Growing Old in the Middle Ages: Winter Clothes Us in Shadow and Pain

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Psychology Press, 2004 - History - 243 pages
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The social realities of old age have undergone profound changes since the middle ages. This study shows, however, that the images, attitudes and expectations of old people have changed for less.

Shulamith Shahar shows how the status and social participation of the elderly varied according to gender, social stratum, economic resources, position, level of functioning, and personality, as well as according to regional custom.

The book offers a broad cultural history of old age in medieval western Europe. Shahar examines the images, attitudes and advocated norms used in relation to the elderly and looks at the elderly in various social strata: churchmen and nuns, rulers, small office holders and soldiers, town dwellers and peasants.

A valuable insight into life and society in the Middle Ages, this will prove an invaluable addition to history reading lists.

  

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Contents

WHO WERE THE OLD IN THE MIDDLE AGES?
12
THE OLD BODY
36
TRANSCENDING AGE TRANSCENDING THE BODY
60
WHO AND WHAT IS AN OLD MAN AND HOW
70
HONOUR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER
88
CHURCHMEN IN THEIR OLD AGE
98
OLD AGE IN THE RANKS OF THE RULERS
114
OLD AGE IN URBAN SOCIETY
132
OLD AGE IN THE PEASANTRY
146
THE OLD AND THE CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS
163
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About the author (2004)

YAEL LOTAN was born near Tel Aviv and has lived in Jamaica, England and the United States. She has been the editor of the cultural journal Ariel, a literary critic, translator and a journalist.

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