Theories about the artificial origin of the coronavirus, which emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic, simply could not help but become popular, say scientists who drew attention to similar hypotheses that took root back in the days of the medieval plague. People once believed in all seriousness that the Black Death, which raged in Europe in the mid-14th century, was caused by the effects of “plague poison.”
Today we know that the Black Death appeared in the territory that was controlled by the Golden Horde, and then spread through Constantinople and the Crimea along with the merchant ships all over Europe. This happened very quickly, considering that the plague broke out in the pre-industrial era – having started in southern Europe in 1347, the plague spread to the Balkans, the Apennine and Iberian peninsulas, and the central and northern regions of Europe in just a couple of years. By 1351, there was almost no city of any magnitude that had not been affected by the epidemic. As a result, Europe’s population declined by 30-50%.
No one believed that a disaster of such magnitude could be due to natural factors. People were looking for “poisoners” who allegedly spread the plague in the form of “plague poison. Any population group could have been declared poisoners – Jews, followers of an unwanted religion, and so on.
It is interesting that even today scientists do not fully understand how the medieval plague spread with such fantastic speed for the pre-industrial world. As a result, the question of the artificial origin of the plague is still considered by some experts.