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Suicide in the Middle Ages – Volume ii: The Curse on Self-Murder - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Suicide in the Middle Ages: Volume ii: The Curse on Self-Murder

Alexander Murray


A group of men dig a tunnel under the threshold of a house. Then they go and fetch a heavy, sagging object from inside the house, pull it out through the tunnel, and put it on a cow-hide to be dragged off and thrown into the offal-pit. Why should the corpse of a suicide—for that is what it is—have earned this unusual treatment? This book explores the origin of the condemnation of suicide, in a quest which leads along the most unexpected byways of medieval theology, law, mythology, and folklore—and, indeed, in some instances beyond them. In an epoch when there might be plenty of ostensible reas ... More

Keywords: suicide, condemnation of suicide, medieval theology, law, mythology, folklore, medieval religion

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2000 Print ISBN-13: 9780198207313
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207313.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alexander Murray, author
University College, Oxford