Death was a constant, visible presence in medieval and renaissance Europe. Yet, the acknowledgement of death did not necessarily amount to an acceptance of its finality. Whether they were commoners, clergy, aristocrats, or kings, the dead continued to function literally as integrated members of their communities long after they were laid to rest in their graves.
From stories of revenants bringing pleas from Purgatory to the living, to the practical uses and regulation of burial space; from the tradition of the ars moriendi, to the depiction of death on the stage; and from the making of martyrs, to funerals for the rich and poor, this volume examines how communities dealt with their dead as continual, albeit non-living members.
Contributors are Jill Clements, Libby Escobedo, Hilary Fox, Sonsoles Garcia, Stephen Gordon, Melissa Herman, Mary Leech, Nikki Malain, Kathryn Maud, Justin Noetzel, Anthony Perron, Martina Saltamacchia, Thea Tomaini, Wendy Turner, and Christina Welch
Thea Tomaini, Ph.D. (1998), University of Illinois at Chicago, is Professor of English (Teaching) at the University of Southern California. She is the author of
The Corpse as Text: Disinterment and Antiquarian Enquiry 1700-1900, (Boydell, 2017).
Table of contents
Acknowledgments List of Illustrations List of Contributors
Introduction Thea Tomaini
Part 1: Discourses and Intercessions
The Talking Dead: Exhortations of the Dead to the Living in Anglo-Saxon Writing Hilary Fox 2
Sudden Death in Early Medieval England and the Anglo-Saxon Fortunes of Men Jill Hamilton Clements 3
Monumental Memory: The Performance and Enduring Spectacle of Burial in Early Anglo-Saxon England Melissa Herman 4
Dealing with the Undead in the Later Middle Ages Stephen Gordon 5
“Look at my Hands”: Physical Presence and the Saintly Intercessor at Wilton Kathryn Maud 6
The Corpse of Public Opinion: Thomas of Norwich, Anti-Semitism, and Christian Identity Mary E. Leech
Part 2: Law and Civic Life
Outlaws and the Undead: Defining Sacred and Communal Space in Medieval Iceland Justin T. Noetzel 8
A Funeral Procession from Venice to Milan: Death Rituals for a Late-Medieval Wealthy Merchant Martina Saltamacchia 9
Live by the Sea, Die by the Sea: Confronting Death and the Dead in Medieval Liguria, 1140-1240 CE Nikki Malain 10
The Medieval Cemetery as Ecclesiastical Community: Regulation, Conflict, and Expulsion, 1000-1215 Anthony Perron 11
The Corpse as Testimony: Judgment, Verdict, and the Elizabethan Stage Thea Tomaini
Part 3: Funerary Art and Mementi Mori
12 Reappropiated Antiquity in the Funerary Art of the Kingdom of León and Castile in the High Middle Ages Sonsoles García González 13 Exploring Late-Medieval English Memento Mori Carved Cadaver Sculptures Christina Welch 14 Holbein’s Mementi Mori Libby Karlinger Escobedo Afterword: A Few Thoughts on the Dead, the Living, and Liminal Existence Wendy J. Turner
General Bibliography Index
Institutes, academic libraries, specialists, scholars, post-graduate students, practitioners. Educated laypersons interested in death studies, funerary culture and art, medieval studies.