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Afterlives – The Return of the Dead in the Middle Ages - Cornell Scholarship Online
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Afterlives: The Return of the Dead in the Middle Ages

Nancy Mandeville Caciola


Simultaneously real and unreal, the dead are people, yet they are not. The society of medieval Europe developed a rich set of imaginative traditions about death and the afterlife, using the dead as a point of entry for thinking about the self, regeneration, and loss. These macabre preoccupations are evident in the widespread popularity of stories about the returned dead, who interacted with the living both as disembodied spirits and as living corpses or revenants. This book explores this extraordinary phenomenon of the living's relationship with the dead in Europe during the five hundred years ... More

Keywords: medieval Europe, death, afterlife, pagan beliefs, Christian beliefs, Christian eschatology

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9781501702617
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501702617.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Nancy Mandeville Caciola, author
Associate Professor of History, the University of California, San Diego