An archaeological dig in Milan has uncovered the remains of a young man who suffered massive injuries, likely caused by torture and execution while being ‘broken on wheel’.
What was torture really like in the Middle Ages? Larissa ‘Kat’ Tracy joins Danièle to talk about iron maidens, dungeons, executions and more on The Medieval Podcast.
The lives of Matrona of Perge, Mary the Younger and Thomaïs of Lesbos are rare examples of how domestic violence against women could be also interpreted as a reason to sanctify the woman suffered abuses of this sort.
I will argue that the use of this kind of vocabulary during the Schism may have facilitated a slip into the rhetoric of tyrannicide, and may have incited it. I will suggest that the climate and rhetori of the Schism may have led John the Fearless to rationalize tyrannicide against his cousin, Louis of Orléans.
First digital map of the murders recorded by the city’s Coroner in early 1300s shows Cheapside and Cornhill were homicide ‘hot spots’, and Sundays held the highest risk of violent death for medieval Londoners.
When trying to understand acts of violence in the Middle Ages, historians often have to turn to government records. Here are five official accounts of murders that took place in the city of Oxford at turn of the 14th century.
What was the perception and conception of homicide and suicide in the Viking Age Scandinavia, and to what extent is that traceable in the written and archaeological sources?
The prelude to the massacres began on the night of 29 May 1418. The city had been brutally occupied for five years by the Armagnacs, the ruling junta hostile to both the Parisians and the populist Burgundian party that the vast majority of the capital’s residents favored.
Axlar-Björn, or Björn of the farm Öxl, was executed in 1596 for having murdered at least 18 people.
My investigations into the depiction and punishment of rape in late twelfth-century literature in northern France stem from a particular interest in some of the earlier branches of the Roman de Renart.
The Jacquerie of 1358 remains a hotly contested incident, but the importance of soldiers as a cause of the revolt is one of the few things on which scholars agree.
Recognizing that an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, medieval lawmakers believed that justice could be satisfied by aggressors making financial compensation to victims.
The tournament, with all its elements of theatre and spectacle, was the ideal showground for martial skill, chivalric values, and medieval masculinity. But, behind the glamour, was a dangerous sport that often involved life or death circumstances.
The Bologna archives preserve the bye-laws of 24 „armed societies”, dating from between 1230 and the early 1300s, written in good notary Latin. Though known to exist in other Italian city-states, only few non-Bolognese armed society bye-laws are preserved.
Interpersonal violence was common in late medieval Marseille, as it was everywhere in Europe. In the fourteenth century, the city was riven by warfare between two great factions involving some of Marseille’s leading families.
Such penalties, the rhetoric surrounding their use, and the circumstances in which they were prescribed sound very familiar to a historian of early medieval Europe, where the language and targets of such precepts were similar to those set out in the Indian material.
As a community of the faithful, medieval people believed that no matter how evenly or unevenly matched the fighters were, the one who was innocent would prevail, but trial by combat was not often a black-and-white thing.
Let’s take a brief look at what judicial execution was really like in the Middle Ages.
The article takes a diachronic approach to the questions regarding Byzantine emperors and pretenders who were blinded or mutilated.
In the ultimate cold case an Aberdeen historian has re-examined a 600 year old murder, fitting of a plot for Game of Thrones.
When being broken on the wheel is not enough! Ten brutal ways to die from the Middle Ages.
It is the purpose of this thesis to demonstrate that there were legitimate and acceptable forms of violence that could be used to police society.
Combing through more than eighty chronicles from the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century, we have only been able to find some fifteen examples of popular revolt in England and France being reported by authors from the other side of the channel.
One area which historians of marriage have chosen to focus on in particular as a measure of love within marriage is spousal abuse. Two approaches have been employed in this respect.
When many people think about the Middle Ages they see it as a time when people were tortured by a wide collection of diabolical instruments. Whether it is the Pear of Anguish or the Iron Maiden, these torture devices are portrayed as medieval. The reality, however, is that many of these devices never existed in the Middle Ages.