"The most in-depth study ever undertaken of how plague and other infectious diseases affected populations in Central Europe between 1560 and 1640. Based on quantitative data gleaned from over 800 parish registers, the extended time period covered has allowed for the comparison of seven successive plague cycles. Wide variations between the characteristics of local and regional epidemics were discovered during this extensive research and this publication examines the contributing factors behind these effects, such as settlement patterns, trade routes and extreme changes in weather. It also uncovers evidence of the existence of two separate fields of activity responsible for the distribution of outbreaks and flow of the disease: maritime and regional (inland). Despite such statistical disparities, the author concludes that plague waves, while sensitive to such factors, were resilient and eventually overcame any obstacles in their path" (publisher).