Skoda 2013 Violence

Title Information

Author: Hannah Skoda

Title: Medieval Violence

Subtitle: Physical Brutality in Northern France, 1270-1330

Place: Oxford

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Year: 2013

Pages: 298pp.

Series: Oxford Historical Monographs

ISBN-13: 9780199670833 – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: 13th Century, 14th Century | French History

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Additional Information

Author: Hannah Skoda, Faculty of History, University of


  Preface (p. ix)
  List of Illustrations (p. xi)
  Abbreviations (p. xii)
  Introduction (p. 1)
    1. What was Violence? (p. 2)
    2. Scholarly Approaches to Violence (p. 4)
    3. The Region and the Period (p. 9)
    4. The Sources (p. 14)
  1. Grammars of Violence (p. 18)
    1. Frameworks of Meaning (p. 19)
    2. Violence as Communication (p. 23)
    3. The Violence of the Law (p. 38)
    4. Who Was to Read Violence? (p. 44)
    Conclusion (p. 48)
  2. Violence on the Street on Paris and Artois (p. 50)
    1. The Space of the Street (p. 51)
    2. The Role of Street Violence (p. 56)
    3. The Perpetrators of Street Violence (p. 62)
    4. Types of Violence (p. 69)
    5. The Contingency of Street Violence (p. 74)
    6. Social Memory (p. 81)
    7. Conclusion (p. 87)
  3. 'Oés comme il fierent grans caus!': Tavern Violence in Thirteenth- and Earl Fourteenth-Century Paris and Artois (p. 88)
    1. Tavern Violence and the Authorities (p. 92)
    2. Tavern Violence in North-East France (p. 96)
    3. Tavern Violence in Paris and the Ile-de-France (p. 108)
    4. Conclusion (p. 118)
  4. Student Violence in Thirteenth- and Early Fourteenth-Century Paris (p. 119)
    1. Stereotypes (p. 124)
    2. Student Misbehaviour (p. 136)
    3. Conclusion (p. 157)
  5. Urban Uprisings (p. 159)
    1. Theatre (p. 164)
    2. Forms of Legitimate Violence (p. 169)
    3. Civic Ceremonial (p. 173)
    4. Liturgical Processions (p. 178)
    5. Carnivals and Contestations (p. 183)
    6. Conclusion (p. 190)
  6. Domestic Violence in Paris and Artois (p. 193)
    1. Legal Prescription (p. 197)
    2. The Practice of Domestic Violence (p. 210)
    3. The Prosecution of Domestic Violence (p. 218)
    4. Conclusion (p. 231)
  Conclusion (p. 232)
    1. Violence as Communication (p. 232)
    2. Indeterminacies (p. 234)
    3. Emotional Reactions (p. 238)
    4. Ambivalence (p. 242)
  Select Bibliography (p. 245)
  Index (p. 277)

Description: »Medieval Violence provides a detailed analysis of the practice of medieval brutality, focusing on a thriving region of northern France in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. It examines how violence was conceptualised in this period, and uses this framework to investigate street violence, tavern brawls, urban rebellions, student misbehaviour, and domestic violence. The interactions between these various forms of violence are examined in order to demonstrate the complex and communicative nature of medieval brutality. What is often dismissed as dysfunctional behaviour is shown to have been highly strategic and socially integral. Violence was a performance, dependent upon the spaces in which it took place. Indeed, brutality was contingent upon social and cultural structures. At the same time, the common stereotype of the thoughtlessly brutal Middle Ages is challenged, as attitudes towards violence are revealed to have been complex, troubled, and ambivalent. Whether violence could function effectively as a form of communication which could order and harmonise society, or whether it inevitably degenerated into chaotic disorder where meaning was multivalent and incomprehensible, remained a matter of ongoing debate in a variety of contexts. Using a variety of source material, including legal records, popular literature, and sermons, Hannah Skoda explores experiences of, and attitudes towards, violence, and highlights profound contemporary ambiguity concerning its nature and legitimacy.« [Source: Oxford University Press]

Added: November 2, 2013 | Last updated: November 2, 2013