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.
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?
My review of SD Sykes follow up to “Plague Land”, her latest book, “The Butcher Bird”.
A review of the Lady Agnes Mystery by Parisienne author, Andrea Japp.
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.
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.
Jay Gates, Nicole Marafioti and Valerie Allen speak about Capital and Corporal Punishment in Anglo-Saxon England
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.
What kind of acts do we consider as sexual violence in relation to the early Middle Ages? And in particular: does the phenomenon come down to a forced sexual act (in the broadest sense of the word, i.e. in a situation whereby somebody against the will of another person achieves sexual satisfaction)?
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
Just like their modern day counterparts, medieval cities had to deal with their own criminal underworlds – the sex trade, gambling, and violence taking place within their walls. At the International Medieval Congress, held earlier this month at the University of Leeds, these issues were explored as part of session #706: Perceiving and Regulating Vices.
This session (#508) was one of several at Leeds devoted to exploring childhood in the Middle Ages. Our presenters talked about the stereotypes of adolescence, and what the coroner’s rolls revealed about the deaths (and lives) of medieval children.