Great Schism’ (1378-1417). Hence famine, plague, war, popular unrest and religious crisis are the principal themes examined in this module.

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