The king’s death. Funerary rituals
and royal commemoration in the Early Middle Ages
The article reviews the historiographical and archaeological debate about the transformations of funerary rituals between Late Antiquity and Ealy Middel Ages in Western Europe, focusing especially on the diffusion of grave-goods in burials and the role of Christianity. The center stage is taken by the discussion of the different interpretative models used by historians and archaeologist, working especially on royal funerary rituals and burials in the post-Roman kingdoms, as well as the material «discoveries » of «royal» burials in Tournai, St. Denis in Paris and Sutton Hoo. The last part of the article is dedicated to the reconstruction, using written data and material evidence, of the strategies of commemoration of the rulers of the Italic kingdom from the Gothic kingdom in the sixht century through Lombard and Carolingian Ages, and ending with the Ottonian dynasty at the beginning of the eleventh century. The emphasis is on the progressive structuring of the imperial funerary rituals in the Ottonian Age and the «invention of tradition» of Early Medieval royal burials in the following centuries.