1348 - Kay Balagtas
Kay Balagtas
ECI 435
Narrative of the year 1348
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Letter #13

Prague, Czech Republic. 1348.

My darling sweetheart David,

As my first year of college at Charles University here in Prague has commenced, I am missing you more each day. I am proud to be one of the very first students in this brand new university, which was established my Emperor Charles IV in April. From what I hear, not only is this the first university in Czech Republic, but it is also one of the first in the entirety of Europe! I took a stroll through the brand new college and the city with my adored parents yesterday, and my- What a beautiful site! David, did you know there is so much more to Prague than farmland? Don’t get me wrong, I loved frolicking through the pastures in the outskirts of Prague with you, and I couldn’t imagine a life beyond the splendor of tall green grass and a church down the road. However, I am thankful to have witnessed unbelievable places in the “New Town” of Prague (the reign of Emperor Charles IV has really caused the city to flourish, proven by the establishment of the “New Town”, which is next to the “Old Town” where we grew up as childhood sweethearts). All the marvelous buildings that lie wherein the city, such as The Charles Bridge, which connects to Malá Strana, the Saint Vitus Cathedral, and various monuments, such as the statue of Emperor Charles IV, which happens to be just outside of my dorm room window balcony.

Beloved David, your last letter frightened me. You fought in the Battle of Streva, yet you did not mention much of it. Were you badly hurt? I learned in class that the Battle of Streva in February was fought between the Teutonic Knights and the pagan Duchy of Lithuania. I cannot fathom why the pagans must interfere with the Knights’ desire to aide Catholics on their pilgrimages to Jerusalem, the Holy Land. All that the German Roman Catholic Religious Order pleads for is that hospitals are established to care for the sick and injured, and I am cheerful for the Knights’ triumphant victory! Last year, while the crusaders of France and England were launching their expedition over the Streva River, the Knights were able to attack because of the frozen river. Praise to the Virgin Mary for the defeat of the Lithuanians!

Meanwhile, a horrible plague has been spreading throughout Europe. The local newspaper has announced that The Black Death has reduced the population in Florence from 90,000 to 45,000- apparently, an Italian named Giovanni Boccaccio, an aspiring writer has survived the plague. The bubonic version of the disease appears of a victim's neck, armpit, or groin area, varying in size from as small as an egg to as large as an apple. Please constantly check your body for any abnormalities as such. The other type of the plague is pneumonic, first attacking the Respiratory system, causing one to experience difficulty in breathing. Once the disease attacks, victims lose life after 3-5 days. Pope Clement IV has asked that Jews be declared innocent of spreading this plague. Many continue to blame the Jews from contaminating the wells with poison. This is such a devastating time and I can only pray that God will protect my loved ones from this Black Death.

I cannot wait to have your next letter in my hands.

Yours truly,

Jana