I want to talk today particularly about the use of mutilation as punishment for sexual offenses and particularly those involving same-sex activity in medieval Europe.
The right to defend oneself in front of a judge is but one of many legal principles that originate from medieval canon law.
What is a grand jury, and how did this institution—originally designed as a check to rampant, unjust state power—come under the dominion of prosecutors and police?
An early medieval skull found in southern England has revealed a young woman who had her nose and lips cut off and may also have been scalped. This is the first archaeological example of facial mutilation from this period.
14th century English outlaw was vastly more violent and cruel than the myths would have us believe
In this feature on the Medieval Scandinavia series, Beñat Elortza Larrea discusses law assemblies, legislation, and how legal terminology can be tricky from a researcher’s perspective.
Why was the policing of sexual relationships in these medieval communities thought to be necessary in the first place?
The Metropolitan Police Service – the first modern police force – was only created in London in 1829. So what were the structures in place for keeping order before that?
The Charter of the Forest was the first major expression of the rulings of Magna Carta in a practical sense.
In the field of Byzantine jewellery studies the usefulness of this approach was demonstrated, over 20 years ago, by the work of Hetherington on the ownership and distribution of Byzantine enamels.
In the Middle Ages, a person could claim sanctuary to delay or avoid punishment for a serious crime. But what were the rules? This week on The Medieval Podcast, Danièle interviews Dr. Shannon McSheffrey to find out how and why medieval people sought sanctuary, and whether or not a convicted heretic could expect the church to save his life.
The Londoners who entered pleadings in this court between 1405 and 1415 have left a fascinating glimpse into both interpersonal violence and the world of savvy litigators.
Common law was an all-male system, with one glaring exception: juries of matrons.
In the history of crime and punishment the prisons of medieval London have generally been overlooked.
Can win a medieval kingdom by being able to stand very still (and with just a little bit of scheming)?
It was in this division of earthly and spiritual justice that the very notion itself encountered its first major challenge as an institution in medieval society.
This article explores compelling and specific cases from France during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in which animals were formally executed for crimes.
An overwhelming number of the criminal charges made in the Consistory from the second half of the fourteenth century until the last quarter of the fifteenth, the period for which records are most complete, were sexual in nature.
It is inquisitors that sell, these days: marketing builds upon visual imagination and curiosity, but is also driven by some sort of fascination with these controversial and ultimately incomprehensible individuals who pursued religious non-conformity as a crime.
The Older Law of Västergötland is the oldest surviving text in Old Swedish and marks the beginning of parchment manuscripts written in the vernacular in Sweden.
Clover uncovers the seemingly inadequate evidence-finding process in Njáls saga and discusses how the legal process can be transmitted to the saga’s narrative structure.
During the early medieval era, judicial power and authority – the right and ability to adjudicate legal disputes and enforce the law – had hemorrhaged from the public authorities of the Carolingian empire into the hands first of great magnates and then lesser lords.
Jason A. Brown focus on a medieval manuscript to show how law was taught in medieval universities.
Each of the two great law-making events of 1215, Magna Carta and the Fourth Lateran Council, included provisions relating to dispossession (spoliation, disseisin) and how to remedy some of its previous deficiencies.