EBERHARD, COUNT OF FRIULI, AND HIS WIFE GISELA,
DAUGHTER OF LOUIS THE PIOUS (863–864)§
Christina La Rocca* and Luigi Provero*
Heirlooms have become so, not that the future owners of them
may be assured of so much wealth, but that the son or grandson
or descendant may enjoy the satisfaction which is derived from
saying, my father or my grandfather sat in that chair, or looked
as he now looks in that picture, or was graced by wearing on
his breast that very ornament which you now see lying beneath
(A. Trollope, The Eustace Diamonds, p. 258).
The history of death has been very fashionable during the last twenty years. Rituals of death, wills and processes of interaction between the living and the dead have been the subject of a wide range of researches for every chronological period and topographical context: this success was so widespread as to persuade Michel Vovelle that the history of death was no longer “un jardin à la française dont les modernistes avaient le monopole”,1 but had been transformed into a general subject for the historians of every period. Interest now centred on capturing, through people's recorded thoughts and actions as they contemplated the end of their life and through the documents associated with these, valuable evidence for religious, cultural and economic behaviour directed not only to death but—and especially—to life. Many sources have been investigated from this point
§ This research has developed together by both authors. CLR has been primar-
ily responsible for sections 1, 2, 3.2; and LP for sections 3.1., 4.1, 4.3, 4.4.; while
sections 4.2 and 5 have been jointly written.
* University of Padua
** University of Turin
1 M. Vovelle, “Encore la mort: un peu plus qu'une mode?”, Annales E.S.C. 37
(1982), pp. 276–287, with the quotation at 277: “A French-style garden monopo-
lised by modernists.”
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Rituals of Power: From Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages. Contributors: Frans Theuws - Editor, Janet L. Nelson - Editor. Publisher: Brill. Place of publication: Boston. Publication year: 2000. Page number: 225.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.