Commemorating the Dead in Late Medieval Strasbourg
The Book of Donors for Strasbourg cathedral is an extraordinary medieval document dating from ca. 1320-1520, with 6,954 entries from artisan, merchant and aristocratic classes. This study is the first to comprehensively analyse the unpublished Book of Donors manuscript and show the types and patterns of gifts made to the cathedral. It also compares these gift entries with those in earlier obituary records kept by the cathedral canons, as well as other medieval obituary notices kept by parish churches and convents in Strasbourg. Analysis of the Book of Donors notes the increase of personal details and requests in fifteenth-century entries and discusses the different memorial opportunities available to the devout. This study draws a vivid picture of life in late medieval Strasbourg as seen through the lens of devotional and memorial practices, and will be of particular interest to scholars of art history, memory, and medieval urban life.