Small Systems Design Associates

Home page for Design and Prototype Testing for the Collapse Panel in the Walkabout series.

Panel 5 - Collapse

Panel 5 - Collapse

By one estimate, between 75 million and 200 million Europeans died of plague between the peak plague years AD 1350 through 1550. In the 14th century, city-dwellers who had the means to escape the plague-ridden cities traveled to the country-side in hopes of escaping its ravages.

Much great European literature has origins in the journals and story-telling recorded among and by these escapees. Dante Alighieri, writing in Italian at the end of the 13th and beginning of the 14th Century, provided the narrative form in his "Divine Comedy." Stories by plague escapees like those written in prose form by Boccaccio with his "Decameron," in Italy in the early 14th century; and Chaucer in England with his poetic "Canterbury Tales," at the end of the 14th century, created the language and story-telling structure for much of the literature we read today.

The churches are in disarray. New social structures evolve to provide sustenance and support for plague survivors. With this activity some of the ancient religious institutions of Europe could now be rebuilt, and renewed, and restored in their various communities. In some communities, religious buildings were restored to their former beauty, ritual, and expanse. Community members re-occupied the buildings in hopes of finding what they had known before, but with a more skeptical and questioning approach to the idea, in faith, that some kind of a higher being would take responsibility for assuring personal salvation.