The Black Death in Europe
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The Disease we now know as the Black Death was one of the most statistically devastating diseases of the past millennuim. In terms of sheer numbers, other diseases, like the Spanish Flu, might surpass it; but when it comes to not only lives lost, but also the impact on society as a whole, the plague may be alone. Beyond simply affecting Europe during the plague years, the Black Death was paramount in setting Europe up for the Renaissance in the following centuries.