Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Open Access Introduction

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.


Access full text chapter:

  • PDF

Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter presents an overview of this book, which investigates stories of growing old from Petrarch's to Montaigne's time. First, the book explores a shift in attitudes towards aging. From the late fourteenth to the end of the sixteenth centuries, the elderly subject became a focus of new social, medical, political, and literary attention on both sides of the Alps. A movement of secularization inspired by the revival of classical literature tended to dissociate old age from the Christian preparation for death, and downplayed the role of the afterlife, re-orienting the concept of aging around pragmatic matters such health care, intergenerational relationships, and insights one might acquire in later life and pass along. The book provides a historical perspective on a crucial problem of our time. The United Nations foresees an unprecedented global demographic transformation in the near future: by 2050, people aged sixty and beyond will outnumber those under fifteen.

Keywords: aging; Montaigne; Petrarch; United Nations



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Aging Gracefully in the Renaissance — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation