Famine and pestilence at home drove men to emigrate hopefully to the golden East.
The population henceforth dwindled in consequence of pestilence and emigration, and although the island recovered somewhat in the 18th century under a comparatively lenient rule it was brought to a very low ebb owing to the severity of its governor during the Greek revolution.
A great conflagration in 1433, the pestilence of 1532, the bombardment by the Danes in 1569, and the Russo-Livonian War, destroyed its trade.
Simultaneously with a terrible pestilence which is reported to have nearly depopulated China, plague prevailed over Germany, Holland, Italy and Spain, in the first decade of the century, and revived at various times in the first half.
Again, it must have been the pestilence decimating Milan in1484-1485which gave occasion to the projects submitted by Leonardo to Ludovico for breaking up the city and reconstructing it on improved sanitary principles.
This resulted in a pestilence which not only lessened the population, but threatened to give the death-blow to the great annual fairs; and at the close of the war it was found that it had cost the city no less than 228,93, gulden.
At the end of the 16th century there was a pestilence following a prolonged famine, and in the 17th century two violent epidemics are recorded under the names ta'un and waba.
A famous instance of these penitential litanies is the litania septiformis ordered by Gregory the Great in the year 590, when Rome had been inundated and pestilence had followed.
The cause of his leaving Amid was probably either the great pestilence which broke out there in 534 or the furious persecution directed against the Monophysites by Ephraim (patriarch of Antioch 529-544) and Abraham (bishop of Am id c. 520-541).
Desertion, pestilence and famine added to the usual horrors of a siege, and at length on the ninth day of the fourth month 586, a breach was made in the walls.