This chapter contributes to an aspect of the history of death and supplies one of the larger pieces missing from the general picture of memorial preaching in the West. The existence of a genre of sermons ‘on the dead’, de mortuis in the period before 1350 has become evident only recently. The rubric ‘de mortuis’ in a manuscript is a rough-and-ready indication that a group of sermons should be included in the genre. The chapter deals with sermons on holders of a special social role, which is that of king or prince. It has much to tell about attitudes to the individual, to his office, and to the afterlife. It also presents some preliminary questions about the origins, transmission, and functions of the genre in the Middle Ages.
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