Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(915 words)

1. General

The term plague comes  from Late Latin plaga, (stroke, wound), used in the Vulgate for pestis/pestilentia (compare ancient Greek loimós). There it denoted any contagious disease, as well as general decline or ruin. In the early modern period, plague or pestilence could still be understood as a “general, quite serious, susceptible, and highly contagious disease,” “accompanied [by] various serious hazards and generally fatal” [1. 757]. Some descriptions of victims after the great plag…

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Rotzoll, Maike, “Plague”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 05 March 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_025444>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721

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