«Salus populi suprema lex»fe, ciencia y política en la modernización de las prácticas funerarias (siglos XVIII-XIX)

  1. Feria Lorenzo, Diego José
  2. Ramos Cobano, Cristina
Historia 396

ISSN: 0719-0719

Year of publication: 2013

Volume: 3

Issue: 2

Pages: 217-248

Type: Article

More publications in: Historia 396


In late-18th century Spain, enlightened politicians began to use the hygienist theories spread among European physicians in order to start a reform program aimed at improving the living standard of society. Among their main worries there was minimizing the risk factors for health, and thus they tried to eradicate the habit of burying the corpses within churches, imposing the erection of cemeteries outside urban perimeter instead. In this article we tackle the tortuous path which led to implanting these funerary practices according to hygienist criteria, focusing on the resistances as a way to research the shaping of modern society. For this purpose we analyze Monlau's Elementos de Higiene Pública (1847) and the sanitary legislation on cemeteries promulgated in Spain throughout the long 19th century (1787-1892).