History 104A, November 16: The Aftermath of Death!


               Well, let's see.  We took the exam.  I have not even looked at


          them.  I've got a tournament of Saturday that I am entering entries


          for.  And as I indicated, I generally don't grade papers until the


          weekend, so I anticipate going through them on Sunday.  We had a full


          turnout minus one, I think.  Is there anyone else besides Jessica that


          missed the exam?  You missed it.  Sickness is acceptable.


          A    She had the plague.


          A    He saw me that morning.


          A    I wouldn't even let her in my car.


               THE PROFESSOR:  In any case, we're all going to start out with


          the plagued today, so it leads us into it.


               I brought the album for a reason.  I turned on the computer for a


          reason too.  I wanted to look on-line and maybe I'll get to it on the


          stats, for whatever it's worth, that we have on the black plague.  We


          touched on it perhaps in passing that, in 1347, a major plague


          devastated Europe.  Minor plagues had devastated Europe in years


          previously.  And of course there were no knowledge as to what passed


          on the plague.  We know of course today that it was borne by rats


          carrying the fleas that had the plague.  And of course we are living


          in fear right now, or at least some people are, of chickens.  We're


          very chicken of chickens.  And apparently where there is movement


          across the borders -- the avian flue is spreading and they're calling


          it a possible pandemic, a major flu like the one in 1918 or


          thereabouts that killed like 20 million people worldwide.  There's far



          more information on World War I than we have on that devastated flu


          itself.  Obviously there is at least a vaccine, but they haven't


          perfected it.  They haven't apparently, can't really deal with it


          until they have more information on which particular flu spreads.  And


          they do anticipate millions of deaths if it really explodes.  And


          obviously, that is a little frightening.  We live in a sort of a sense


          of immortality and don't think about how nature can impact us.  That


          is part of the elements that modern civilization has attempted to


          control.  And certainly in so many ways, we've wiped out other


          devastating diseases like smallpox from the world, smallpox and


          measles, were two of the biggest killers from way back.  When I grew


          up, everybody panicked over polio, and people were crippled through


          polio.  And it's again gone pretty much, although there have been a


          couple of minor cases that have reappeared recently.  I don't mean to


          create a negative element here, but I guess in the sense that we deal


          with the plague.  Of course, the closest we have in today is AIDS, yet


          we don't necessarily worry as much AIDS in the sense that is something


          not just done through the air.  It's spread through certain activities


          that most of you of course are aware of how to prevent.  That doesn't


          mean you will, and so it's not something that we have no control over,


          but we become more fearful of things that we have no control over.


          The point I'm trying to make is that the panic that obviously reached


          Europe in 1347 created some strange groups, organizations and actions


          due to the panic.


               Of course today we do have people like Pat Robertson and others



          who make these comments as far as God's devastation for your evil and


          the Sodom and Gomorrah in San Francisco but excluding the, shall we


          call them eccentrics or if you prefer nuts.  The fact of the matter is


          that we may well see you that same kind of a panic.  What I'm


          referring to is groups, for example, that decided to purify themselves


          to avoid the plague by beating themselves.  They beat the evil out of


          themselves.  They walked around the streets swatting, whipping


          themselves.  We had people all over dragging crosses, big wooden


          crosses, in a sense of showing their love of God and following the


          direction of the Christ.  But more important was the change perhaps


          that took place -- again, the little things that occurred, if you


          will, in the image of Christ himself.


               Previous to the black plague, the crucifix that was seen in


          Europe had a sort of mellow ephemeral image of Christ, sort of


          God-like and mellow.  The images of Christ on the cross, after 1347,


          were a suffering Christ, a Christ in pain.  And the whole view, the


          world view, the view of optimism turned very heavily into the


          pessimistic society.  And not only the plague itself, but we saw a


          transformation into the -- I mean the impact as well with the wars


          that expanded in Europe, especially the hundred years war that


          continued for a little over 100 years, which also brought tremendous


          death to France and, within limitations, to England.


               Perhaps on another level we see some other changes in society.


          Religion doesn't seem to work for some.  People are dying.  Many begin


          to lose perhaps their faith in an afterlife, their faith in religion.



          God has turned against them perhaps; and therefore, they turn against


          God.  The title of the subject for the new section, which is section


          eight -- what a plague, also the changing face of heresy.  By the way,


          the waning of the middle ages is basically referring to the end of the


          14th and early 15th century, that some also see as the beginning of


          the renaissance and the ending, or the slow ending, waning of the


          medieval mentality.  In other words, it is a transformation taking


          place in Europe from a spiritual world directed and derived, lead


          through spiritualism, into a world of secularism, secularism meaning


          dealing more with humans and humankind.  And of course near the end of


          this particular waning, we also deal with the expansion of


          materialism, economics.  By the way, if you have any questions on this


          quote/unquote straight lecture, don't hesitant to ask.


               When I say the changing face of heresy, heresy throughout


          medieval period dealt with contradictions with people's attitude


          towards religion.  Heresy meant that people disagreed or acted


          contrarily to the basic faith, the faith of the Christian which we now


          call the Catholic church at the time.  Many wars broke out.  Many


          hierarchies were put down.  And perhaps the largest heresy in the


          medieval, late medieval period was the Albigensian crusades.  It


          basically was in the -- well, the Albigensian crusade was when the


          Catholic church went against a large continuously expanding group of


          individuals who began to, if you will, the concept of a duality, of


          God coming out of Persia.  If you remember earlier I spoke about


          Zoroastrianism in Persia.  There was a God of goodness, a God of



          light, and then a God of evil, a God of darkness.  And that having


          faith in a Ahura-Mazda would mean have lasting salivation and heaven;


          and otherwise, you would be following Ahriman, the God of evil which


          of course we refer to as the devil was Ahriman, that sense then that


          it wasn't simply a fallen angel.  And of course many of us today know


          that there are -- what the hell is the world?  Wicket -- those who


          worship --


          A    Wicca is not really a satin worship.  Some are, but usually it's


          more Goddess worship, which I didn't think goddesses are necessarily


          satin unless --


               THE PROFESSOR:  We touched on that with Lilith being sort of seen


          as an evil force, although because she rejected the inferiority that


          Adam wanted and demand equality with men.  And so the wicca says has a


          very feminist and even a lesbian overtone for some to it.  And perhaps


          it does touch with the Satan worship.


               The concept goes beyond it.  And that is that you have literally


          God, all powerful of evil and an all powerful God of goodness and


          light who are in conflict rather than simply a force in Satan in hell,


          of punishment who was not equal to God but wanted to be and therefore


          was thrown out of heaven.  Am I getting that somewhat correct?  I


          always question myself on not being familiar with Christianity within


          the limitations.


               In any case, that particular sense of faith looking to the


          darkness and to the light created a mass movement in southern France,


          and to some extent, into southern Germany.  And the Pope literally



          ordered a crusade, remission of sin, the term I used before referring


          to willingness of Christians to die in a crusade fighting the forces


          of evil.  And with that, they would go directly to heaven, all their


          sins, all the evil that they did were to be forgiven, dying for


          Christ.  I identified earlier that Saint Francis, the Franciscan of


          course, our City of San Francisco named after him, and Saint Dominic,


          the Dominicans, right next door here, both of those two movements to


          purify religion during that period expanded.  Both Dominic and Francis


          fought against the Albigensians in those crusades through to about


          1225.  But while they were defeated, those forces of the Albigensians


          continued throughout the 13th century.  However, what I'm alluding to


          is that basically after 1347 that power of religion over people's


          lives dissipates, and now we approach a period where the new


          hierarchies are not religion.  Religion is still there, but the new


          hierarchies are secular, worldly, stately.  They're against the


          nation, the new emerging nation.


               In 1351, because of the loss of life, labor throughout northern


          Europe where the black plague hits heavily, has been devastated,


          meaning there are less workers.  With less workers, there is a demand


          for more money by those workers.  In 1351, England issues something


          known as the statute of labor, fixing the salaries that workers can


          make, fixing the jobs that they can hold.  Again, as we often argue


          today, Halliburton and other businesses control the commercial


          interest, control the monarchies.  And certainly it is beginning to


          occur in this 14th century where monarchies are now aware that by



          taking money, they can now hire professional soldiers and pay them for


          their service and their loyalty.  And who do they get the money from?


          The merchants, the employers.


               In England, due to this starvation/taxation, as in many countries


          in northern Europe and as far down as northern Italy, we have peasant


          rebellions.  We have the rebellion of the working class, of those down


          below, the underdogs.  They rise up.  The most famous one in western


          history occurs in 1381.  It's known as the peasants rebellion.  Led by


          a miner soldier by the name of Wattyler leading perhaps 10,000


          rebellious people around a friar named John Ball.  As his religious


          leader who he called his Pope, if you will, and was with the aid of


          another name that comes forth in English history.  It seems to be a


          name now in the English parliament, Jack Straw.  A rebellion occurs


          demanding emancipation of the serfs, demanding freedom and the


          elimination of all serf obligations.  In other words, to get rid of


          the feudal obligations.  Devastating the English countryside around


          London, they go into the churches which is where the records are kept.


          They burn the records.  They kill the priests that they get there and


          the bailiffs, the political authorities.  And they encircle London


          forcing the young King Edward, who's 14 years old, to emancipate, free


          the serfs and end serfdom.  Once of course they get what they want, in


          the Maxwellian sense, you give them a little and then when they calm


          down, you take it back.  Edward comes out and meets with Wattyler,


          with his nobles again, because more demands are issued; and he begins


          to appeal to the rebels.  I am England; I am your king.  Now, that



          sense that we have and I guess all people have, is that our leaders


          are not the evil people.  They're God-like, but they get bad advice;


          it's their advisors.  Edward is being controlled by the arch bishop.


          Bush is being controlled by Cheney.  They're not bad because we love


          them.  In a sense, people are listening to Edward and the rebels are.


          In the meantime, one of his retainers stabs Wattyler to death and


          kills him.  And without the leadership from above, the rebellion falls


          apart and the leaders are tortured, confessing their sins, and sent


          onto hell and damnation, if you will.  And the promises that are


          provided are withdrawn.  Serfdom is reestablished.  Feudal obligations


          are reestablished.  The only thing, in part, to come out of it, is


          that in 1397 certain rights and powers are given to the parliament.  A


          parliament is formally established with a House of Commons and a House


          of Lords and the expansion with the prime minister and, if you will,


          the maintaining of the minister of the exchequer, the exchequer


          referring to the treasury.  As I said, England is more of our


          tradition and history, but the same kind of rebellions are taking


          place throughout northern Europe and into the Germanys.


               I pointed out that the black plagues continued, never as


          devastated as 1347, but reappearing to the 17th century.  We don't


          know why it all of a sudden ceased, but one explanation is that a


          different kind of a brown rat was no longer a host to the flea that


          carried the bubonic plague.


               That same sense of a nation rebellion politicals, as with the


          peasant rebellion, occurs on a different level.  And of course I've



          spoken about her before with Joan of Arc.  I am, as I said, previously


          very fascinated with the history of Joan of Arc as many people are.


          As I pointed out, one of the least known books I suppose or one of the


          books that is not very well-known by Mark Twain is a biography of Joan


          of Arc which I did read.  It's not very funny like most of his stuff,


          but certainly he had a fascination with this charismatic woman who


          sees visions and somehow convinces the Charles VII of France who is not yet king to


          allow her to put on armor and lead the French military at the age of


          17.  Don't you feel bad, men or women who are 17 years old, and you


          didn't led the military yet, haven't even gone in?  With that, it's a


          national uprising.  Granted, he turns against her and sells her out to


          the Burgundians who sell her out to the English and she's burned at the


          stake.  The spirit of Joan of Arc brings about, as the peasants


          rebellion do, is generally an inspiration as John Ball was, but the


          heresy, the conflict, is in state.


               It's interesting a lot of people have written on the back plague


          in essays up here.  This might be cute because it's done by a high


          school student from Texas.  In any case, while it warms up, the next


          element here that we're dealing with is economic expansion.  And while


          I identified that the black plague devastated Europe and to some


          extent the economy of Europe, the fact is that the economy tends to


          change during this period.  It becomes much more efficient.  General


          information -- I guess this is just a -- like many people, once it's


          up here the links are gone.  Many years ago I took -- I was at a


          veterinarian and they had this sort of flea powder thing that they



          were advertising.  And it said in the booklet that the reason cats


          became popular during the medieval period was to get the rats because


          they would kill the rats and therefore save the plague.  The fact is,


          they had no idea what caused the plague.  Of course many of you have


          seen the Monty Python "bring out your dead" and that kind of stuff.


          Well, that's interesting.  The plague is a fascinating thing, but it


          certainly doesn't bring in that sense of romance that we find with the


          battles in Europe.  This name by the way is a well-known one, Barbara


          Tuchman.  She wrote a book called A Distant Mirror which, as a


          historian, is well written.  Most history books are boring as are


          history professors.  This book deals with the 14th century, the black


          plague itself and the wars, the 100 years war, and is one of the top


          books ever written.  It's about 40 years old now, I think.  This is


          interesting and I didn't know this.  In 1334 an epidemic which


          eventually killed two-thirds of China's inhabitants struck the


          northeastern Chinese province of Hopei.  The black death began to work


          its way west striking India, China, and Mesopotamia.  You have to


          watch these Chinese.  Sars and now the avian flu, and you never know.


          Q    Did Sars really kill that many people?  I thought it was only a


          total of a few thousand?


               THE PROFESSOR:  No.  It didn't kill many because they caught it


          finally.  What the issue was, that China refused to recognize it and


          covered it up for a while.  And then there were greater fear of what


          might happen because of the lack of knowledge.  It was like a few


          years ago, a plague that, if you will, they had no idea what it was



          and it killed a few people and people panicked.  It was a legionnaires


          whatever they call it.  My mind is blanking here.  What I'm trying to


          identify is, it's not what we know, it's what we don't know that


          scares us.  And Sars certainly was finally closed off.  It was panic


          stricken from my perspective because my son was in Shanghai at the


          time taking courses as a transfer student.  And they closed the


          program down, ordered all of the Americans to return home.  He refused


          to go and he stayed there.  Others had left even before because of the


          fears that had been generated.  And again, I think it's tough time to


          deal with it.


               In 1646 the plague came to Kaffa, which by the way, is northern


          Italy and a port successful to the central trade.  And then in 1647,


          to the Italians delight, their opponents began to die off at an


          alarming rate.  In other words, it passed on throughout.  Well, I


          didn't find what I really wanted which were some charts.  I should


          have looked this up beforehand.


                                  -- (end PowerPoint) --


               Okay.  With the crusades we saw a new change in the economic


          system of Europe.  I didn't get into it because, while I talked about


          the crusades, I didn't talk about what was basically modern Europe.


          There are certain elements to modern Europe and to the modern world.


          And one of those elements, besides nationalism, which I talked about,


          and I touched on the unicorn and I'll go into that a little more


          thoroughly.  One of the elements is capitalism.  Again, a simple


          definition, if you will, of capitalism -- the means of production



          which is land, label, and capital.  Now, capital, we're not just


          talking about money.  We're talking about anything that produces


          another product which can produce a form of wealth.  Land, labor, and


          capital are controlled or owned by the businessmen, by the


          entrepreneurs, by the bourgeoisie.  And goods and services are


          distributed through supply and demand.  Capitalism is the antithesis


          of exhibition.  What it is argued under supply and demand is that the


          selfish businessman will sell a product at the highest worth he can


          get, and he will not make something unless there's a demand for it.


          He will not make something if he can't make a large profit selling it.


          For example, it may cost only 10 or 20 cents to make a contact lens.


          They're sold for three or $400 because people are willing to pay that


          money for that particular product.


               In medieval times, we dealt with the sense of worth of quality


          and fair trade, a fair price, a just price.  You sold it, not for what


          you could get, but for what the product was worth and nothing more.


          If you tried to rip off your customer, that was considered a sin, a


          sin that required confession.  People therefore didn't share freely,


          but they sold things at a profit that was minimal and was regulated by


          the guilds.  Usury was prohibitive, meaning, lending money at an


          exorbitant rate.  What is exorbitant?  Every God dam credit card you


          have, every loan you take out in a bank.  Translation, most loans


          today for houses are sitting at about 7 percent.  Bank cards are


          running 15 to 21 percent interest.  That's usury.  In the medieval


          times, if you lent money, it was anticipated that you would charge 1



          or 2 percent.  Nice.  Unless you were a money hungry Jew or Muslim,


          because you were not Christian and therefore you could demand a pound


          of flesh in return.  That's from The Merchant of Venice, if you didn't


          pick up on it, which again explains, in part, another reason that Jews


          and Muslims were hated in Christian Europe.  Nobody loves bankers.


          Nobody loves money lenders.


               However, with the new secularization, the new worldliness, if you


          will, the rejection of the church and perhaps even better said, the


          extreme wealth the church was itself accumulating, we began to see a


          new beginning, bullionism, mercantilism, and capitalism we're going to


          talk about.  What came back from the crusades was keeping up with the


          Joneses, which translated to people who went there, found products


          that they brought back to Europe, that had been there but not in the


          abundance.  If somebody came back with a silk dress, every noble


          wanted a silk dress.  But more important was the change in food.


          Spices coming out of the East preserved foods.  And we talked about


          what it did in also creating beer.  But the spices themselves were


          used to make sausages and frankfurters or whatever, which stayed


          longer than just a few days.  Remember refrigeration did not exist as


          such.  And for some reason, incense.  I mean, I can understand with


          the French because they smell terribly.  And so we purified the house


          and got rid of evil and got rid of disease by burning incense.  And so


          that became extremely popular coming out of the East.


               Many of you have heard of Magellan and how Magellan circumcised


          the world, circumnavigated, I'm sorry.  And as many of you know, he



          dies, was killed before returning.  And of the three ships that went


          out with Magellan in 1519, only one returned to Portugal.  That ship


          had enough wealth to cover the expedition 100 times over in spices and


          in silk.  And from time to time, something we refer to as China which


          is porcelain.  With that and those dreams of wealth running through


          your heads, we'll see you Wednesday.


          A    Friday.  Today is Wednesday.


               THE PROFESSOR:  What happened to my Monday?  I gave an exam.


          I'll see you Friday.