Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Abigail Firey


This thesis argues that in the Carolingian period, the rituals for the memory of the dead, or memoria mortuorum, was built on structures that utilized location, space, and architecture as devices for creating mnemonic images for remembering. It also argues for the theological significance of memoria mortuorum, which was heavily debated, and that from Augustine to the Carolingians there is a shift in approaches to the theological aspects of practices including burial ad sanctos and communal prayers. Augustine’s work left an unresolved problem: the need to reconcile the theological aspect with the mnemonic function of memory practices for the dead. In the Carolingian period, the process of reconciliation began, but much of the focus is on the relationship between God and the communities of the living and the dead expressed in proper care to be taken after someone passes on.