The Place of the Dead
This volume of essays provides a comprehensive treatment of a very significant component of the societies of late medieval and early modern Europe: the dead. It argues that to contemporaries the 'placing' of the dead, in physical, spiritual and social terms, was a vitally important exercise, and one which often involved conflict and complex negotiation. The contributions range widely geographically, from Scotland to Transylvania, and address a spectrum of themes: attitudes towards the corpse, patterns of burial, forms of commemoration, the treatment of dead infants, the nature of the afterlife and ghosts. Individually the essays help to illuminate several current historiographical concerns: the significance of the Black Death, the impact of the protestant and catholic Reformations, and interactions between 'elite' and 'popular' culture. Collectively, by exploring the social and cultural meanings of attitudes towards the dead, they provide insight into the way these past societies understood themselves.