Death in Medieval Europe: Death Scripted and Death Choreographed, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Death in Medieval Europe

Death Scripted and Death Choreographed, 1st Edition

Edited by Joelle Rollo-Koster


242 pages

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Death in Medieval Europe: Death Scripted and Death Choreographed explores new cultural research into death and funeral practices in medieval Europe and demonstrates the important relationship between death and the world of the living in the Middle Ages.

Across ten chapters, the articles in this volume survey the cultural effects of death. This volume explores overarching topics such as burials, commemorations, revenants, mourning practices and funerals, capital punishment, suspiscious death, and death registrations using case studies from across Europe including England, Iceland, and Spain. Together these chapters discuss how death was ritualised and choreographed, but also how it was expressed in writing throughout various documentary sources including wills and death registries. In each instance, records are analysed through a cultural framework to better understand the importance of the authors of death and their audience.

Drawing together and building upon the latest scholarship, this book is essential reading for all students and academics of death in the medieval period.

Table of Contents


Notes on Contributors


1-Writing and Commemoration in Anglo-Saxon England

Jill Hamilton Clements

2-From Powerful Agents to Subordinate Objects? The Restless Dead in 13th- and 14th-Century Iceland

Kirsi Kanerva

3-Animated Corpses and Bodies with Power in the Scholastic Age

Winston Black

4-Women, Dance, Death, and Lament in Medieval Spain and the Mediterranean: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Examples

Cynthia Sautter

5-Wills and Testaments

Francine Michaud

6-Spectacular Death: Capital Punishment in Medieval English Towns

James Davis

7-Ghostly Knights: Kings’ Funerals in 14th Century Europe and the Emergence of an International Style

Mikhail A. Boytsov

8-Death of Clergymen: Popes and Cardinals’ Death Rituals

Joëlle Rollo-Koster

9-A Dead Zone in the Historiography of Death in the Middle Ages: The Sentiment of Suspicious Death

Franck Collard

10-Registering Deaths and Causes of Death in Late Medieval Milan

Ann G. Carmichael

About the Editor

Joëlle Rollo-Koster is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Rhode Island. She is the author of Raiding Saint Peter: Empty Sees, Violence, and the Initiation of the Great Schism (1378) (2008), and Avignon and its Papacy (1309-1417): Popes, Institutions, and Society (2015).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / General
HISTORY / Medieval