Medieval Crime and Social Control
Barbara Hanawalt, David Wallace
U of Minnesota Press, 1999 - Social Science - 259 pages
Crime is a matter of interpretation, and never was this truer than in he Middle Ages, when societies faced with new ideas and pressures were continually forced to rethink what a crime was -- and what was a crime. This collection undertakes a thorough exploration of shifting definitions of crime and changing attitudes toward social control in medieval Europe.
These essays reveal how various forces in medieval society interacted and competed in interpreting and influencing mechanisms for social control. Drawing on a wide range of historical and literary sources -- legal treatises, court cases, statutes, poems, romances, and comic tales -- the contributors consider topics including fear of crime, rape and violence against women, revenge and condemnations of crime, learned dispute about crime and social control, and legal and political struggles over hunting rights.