The Black Death epidemic came from Asia with the Mongol invasions and spread through Europe along the trade routes. By 1347, it had spread over the entire continent and would destroy it within four to five years. It is estimated that a quarter or a third of the population perished. The epidemic had lasting consequences on European civilisation, not only on a demographic level, but also economic, social and religious, such as the desertion of rural areas and towns, the increase of labour costs and religious persecution. Following this first bout, the illness reappeared several times.