Dealing With The Dead

Mortality and Community in Medieval and Early Modern Europe


Volume Editor:
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

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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).
"Dealing with the Dead ably fulfills its aim to "contribute to an ongoing interdisciplinary study of the dead and their continued enfranchisement in the world of the living" (1), making it essential reading. Furthermore, researchers in medieval and early modern literature, text, folklore, religion, and art are likely to encounter enlightenment in these pages, and expemplary course readings in art, religion, and literature lie among these chapters". Elizabeth M. Willingham, in Sixteenth Century Journal, L/4 (2019).

List of Illustrations
List of Contributors

Thea Tomaini

Part 1: Discourses and Intercessions

1 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

7 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
Institutes, academic libraries, specialists, scholars, post-graduate students, practitioners. Educated laypersons interested in death studies, funerary culture and art, medieval studies.
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