On Old Age: Approaching Death in Antiquity and 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.