Assuming that this is actually syphilis, you are vastly overstating the impact. Lordganon 00:52, July 4, 2012 (UTC)
Am I? Yes I am well aware that even in its early phase it was not anywhere near as destructive or lethal as the Black Death however, it's generally thought that OTL about a million people had it in the mid-1500s. By the late 1200s Europe's population had boomed and had reached a peak of something like 100 million so I don't think its too much to say that more people would have had it and died from it in the 1280s when populations were much higher and urban centres were really growing than in the 1500s. Imagine killing even just 1 in every 100 people in the 13th century just as Europe is pulling itself out of the Dark Ages?
And actually I was going to be a lot more hash... I was almost going to completely stop the early Italian Renaissance in its tracks but I thought I'd be generous.
Yan Hoek 08:59, July 4, 2012 (UTC)
And it took that million people years to die. Heck, a large portion would have got the initial symptoms, and that was it.
There's a very good reason why it had almost no impact otl - which you're missing entirely.
Syphilis is not a disease on this scale. The only effect more people has on it is that instead of a million effected, you have a million and a half.
1 out of 100 people are not going to end up dead from it. and those that do die are not going to be within days, but years.
So, you are not being generous, in the least. You are making mountains out of molehills.
No, with the greatest respect, I think you are missing the point. Syphillis was extremely fatal when it first hit Europe. And was not a purely sexually transmitted disease in its first European incarnation either. There is a good reason why Smallpox is called Smallpox when those in the 16th-17th centuries could still culturally remember the Great Pox (which syphillis was once known as).
The early version did kill people within months, it was not the long-term passive-ish disease we have now. Of course the actual power of the disease would have decreased rapidly but I personally believe that in a Europe that was more densely populated and warmer (the Medieval Warm Period) than in 1500, with several ungoing wars, it would have be quite severely hit by the disease.
Besides, even if it did not kill that many people in the early stages, just another 200 years with it being endemic within the European population would still make a significant change to demographics.
When it first hit, it took months for them to die. Not hours, like the Black Death. Nor was it even remotely "devastating." For obvious reasons, as it took months.
You need to have a good, hard, look at those sources. The first only discusses the symptoms, and the sources in the second are laughable, quite honestly - there's even claims made in that article that the sources at the bottom do not mention at all.
Even more so, is that the "five million" figure in that wikipedia article is not only not in the quoted source, but the reference originates in a news article from a few years ago, again without any sources.
This article makes it out to be worse than the Black Death. It held no such effects otl, for very good reason. Heck, there was wars otl too, and none of this happened, either. Yet you're trying to make that to be the case. Makes no sense whatsoever.
The only effect the increased population has is to increase the overall number effected - not the rate of infection, rate of death, eventual result or anything of that nature.
Well I'm not going to attempt to defend Wikipedia and its inevitable errors and crappy sources. I kinda just put it their for an overview. Anyhoo, I don't think I am really making it out to be worse than the Black Death. I'm not changing the rates of infection or speed of death or any of the pathology. I'm not turning Europe into some kind of zombie ridden warzone or anything.
Honestly, I just thought one of the inevitable consequences of having a Norse colony in America is that Europe recieves Syphilis a lot sooner. So in a pre-Black Death society that has had no major plague since the 750's it would have shaken people up a bit. And while people weren't exactly stumbling over dead bodies in the street I think the economies of the Dutch-Rhineland-Italian cities might have suffered a great deal as people could move about a little more freely, not only escaping flare ups of the disease but spreading it too. And yes, the actual period of fatal syphilis may only have been temporary and it certainly isn't going to alter society like the Black Death does, but I still think it would have been a blow to Europe.
Ok, Baghdad is a stretch... I'll change that.
Yan, most of the results you list are a stretch. Really, the parts about the Cathars, Austria, and the Baltic are about the only ones that are plausible. Wouldn't destabilize growth like that, allow other nations to conquer others or the like. Slight economic damage, but nothing too major.
Yes, no doubt it gets there sooner, though I'd bet on it not being nearly so immediate as in otl - the areas in question are more isolated than where Columbus went, so it lost likely is less common in those areas.
The only thing comparable to what you are describing is the Black Death. The use of the word "devastating" would also be an exaggeration.
Black Death, plague, or otherwise - no matter the form, the virus never really ever went away, like how it still exists today. They were used to it - a new plague, especially something similar to existing illnesses, at least in the most general terms, wouldn't cause too much alarm.