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Was the Black Death in India and China?

From: Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Volume 85, Number 3, Fall 2011
pp. 319-355 | 10.1353/bhm.2011.0054



Firsthand accounts of the Black Death in Europe and the Middle East and many subsequent historians have assumed that the pandemic originated in Asia and ravaged China and India before reaching the West. One reason for this conviction among modern historians is that the plague in the nineteenth century originated and did its worst damage in these countries. But a close examination of the sources on the Delhi Sultanate and the Yuan Dynasty provides no evidence of any serious epidemic in fourteenth-century India and no specific evidence of plague among the many troubles that afflicted fourteenth-century China.

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