Medieval Crime and Punishment

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Medieval Crime and Punishment deals with how criminal behavior was dealt with in the Middle Ages. All medieval societies had developed laws to deal with issues like murder, theft, treason and other crimes. A wide range of solutions emerged over time to keep social peace and deal with criminals and violent people.

Articles on Medieval Crime

The Coterel Gang: an Anatomy of a Band of Fourteenth-century Criminals, by J.G. Bellamy

Who Poached the King’s Deer? A Study in Thirteenth Century Crime, by Jean Birrell

Abortion by Assault: Violence against Pregnant Women in Thirteenth- and Fourteenth-Century England, by Sara Butler

Women, Suicide, and the Jury in Later Medieval England, by Sara M. Butler

A Case of Indifference? Child Murder in Later Medieval England, by Sara Butler

Bawds, Pimps and Procurers: Images of the prostitute in medieval England, by Tom Clegg

Domestic Peace and Public Order in Anglo-Saxon Law, by Rebecca Colman

Pre-Colonial Criminal Justice In West Africa: Eurocentric Thought Versus Africentric Evidence, by David Dalgleish

Handbooks and local jurisdiction in Ming China. According to the sections on judicial matters in the «Shih cheng lu» by Lü K’un, a handbook for magistrates, by Dominiek Delporte

The Spectacle of the Scaffolding: Rape and the Violent Foundations of Medieval Theatre Studies, by Jody Enders

Extra-Legal Punishments in Medieval Jewish Courts, by Zev Farber

Women and Crime in Later Mediaeval England: An Examination of the Evidence of the Courts of Gaol Delivery, 1388 to 1409, by Kathleen E. Garay

Coping in medieval prisons,  by Guy Geltner

Isola non isolata. Le Stinche in the Middle Ages, by Guy Geltner

Patterns of Homicide in a Medieval University Town: Fourteenth-Century Oxford, by Carl I. Hammer

The Precognition of Crime: Treason in Medieval England and Terrorism in Twenty-first Century America, by E. Kay Harris

Guilty as Charged? Subjectivity and the Law in La Chanson de Roland and “Lanval”, by Katherine Kong

The English Law of Treason in Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, by Ryan Muckerheide

Crime, Justice and Society in Medieval and Early Modern Times : Thirty Years of Crime and Criminal Justice History, by Xavier Rousseaux and Kevin Dwyer

Crime and Conviviality: The Social Space of Urban Drinking-Houses in Medieval England, by Samantha Sagui

The Right to Punish: Jurisdictional Disputes between Royal and Municipal Officials in Medieval Toulouse, by Patricia Turning

More Resources on Medievalists.net

Violence and Predation in Medieval Europe - report on a lecture by Daniel Lord Smail, Professor of History at Harvard University on changes in the way crime was dealt with in southern medieval Europe

A Medieval Criminal Gang – from the BBC Radio program The Long View – Examines the current day problem of gang violence by examining a similar group from the 14th century.

The Medieval Prison: A Social History – includes an interview with Guy Geltner

Videos on Crime and Punishment

Books on Crime in the Middle Ages (links to Amazon.com)

Sharan Newman

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