Der erste Veränderungsversuch der mittelalterlichen memorialen Begräbniskultur und die Geburt der humanistischen Gelegenheitsdichtung auf der Schwelle der Reformation in Livland

Kristi Viiding


The visual aspects of sepulchral culture in Livonia in the Late Medieval and Early Modern period have beenthoroughly studied by art historians. They have analysed the spread and condition of tombstones and epitaphs,as well as the pictorial programmes of monuments. Less attention has been paid to records inscribed on tombstones,which are known both from surviving examples and from old manuscripts. According to Estonian arthistorians, Lutheranism changed the pictorial programmes of tombstones, and only in the second half of the16th century put the word into the central position on them. The article seeks to verify this statement on the basisof broader material than has been used so far. For this purpose, the author uses data on all Latin tombstonerecords known today from Estonian churches (from the 14th century to 1918, they are held in the yet unpublisheddatabase Corpus Electronicum Inscriptionum Latinarum Estoniae), and analyses the oldest Livonian occasionalpoetry (manuscript and printed) from the first half of the 16th century. The article shows that the attemptsto write long texts for grave monuments and place them in the dominating position on the tombstone weremade in Livonia already before the Reformation, and can be considered a result of the impact of Renaissancehumanism.

KEY WORDS: humanism, Reformation, New Latin occasional poetry, tombstone epitaph, sepulchral culture,Livonia.

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