By Louise Chipley Slavicek
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As rats and fleas from the ships spread the microorganism to the port’s rodent colonies and human inhabitants and more and more Messinians died, the survivors panicked. Hundreds fled their native town for other parts of Sicily, taking the disease with them wherever they went. Within months, the Black Death had reached a number of major port cities on the Italian mainland, including Genoa, Venice, and Pisa, probably having been transported there by The Path of the Black Death merchant ships from infected Crimean and Middle Eastern ports.
Do you forget that I am your child? . ’” the young plague victims would call out tearfully. Hundreds of miles away from the Italian Peninsula in Great Britain, a monk named William of Dene witnessed the Black Death’s lethal assault on his home county of Kent. The Rochester Chronicle, William’s grim account of the pandemic in southeastern England, echoes the Italians’ portrayals of a society engulfed by suffering and death. “The mortality swept away so vast a multitude of both sexes that none could be found to carry the corpses to the grave,” the monk lamented.
Such transmission would have been especially likely at Caffa, where cadavers would have been badly mangled by being hurled, and many of the defenders probably had cut or abraded [scraped] hands from coping with the bombardment. to the Mediterranean Sea Desperate to get out of the plague-stricken city, sometime during the late summer or early autumn of 1347, the Genoese finally gave up their stubborn stand against the Mongols and fled Kaffa on their trading ships. Their destination was the Mediterranean Sea and their Italian homeland.