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The Giving and Withholding of Consent in Late Twelfth-Century French Literature

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.

Soldiers, Villagers and Politics: Military Violence and the Jacquerie of 1358

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.

Anglo-Saxon Punishments: The Price of a Pinky

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.

Not All Fun and Games: The Dangers of the Medieval Tournament

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 Bolognese Societates Armatae of the Late 13th Century

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.

The Rhythms of Vengeance in Late Medieval Marseille

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.

Mutilation and the Law in Early Medieval Europe and India: A Comparative Study

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.

Trial by Combat: The Bloody Business of Justice

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.

Medieval Executions: The View from the Scaffold

Let’s take a brief look at what judicial execution was really like in the Middle Ages.

On the Mutilation and Blinding of Byzantine Emperors from the Reign of Heraclius I until the Fall of Constantinople

The article takes a diachronic approach to the questions regarding Byzantine emperors and pretenders who were blinded or mutilated.

Unravelling a medieval murder mystery

In the ultimate cold case an Aberdeen historian has re-examined a 600 year old murder, fitting of a plot for Game of Thrones.

Top 10 Most Brutal Medieval Deaths

When being broken on the wheel is not enough! Ten brutal ways to die from the Middle Ages.

Policing Violence: Royal and Community Perspectives in Medieval France

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.

Why Medieval Torture Devices are Not Medieval

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.

Medieval violence and Criminology: using the Middle Ages to understand contemporary ‘motiveless’ crime

The aim of this essay is to explore how an investigation of violence in the Middle Ages can inform our understanding of ‘motiveless’ violence today. Has society moved away from the bi-dimensional relationship between deviance and entertainment?

BOOK REVIEW: The Butcher Bird by SD Sykes

My review of SD Sykes follow up to “Plague Land”, her latest book, “The Butcher Bird”.

BOOK REVIEW: The Lady Agnes Mystery – Volume I

A review of the Lady Agnes Mystery by Parisienne author, Andrea Japp.

Fredegund’s Deadly Dinner

One of the great villains in Gregory of Tours’ The History of the Franks is Fredegund. The sixth-century Merovingian queen was responsible, according to Gregory, for a lengthy list of murders and attempt assassinations, including against her own family members. She even murdered those men who failed to carry out her assassinations.

The Struggle is Real: Where are the Medieval Economists?!

Another fascinating paper from “Making the Medieval Relevant” was given by Daniel Curtis, a specialist in Social and Economic History, and a professor at the University of Utrecht.

Last Laughs: Torture in Medieval Icelandic Literature

Medieval Icelandic literature is full of violence, calculated and reasoned violence, narrated in such a way as to focus largely on issues of personal honor and justice, less so on the spectacle of blood so common in the modem Hollywood action film.

‘God helped thee; The eagle got food afresh’: Norse Crusaders and the Pleasure of Killing

The men of the north are often depicted in the Norse sagas as taking great pleasure in killing, even doing it for no good reason

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