Plague in Early modern Belgrade: Causes, consequences and fears Cover Image

Kuga u ranomodernom Beogradu: Uzroci, strahovi i posledice
Plague in Early modern Belgrade: Causes, consequences and fears

Author(s): Marija V. Kocić, Haris Dajč
Subject(s): Local History / Microhistory, Health and medicine and law, 17th Century, 18th Century, The Ottoman Empire
Published by: Naučno društvo za istoriju zdravstvene kulture
Keywords: plague; Ottoman Empire; quarantine; Belgrade; sanitary cordon

Summary/Abstract: Plague in early modern Belgrade becomes a constant occurrence since the time of the Ottoman conquest. The biggest problem of the research of the plague epidemic in Belgrade is the lack of adequate historical sources, so the rhythm of its deadliness can not be determined with absolute certainty. In addition, this issue is burdened with lack of regular censuses taken by the Ottoman authorities during the 17th and 18th centuries, when the state had moved to a different system of levying taxes. The scale of the impact of the plague on the total population of Belgrade could therefore be only speculated. Important fact is that since the Great Turkish War, during all subsequent Ottoman-Austrian conflicts, plague seems unavoidable visitor of Belgrade. This is fully in line with the research, which showed that in the period from 1700 to 1850, the Ottoman northeastern border (which Belgrade belonged to) was affected by 23 plagues, which lasted for a total of 59 years. Unlike some parts of Europe, where it caused a collective hysteria, as a manifestation of the general misery and uncertainty, similar cases have not been recorded in Belgrade. The Ottoman state greatly lagged behind Europe in the implementation of sanitary regulations, so it was completely surpassed by Austria in the early modern era, as Austria had managed to finish the construction of a sanitary corridor towards the Ottoman Empire in the 18th century.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 33
  • Page Range: 152-161
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Serbian