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The Black Death: death, sin & spirituality

Join us for episode five in our six-part series examining how the Black Death shook the Middle Ages…

Published: April 21, 2022 at 11:23 am

The arrival of a terrifying pandemic made medieval people increasingly preoccupied with death, sin and the afterlife. In this episode, Ellie Cawthorne speaks to Helen Carr about spiritual responses to the Black Death, from special prayers to self-flagellation.


The primary sources quoted in this series are mainly taken from:

  • The Black Death, translated and edited by Rosemary Horrox (1994)
  • The Black Death, The Great Mortality of 1348-1350: A Brief History with Documents, John Arberth (2005)
Want to hear more? Browse the rest of the episodes in our podcast series on the Black Death


Ellie CawthornePodcast editor, HistoryExtra

Ellie Cawthorne is HistoryExtra’s podcast editor. She also contributes to BBC History Magazine, runs the podcast newsletter and hosts several live and virtual BBC History Magazine events.

Helen CarrHistorian and author

Helen Carr is an historian, writer, TV and podcast producer, specialising in medieval history and public history.


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