Renæssanceforum 12 • 2017
close window
Birgitte Bøggild Johannsen
Reading between the Lines: A 17th Century Corpus of Funeral Inscriptions from Odense revisited

The article presents a reading in context of the manuscript, Monvmenta et Inscriptiones Otthinienses Uberioribus Historicis et Genealogicis Illustratæ Notis, composed c. 1679 by Jens and Jacob Bircherod, and comprising 325 inscriptions from churches and profane buildings in Odense. In the corpus, Danmarks Kirker. Odense Amt (1990-2001) the collection proved an invaluable guide to Late Medieval and Early Lutheran funeral monuments, the amount of which during the subsequent centuries was reduced by more than 75%. However, a conspectus of the material in toto has never been undertaken. The following lines aim at presenting a preliminary survey of commemorative patterns in a major Danish urban community, equally taking into account changing confessional practices across the watershed of the Lutheran Reformation. Focus will be directed towards 139 examples from c. 1475-1618, representing different social groups, men and women, ranging from members of the nobility and upper strata of the clergy, the municipal corporation and the learned elite to more ordinary citizens, craftsmen or clergymen.