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Les vivants et les morts dans les métropoles de l'époque moderne


  • Vanessa Harding


[eng] The way in which a society treats the dead bodies of its members can be richly illuminating. Death rituals and burial practices exemplify and reinforce social structures, and are an important mechanism for ensuring social continuity and recovery in the face of mortality. Early modern cities, and especially great metropolises like London and Paris, faced the hygienic and practical challenge of burying thousands of dead every year while striving to respect the sensibilities of popular belief. This paper offers evidence for the solutions and practices they developed, but argues that there is an important connection between the way in which problems relating to death and the disposal of the dead were handled in early modern London and Paris, and the way they coped with larger crises and issues of order and disorder. The continuities in burial practice through the period of Reformation seem to have made it both a factor for stability in London and a source of conflict in Paris. [fre] La façon dont une société s'occupe de ses cadavres peut être riche d'enseignements. Les rituels mortuaires et les pratiques funéraires révèlent et renforcent les structures sociales, et sont un mécanisme important pour assurer une continuité et une récupération sociales face à la mort. Les premières villes modernes, et particulièrement les grandes métropoles comme Londres ou Paris, ont du faire face à un défi hygiénique et pratique, qui consistait à enterrer chaque année des milliers de morts tout en s'efforçant de ménager la susceptibilité des croyances populaires. Cet article montre quelles solutions et pratiques elles ont développées, et soutient qu'il existe un rapport essentiel entre la façon dont les problèmes concernant la mort et l'enlèvement des corps étaient traités à Londres et à Paris au début de l'époque moderne, et la manière dont ces villes font face aux grandes crises et aux problèmes d'ordre et de désordre. La continuité dans les pratiques funéraires pendant la période de la Réforme semble avoir été un facteur de stabilité à Londres, et une source de conflit à Paris.

Suggested Citation

  • Vanessa Harding, 2005. "Les vivants et les morts dans les métropoles de l'époque moderne," Histoire, économie & société, Programme National Persée, vol. 24(1), pages 89-107.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:hiseco:hes_0752-5702_2005_num_24_1_2537
    Note: DOI:10.3406/hes.2005.2537

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