Silk Road Trade & Travel Encyclopedia

Interesting Facts & Trivia

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43 - QUESTION: What is the name of the plague that is believed to have come to Europe via the Silk Road?

Answer:  Bubonic plague.

Also known as the Black Death, the Bubonic plague which devastated Europe in the 14th century is believed to have come via the Silk Road. Of the many theories, one theory is that garments were contaminated with plague-bearing flea eggs, and were brought from somewhere in Central Asia. Once the eggs hatched into fleas, they infested local rodents (and perhaps some rats eventually went on ships and were carried to port cities in Italy). There the plague spread, via fleas, to other rats, and then to people.

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