1st Edition

Death in Medieval Europe Death Scripted and Death Choreographed

Edited By Joelle Rollo-Koster Copyright 2017
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.


    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


    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).

    "This is an excellent collection of essays which will significantly increase our knowledge and understanding of medieval views on and experiences of death. Of particular value is the breadth and scope of the essays presented, ranging from discussions of commemoration and ritualistic aspects of death and capital punishment over to differing cultural perceptions of death beyond Christian to Jewish and Muslim communities. As such this volume will be welcome by anyone interested in medieval daily life and culture, academics and students alike."

    - Miriam Muller, University of Birmingham, UK

    "Death in Medieval Europe brings together an impressive array of recent literature that does, indeed, “survey the cultural effects of death” in the Middle Ages (6). Together, the work of these ten scholars demonstrates the importance of death, dying and its attendant processes and beliefs to different societies throughout the era."

    - Heather Stein, ScienceDirect