It’s a reblog sort of day, and this. Is. Awesome. (Comments are disabled here to encourage discussion on the original post.)
In the 14th century, plague ravaged most of Europe, killing nearly a third of the population. According to Slavic legends, the Plague Maiden wandered the lands. She was thin and pallid, dressed in white, carrying a bloodied handkerchief in her thin, long hands. Some sources say she wore a crown of poppies. She is called Morowa Dziewica in Polish, Pest Jungfrau in German (described as a blue flame), Pestflicka in Swedish.
Illustration by Zuzanna Krolik
Wherever she went, shaking the handkerchief, people got sick en masse and died in agony. Homes and streets would fill with dead bodies. Understandably, people were terrified of her (and the plague she brought) because she seemed unstoppable. Doctors were useless and often their cures did more harm than good.
There were several ways people believed that the Plague Maiden could be stopped, depending on the source. One was cutting off the hand that…
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