Added: September 5, 2015 – Last updated: September 5, 2015


Author: Amanda Pipkin

Title: “They were not humans, but devils in human bodies”

Subtitle: Depictions of Sexual Violence and Spanish Tyranny as a Means of Fostering Identity in the Dutch Republic

Journal: Journal of Early Modern History

Volume: 13

Issue: 4

Year: 2009

Pages: 229-264

ISSN: 1385-3783 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1570-0658 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: 17th Century | Dutch History, Spanish History | Types: Wartime Rape / Eighty Years' War


Link: Brill Online Books and Journals (Restricted Access)

Link: EBSCOhost (Restricted Access)


Author: Amanda Pipkin, Department of History, University of North Carolina at Charlotte –

Abstract: »From 1609 to 1648, the inhabitants of the nascent Dutch Republic faced various challenges as they worked to justify and ensure its continued existence. Many authors and artists deployed depictions of sexual violence as a potent tool to patch over political and religious disagreements among the Dutch by encouraging them to focus on the larger threat—their Spanish enemy. They propagated stories that vilified the Spanish in two ways: focusing on the literal raping women of the Low Countries as Phillip II’s troops attempted to reassert his control there and the metaphoric violence of a people ruled by a tyrant who violated the traditional rights of the Dutch nation imagined as a vulnerable woman. Through depictions of rape, these authors and artists not only created an enemy against whom the Dutch could unite; they also generated the idea that treating women with proper care and respect was part of a Dutch (male) national character.« (Source: Journal of Early Modern History)


  Introduction (p. 229)
  Spanish Violation of Women and Families (p. 237)
  The Violation of Dutch Privileges and Rights (p. 252)
  The Violation of Christian Morality (p. 258)
  Sexual Violence, Tyranny, and Dutch Identity (p. 260)

Wikipedia: History of the Netherlands: Dutch Republic; Wartime sexual violence: Eighty Years' War