The Black Death in Egypt and England: A Comparative Study

By Stuart J. Borsch | Go to book overview

TWO
MORTALITY, IRRIGATION,
AND LANDHOLDERS
IN MAMLUK EGYPT

A discussion of the plague's mortality in England is unnecessary here since numerous studies have analyzed the demographic impact of the plague in that region. Although scholars have long debated the level of population decline, recent studies seem to agree that roughly half the population of England succumbed to repeated outbreaks of Yersinia pestis.1 England had a population of roughly six million before the Black Death, and repeated series of plague outbreaks lowered the population level to three million or less by the late fifteenth century. England's population did not reach six million again until the early seventeenth century.

Far less is known about the Black Death's mortality in Egypt. Michael Dols, in his pioneering study of the Black Death, has estimated through various accounts (funeral orations, coffin counts, and inheritance taxes) that at least a third of the population perished in the initial outbreak of the plague.2 Dols's figures for the major plague outbreak in 1429–1430 are particularly meticulous, and his calculated figure of over 90,000 dead in Cairo alone seems quite accurate. (Dols's calculated mortality figure actually coincides with the estimate given by Ibn Taghri-Birdi, a contemporary observer of the 1429–1430 outbreak.)3 Contemporary observers, both Egyptians and foreign travelers, give accounts of the initial plague and subsequent outbreaks that leave no doubt that it was viewed as a disease of uniquely devastating virulence, in both the cities and the countryside.4

It seems likely that the plague was every bit as catastrophic in rural areas as in urban ones. Contemporary witnesses report an extremely high mortality rate in the countryside, sometimes providing numbers that seem quite accurate, given the likely level of population in certain provinces.5 More importantly for the purposes of estimating rural mortality, the geography of Egypt suggests that the rural population would

-24-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Black Death in Egypt and England: A Comparative Study
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 196

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.