Bonnini 2011 Stupro

Title Information

Author: Arianna Bonnini

Title: Le donne violate

Subtitle: Lo stupro nell'Italia longobarda (secoli VI-XI)

Translation: Violate Women: Rape in Lombard Italy (Centuries VI-XI)

Journal: Nuova Rivista Storica

Volume: 95

Issue: 1

Year: January-April 2011

Pages: 207-248

ISSN: 0029-6236 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: Italian

Keywords: Early Middle Ages, High Middle Ages | Italian History | Prosecution: Laws

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Additional Information


»This paper aims to reconstruct the perception and the ways to combat the crime of rape against women in Lombard society in its various implications, moving from the codified laws to verify their application in legal practice as demonstrated by the documents. Rape of a mulier libera seems to have been understood as a crime against a woman, her family group (or its mundoaldus, the man who publicly defended and represented her) and the society as a whole, that was damaged by any feuds ignited by the parts involved. In order to deter potential aggressors and to avert the danger of public disorder, the laws on the matter were very hard, requiring the violator to pay a very high settlement, half of which would go to the woman as compensation, also if a following matrimonial agreement was reached. Failure to deliver on the heavy sum involved the enslavement of guilty to the family hit by «iniuria». If the victim of sexual violence had been a slave woman, the offender would pay a settlement of relatively small amount, aim to repay her owner of the damage done to his property« (Source: Nuova Rivista Storica)

»The article presents an historical overview of laws regarding rape of women in the kingdom of the Lombards in Italy from the 6th to the 11th centuries, with a focus on the practical application of such laws. It is the author's view that sexual crimes against women were considered a dishonor to the entire family in the case of free women, while in the case of slave women they were treated as crime against property. A description of penalties applied in both cases is presented, including historical information on social conditions of women at the time.« (Source: Historical Abstracts)

Added: February 21, 2015 – Last updated: February 21, 2015