Sacred and profane, public and private, emotive and ritualistic, internal and embodied, medieval weeping served as a culturally charged prism for a host of social, visual, cognitive, and linguistic performances. Crying in the Middle Ages addresses the place of tears in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic cultural discourses, providing a key resource for scholars interested in exploring medieval notions of emotion, gesture, and sensory experience in a variety of cultural contexts.

Gertsman brings together essays that establish a series of conversations with one another, foregrounding essential questions about the different ways that crying was seen, heard, perceived, expressed, and transmitted throughout the Middle Ages. In acknowledging the porous nature of visual and verbal evidence, this collection foregrounds the necessity to read language, image, and experience together in order to envision the complex notions of medieval crying.


part |2 pages

Part I : Tears and Image

part |2 pages

Part III : Tears and Narrative

chapter 9|18 pages

The Shedding of Tears in Late Anglo-Saxon England


chapter 10|15 pages

Tears and Trial: Weeping as Forensic Evidence in Piers Plowman


chapter 11|22 pages

A Sorrowful Song: On Tears in Chrétien de Troyes’s Philomena