Great Famine of 1315–1317  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Great Famine of 1315–1317 (occasionally dated 1315-1322) was the first of a series of large scale crises that struck Europe early in the fourteenth century, causing millions of deaths over an extended number of years and marking a clear end to an earlier period of growth and prosperity during the eleventh to thirteenth centuries. Starting with bad weather in spring 1315, universal crop failures lasted through 1316 until summer 1317; Europe did not fully recover until 1322. It was a period marked by extreme levels of crime, disease and mass death and infanticide. It had consequences for Church, State, European society and future calamities to follow in the fourteenth century.

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