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Florence Under SiegeSurviving Plague in an Early Modern City$
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John Henderson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780300196344

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300196344.001.0001

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The Return and End of Plague, 1632–3

The Return and End of Plague, 1632–3

(p.277) Epilogue The Return and End of Plague, 1632–3
Florence Under Siege

John Henderson

Yale University Press

This epilogue addresses the return of plague in 1632–3, clearly shocking contemporaries since they had assumed it had disappeared. This analysis serves as a way to examine how far the city of Florence learned from its recent experience, since they now had tried and tested public health policies they could put into place to deal with an epidemic, whereas in 1630 they had not suffered from plague for over a century. What makes this outbreak interesting are the similarities and differences in secular and religious responses. As the chapter argues, while many of the same strategies were employed, this later outbreak did lead to some innovations. These include the quarantining of whole streets and the processing of the Virgin of S. Maria Impruneta through the city over three days. Fortunately, this outbreak proved more localised and much less virulent than the main epidemic which forms the centre of this book, and may help to explain why it was contained more effectively.

Keywords:   plague, Florence, public health policies, epidemic, quarantine

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