©Wellcome Library, London

Devout Christians (as well as Jews) took heed of God's warning to his chosen people as proclaimed in Deuteronomy, the Fifth Book of Moses: ... if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee ... the Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish' (Deuteronomy 27; verses 15, 21-22).

Anonymous painting on wood from the altar of Carmes Déchaux, Goettingen.