430 BC

Plague of Athens kills 1/3 of population; may have been bubonic plague.

262 AD

A plague in Rome kills about 5000 people a day.

1338 – 1339

Plague reported to be in central Asia.


Mongols die of plague in the Russian steppes.


The plague spreads to Constantinople, a major port city.

The plague is also in southern Ukraine.

Oct. 1347

Plague is brought to Sicily by a ship from the east.

Dec. 1347

The plague hits Venice.

early 1348

The shipping trade takes the plague to Syria, Palestine, Egypt, northern Africa, Greece, France, and Spain.

Spring 1348

Plague now in Avignon, France, where the Pope lives.

late 1348

Plague spreads to southern Britain.

Oct. 1349

The Pope condemns the actions of the Flagellants, who were beating themselves in an attempt to avoid the plague.

late 1349

Plague found in Scotland and Ireland.


The Pope’s representatives estimate that 23,840,000 people had died in the Black Death. This was 32% of Europe’s pre-plague population.


Plague attacks Moscow and Kiev.


Great Plague of London, in which 70,000 people die.


Plague has mainly disappeared from Europe.

mid 1800s

Cases of plague reported in inland China.


The plague appears in Hong Kong, and then moves to India, where 10 million will die of it in the next 20 years.


121 people get bubonic plague in San Francisco; only 3 survive.


The Second Indian Plague Commission discovers how plague spreads.


In Los Angeles, 40 people get the plague and only 2 survive.


Antibiotic drugs cause the death rate of the plague to drop dramatically.

Sept. 1994

54 people die of pneumonic plague in India.