Laughter in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Times: Epistemology of a Fundamental Human Behavior, Its Meaning and Consequences

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Despite popular opinions of the 'dark Middle Ages' and a 'gloomy early modern age', many people laughed, smiled, giggled, chuckled, enternained and rediculed each other. This volume demonstrates how important laughter had been at times and how diverse the situations proved to be in which people laughed. The contributions examine a wide gamut of significant cases of laughter in literary texts, historical documents, and art works. Laughter reflected a variety of concerns, interests, and intentions, and the collective approach in this volume to laughter in the past opens many new windows to the history of mentality, social and religious conditions, gender relationships, and power structures.