Dubrovnik the Ancient city

During the mid to late 1300s, the Black Death as a plague raged around the world and into Europe. Venice was one city that was a port of entry for the disease. In fact, the word quarantine is rooted in Italian.

"The word “quarantine” has Italian roots: in an effort to protect coastal cities from the Black Death ravaging 14th-Century Europe, ships arriving in Venice from infected ports were required to sit at anchor for 40 days (quaranta giorni) before landing, a practice that eventually became known as quarantine – derived from ‘quarantino’, the Italian word for a 40-day period."

In addition, across the Adriatic Sea, the early city of Ragusa (later Dubrovnik) passed a law preventing ships and trade caravans from entering the city until they submitted to 30 days of isolation.

More about these quarantine medieval cities

Earlier Epidemics in History

Was our nation's capital planned to be another city other than the Washington, DC area? What may have happened to make that change? Could it have been an unforeseen epidemic?

Was the potential capitol Philadelphia which was the business and cultural center of the new nation made up of states (or former colonies). It appears that Philadelphia was hit with a significant epidemic of yellow fever in the year 1793 which devastated and changed the city. While DC was likely going to be the capitol location, Philadelphia was still being considered. No longer - after this epidemic. The tiny mosquito knocked down this big city's plans and reputation. Hard to believe this could happen and Yellow Fever was not understood as far as cause and pathogenesis until a century later at the time of the Spanish-American War. Much like how history changed in the eastern Roman world if you read Justinian's Flea about the onset of the plague.

Read more about this epidemic here.
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