Added: July 14, 2007 – Last updated: June 3, 2017


Author: Doris A(ndrea) Dirks

Title: The wild man unleashed

Subtitle: Legal, cultural and social treatment of raptus in Medieval France

Thesis: M.A. Thesis, University of Calgary

Year: 1996

Pages: vi + 128pp.

OCLC Number: 46552831 – Find a Library: WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Medieval History | European History: French History | Prosecution: Laws / Medieval Legislation


Link: -


Abstract: »This thesis examines the conjunction of medieval legal codes and culture in the light of rape cases in order to determine how seriously raptus was treated in the later middle ages. Roman, Germanic, canon and customary legislation functioned within a feudal military culture imbued, in the high middle ages, with a Christian spirit. However the chivalric ideal of courtly romances was embodied in the knight, placed by marriage and property customs at conflict with himself and the larger feudal society. Younger sons, excluded from the family patrimony by primogeniture, sought lands and heirs by abducting heiresses. Those less bold could sexually avail themselves of lower class women, who became especially vulnerable if they lacked male protection. As well, the visual symbol of the wild man unleashed, allegedly the polar opposite of the knight, could also represent the knight's own unbridled male sexual aggression.« (Source: Theses Canada)

Wikipedia: History of Europe: History of France / France in the Middle Ages