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Pax Romana had come to an end, violently, by Teutanic invasion. Centralized government, arts, laws, education, scientific research, etc. were replaced by Feudalism. The Dark Ages had begun. History dates the Dark Ages from 476 AD, when Odoacer disposed the last Roman emperor Romulus Agustulus, to the fall of Constantinope in 1453. Constantinople was conquered by the Islamic armies.

History- Dark Ages


Roman peace.

Pax Romana


A territorial system with established small fiefdoms interconnected by blood and marriage aliances and based on inequality and social ranking of the population.



  1. Dead in white garments
  2. Funeral procession
  3. Soul shot
  4. Preparation
  5. Catafalgues
  6. Funeral feast

Funerals and Funeral Behavior (changes that occured)


Funeralizing the ___________ symbolizing purity and equality in the early Roman church was changed to garments indicating social rank.

Dead in White Garments


The _________ utilizing the bier (persons bed or catafalque) remained intact from the early church.

  • Wake
  • Requiem mass
  • Committal service

Funeral Procession


Mortuary fees paid to the church from the estate of the deceased for complete funeral service was instituted. (Decani getting the money)

Soul Shot


______ of the deceased was evidence of evisceration and vatting (or drypacking) on a small scale for nobility was also evident. Most however, were anointed with oils (extreme unction) and spices and wrapped in shrouds (face was the only area shown).



The deceased was placed on a draped _____ (bier) and illuminated with as many as 400 candles for a three or more day wake period. (The poor only got a few candles).



The _______, after the committal service, was quite expensive, the estate was divided and an heir was named. This was important because the fasting before this was now concluded.

Funeral Feast


It was the responsibility of the _______ to care for his mother, if still alive. Estate generally went to this person. Sisters were generally married off or sent to a convent. By year two, brothers are given a choice of working for this person or moving on with a small sum of money.

Eldest Son


  1. Constantine's Edict of Toleration
  2. Emperor Theodosius
  3. Legal code of Justinian
  4. Pop Gregory the Great
  5. Charlemagne
  6. Archbishop of Canterbury
  7. Cardinal Bourbon
  8. God's Acre

Church and Cemetery Burial in the Middle Ages


In 313 AD, encouraged intramural internments without regard to sanitation- also developed church yard (Generally rich people were interred in Church floors).

Constantine's Edict of Toleration


381 AD, re-instituted extramural interment by law for sanitation reasons (bad odors in churches).

Emperor Theodosius


534 AD, required extramural interment by law for sanitation reasons.

Legal Code of Justinian


590-604 AD, encouraged intramural internment as a right to every Christian. (Last Judgement- body and soul will reunite- wants to be near the church).

Pope Gregory the Great


742-814 AD, (French) attempted to stamp out intramural burial by creating extramural cemeteries consecrated by the Roman Catholic Church away from population centers. He was buried intramurally in the church.



Rebuilt the Cathedral in 1705 with intramural crypts only for clergy and parishioners of merit.

Archbishop of Canterbury


1581 AD, ________, Archbishop of Rouen stated not even the rich should be buried in churches. Supported extramural burial for sanitation reasons.

Cardinal Bourbon


Name given to intramural church yard, cemeteries built next to churches.

God's Acre


Extramural burial was still the exception, not the rule. During the beginning of the plague years, intramural interments were the majority.

  • A significant rise in extramural cemeteries consecrated for that purpose arose out of necessity because of the bubonic plague.

Disposal and Contagion Associated with Bubonic Plague


A state in which those whose souls are not perfectly cleansed undergo a process of cleansing before they can enter heaven.

Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory


_________ date back before Christianity, to pagan Rome, to defray funeral costs. With the rise of Christianity, purgatorial societies replaced or absorbed these. (Contempory example: Perpetual Mass cards).

Lay Burial Organizations


To bury the dead and pray for the deliverance of the soul from purgatory.

Purpose of Purgatorial Societies


The _____ of the guild made the necessary funeral arrangements which included and Requiem Mass. Burial with Soleminity, the payment of the soul shot for Mortuary fee (fees paid to the church), and a liberal distribution of Alms to the poor.



One in such society originally Roman Catholic, but after the Reformation became part of the Church of England. The burial guilds survived the Reformation.

The League of Prayer


A death crier dressed in black with a skull and crossbones on both sides of his gown would ring a bell to announce the death of a Guild member. (Each guild would have a death crier).

Death Watch


Characterized by rioting and drunkenness and obscene customs of "Rousing the Ghost", a kind of necromancy or black magic to call out or raise the soul of the departed.

The Wake During the Middle Ages


Possessions were divided and an heir named. Usually the oldest son, nephew, or son-in-law.

At the Funeral Feast


Only for the nobilty and chuch leaders, involved long wakes and there is evidence that crude embalming practices were used to deter putrefaction.

Funerals of State During the Middle Ages