Dying and Death in Later Anglo-Saxon England

Victoria Thompson

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Abstract

Pre-Conquest attitudes towards the dying and the dead have major implications for every aspect of culture, society and religion of the later Anglo-Saxon period; but death-bed and funerary practices have been comparatively and unjustly neglected by historical scholarship. This wide-ranging analysis examines such practices in the context of confessional and penitential literature, wills, poetry, chronicles and homilies, to show that complex and ambiguous ideas about death were current at all levels of Anglo-Saxon society. Her study also takes in grave monuments, showing in particular how the Anglo-Scandinavian sculpture of the ninth to the eleventh centuries may indicate not only the status, but also the religious and cultural alignment of those who commissioned and made them.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWoodbridge
PublisherBoydell & Brewer
Number of pages246
ISBN (Print) 9781843837312, 9781843830702
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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Keywords

  • death
  • burial
  • Anglo-Saxon
  • multi-disciplinary
  • literature
  • archaeology
  • sculpture
  • liturgy

Cite this

Thompson, V. (2004). Dying and Death in Later Anglo-Saxon England. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer.