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Was China the Source of the Plague?

Timothy Brook, University of British Columbia

February 21, 2018 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm EST · 202 Jones

Program in East Asian Studies

Contemporaries of the 14th-century Black Death in Europe believed that the plague had come to them from China, thanks to the Mongols. This belief in Chinese origin gained support with the eruption of the third pandemic in the 1890s, when the plague traveled outward across the South China Sea and spread to many parts of the world, including the Americas. Timothy Brook puts some of the latest findings from science against the Yuan and Ming documentary record to ask whether China was the source of the plague.

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