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On Old Age
Approaching Death in Antiquity and the Middle Ages

C. Krötzl, K. Mustakallio (eds.)
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XIX+345 p., 22 b/w ill., 5 b/w tables, 1 b/w line art, 156 x 234 mm, 2011
ISBN: 978-2-503-53216-5
Languages: English
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Retail price: EUR 80,00 excl. tax
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Online content: http://brepols.metapress.com/content/v21hv3/

This volume of collected essays combines a longue duree viewpoint with an interdisciplinary approach to explore attitudes towards aging, old age, and death from Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages.

Recent research into old age and dying in the premodern world has examined not only the demographic aspects of ageing populations but also the social role of aged people. Nonetheless, there has usually been a neglect of the end of life and attitudes towards death and memory. These topics have seldom been discussed in the same volume. The end of life evokes questions. What does it mean to grow old? What happens when one dies? How does one cope with old age and death? These questions were as relevant for individuals and societies in earlier periods as they are in the present. The aim of this collection of articles is to cross the boundaries that have traditionally isolated different time periods and scholarly disciplines from each other. The volume focuses on aging, old age, and death from Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages. The purpose of this book is to approach these themes from an interdisciplinary point of view in the longue durée. Instead of concentrating solely on demographic issues it takes a much broader view, considering attitudes towards ageing, dying, death, and memory. The volume, with its diverse topics, cuts across traditional scholarly barriers and will provide valuable analytical tools for further studies on the subject.

Table of Contents

Preface

List of Illustrations

Part I: Coping with Old Age and Death: Views and Values

Viewing the Old: Recording and Respecting the Elderly at Rome and in the Empire

MARY HARLOW AND RAY LAURENCE

The Elderly Children of Greece and Rome

TIM PARKIN

Representing Older Women: Hersilia, Veturia, VirgoVestalis Maxima

KATARIINA MUSTAKALLIO

The Changing Face of Death: The Iconography of the Personification of Death in the Early Middle Ages

JILL BRADLEY

‘I wish my body to hallowed ground’: Testamentary Orders of the Burghers of Late Medieval Pressburg about their Own Burial

JUDIT MAJOROSSY

Part II: Social Meaning of Old Age and Death

Old Age as a Principle of Social Organization: Gerousiai in the Poleis of Hellenistic and Roman Southern Asia Minor

ENNIO BAUER

The Massacre of Old Men by the Gauls in 390 BC and the Social Meaning of Old Age in Early Rome

ALEKSANDR KOPTEV

What Happened to Aged Priests in the Late Middle Ages?

KIRSI SALONEN

Coping with Old Age in Medieval Hungarian Towns

KATALIN SZENDE

Burials and Politics of the Living and the Dead in Scotland and Pomerania in the High Middle Ages: The Case of Two Cistercian Monasteries

EMILIA JAMROZIAK

Part III: Coping with Death: Remembrance and Oblivion

No Place for the Dead: Ludi Saeculares of 17 BC and the Purificationary Cults of May as Part of the Roman Ritual Year

JUSSI RANTALA

Disease, Death, Destiny: The Healer as Soter in Miraculous Cures

ILDIKÓ CSEPREGI

Medical Perspectives on Death in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe

IONA MCCLEERY

Who Deserves the Crown of Martyrdom? Martyrs in the Crusade Ideology of Jacques de Vitry (1160/70–1240)

MIIKKA TAMMINEN

Rituals and Reputation: Immature Death in the Fourteenth-Century Canonization Processes

SARI KATAJALA-PELTOMAA

Pulpits and Tombs in Renaissance Florence

NIRIT BEN-ARYEH DEBBY

Review

"In conclusion, the editors and contributing authors are to be commended on a bold and ambitious comparative study that seeks to bring together into a new conceptual framework two topics and two epochs typically treated separately. There is no question that researchers will find much of value in the individual chapters. Indeed, we must continue to develop and support such boundary-crossing studies." (Erin J. Campbell, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2012.11.07)

"This is a solid, useful book which contributes to a growing field of study on conceptions of aging and death in the past." (Patricia Baker, in: Medieval Archaeology, Vol. 57, December 2013, p. 378-379)

Interest Classification:
Social Sciences
Sociology
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)
Medieval European history (400-1500) : main subdisciplines
Social & economic history
Medieval European history (400-1500) : local & regional history

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