The Complete History of Plague in Norway, 1348-1654: The Second Pandemic

The Complete History of Plague in Norway, 1348-1654: The Second Pandemic

Historical studies of plague are predominantly related to individual local epidemics, often associated with the Black Death. However, this unique book provides a complete presentation of the entire Second Plague Pandemic in Norway, from the Black Death to the last outbreaks of plague in 1654.

It begins with a succinct presentation of the history of plague and its basic clinical and epidemiological features, while also drawing upon new scholarship and research. It confirms the great genetic stability of the plague contagion, and shows that the outbreaks and spread of plague can be studied in interaction with two historical societies of two historical periods, the late medieval society and the early modern society. The changes and differences in epidemiology and dynamics of plague between the two halves of the pandemic are gateways to understanding how plague epidemics are transmitted, disseminated and evolve. The book’s long-term perspective allows it to study plague’s epidemiology and to identify consistent long-term features.


Ole J. Benedictow is an Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Oslo, Norway, and a trained medievalist with a focus on late medieval history and the early modern period. In 1992, he defended a thesis on Scandinavian medieval plague history for his PhD. His publications include The Medieval Demographic System of the Nordic Countries (1996), Svartedauen og senere pestepidemier i Norge [The Black Death and Later Plague Epidemics in Norway] (2002), and The Complete History of the Black Death (2021), among others.

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ISBN: 1-5275-8304-X

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-8304-7

Release Date: 14th July 2022

Pages: 722

Price: £86.99