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Old Age in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

Interdisciplinary Approaches to a Neglected Topic

Ed. by Classen, Albrecht

Series:Fundamentals of Medieval and Early Modern Culture 2

    149,95 € / $210.00 / £112.99*

    Publication Date:
    June 2007
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    Aims and Scope

    After an extensive introduction that takes stock of the relevant research literature on Old Age in the Middle Ages and the early modern age, the contributors discuss the phenomenon of old age in many different fields of late antique, medieval, and early modern literature, history, and art history. Both Beowulf and the Hildebrandslied, both Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival and Titurel, both the figure of Merlin and the trans-European tradition of Perceval/Peredur/Parzival, then the figure of the vetula in a variety of medieval French, English, and Spanish texts, and of the Old Man in The Stricker's Daniel, both the treatment of old age in Langland's Piers the Plowman and in Jean Gerson's sermons are dealt with. Other aspects involve late-antique epistolary literature, early modern French farce in light of Disability Studies, the social role of old, impotent men in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Netherlandish paintings, and the scientific discourse of old age and health since the 1500s. The discourse of Old Age proves to have been of central importance throughout the ages, so the critical examination of the issues involved sheds intriguing light on the cultural history from late antiquity to the seventeenth century.

    Supplementary Information


    23 x 15.5 cm
    vii, 575 pages
    30 Fig.
    Type of Publication:
    Old Age Studies; Middle Ages; Early Modern Age; Late Antiquity; Literature, History, and Art History

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    Albrecht Classen, University ofArizona, Tucson, USA.


    "A collection of this nature is more than the sum of its parts. The closely argued and detailed evidence of each contribution provides stimulating cross-currents, carefully marshalled by the Introduction to give a valuable resource for further work on Old Age Studies."
    Rosalind Field in: Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen 2/2009

    "This is a stimulating and often fascinating assembly of viewpoints and material that will justly elicit and provoke further research and reflection."
    Robert G. Sullivan in: Monatshefte 4/2008

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