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Eat Your Oats

Was the Black Plague a result of bio-chemical warfare?

In Brandenburg (Germany) there appeared in 1559 horrible men of whom at first fifteen and later on twelve were seen ... the others (had) fearful faces and long scythes, with which they cut at the oats, so that the swish could be heard at a great distance, but the oats remained standing ... The visit of the strange men to the oat fields was followed immediately by a severe outbreak of the Plague in Brandenburg.
And the activity wasn't limited to Germany:
Similar men dressed in black were reported in Hungary ... there appeared so many black riders that the opinion was prevalent that the Turks were making a secret raid, but who rapidly disappeared again, and thereupon a raging plague broke out in the neighborhood.

Strange men dressed in black, "demons" and other terrifying figures were observed in other European communities. The frightening creatures were often observed carrying long "brooms," "scythes," or "swords" that were used to "sweep" or "knock at" the doors of people's homes. The inhabitants of those homes fell ill with plague afterwards. It is from these reports that people created the popular image of "Death" as a skeleton or demoncarrying a scythe. The scythe came to symbolize the act of Death mowing down people like stalks of grain ..

Update 3/27: Some great Grim Reaper pics over on MythologyWeb.



This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 25, 2005 10:11 PM.

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