This project is an amalgamation of case studies, arguing that not only did the supernatural permeate every level of medieval society, but that its potential for analysis and interpretation is largely unexplored. These case studies include: an analysis of the Church Fathers works, including Tertullian’s De testimonio animae, Augustine of Hippo’s De cura pro mortuis gerenda, and Gregory the Great’s Dialogi, addressing the variation in these works’ theological ideas about the soul; an analysis of the works of Gregory of Tours (his Liber vitae Patrum and Historia Francorum), which reflect popular beliefs as opposed to those of the educated elite; an exploration of the genre of exempla during the high middle ages utilizing five ghost stories found in the Cistercian monk Caesarius of Heisterbach’s Dialogus miraculorum; a move into the late middle ages and beyond, examining some fifteenth-century exempla found in the margins of a manuscript from Byland Abbey, Yorkshire, their connection to the Danish ghost in Hamlet, and the oral and folkloric traditions that tie all of these sources together.
Level of Degree
First Committee Member (Chair)
Michael A. Ryan
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
ghost, supernatural, cultural history, belief, religion, medieval
Violette, Stephanie Victoria. "Cultural Belief in the Supernatural from 500 to 1500: Change over Time, Significance, and Dispersion of Ideas from Augustine to Shakespeare." (2017). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/hist_etds/162