Violence In Society

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By Stuart Carroll

French manners and civility have been the version for eu civilization, whereas feud is linked to backward societies. but in France hundreds of thousands of fellows died in duels during which the intended ideas of honour have been on a regular basis flouted. during this distinctive and unique booklet Stuart Carroll explores the character of vengeance and divulges the darkish aspect of Renaissance civilization.

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Guérin, ‘Recueil des documents dans les registres de la chancellerie de France (1456–1464)’, Archives historiques du Poitou, 35 (1906), pp. xviii–xxv. ⁴⁵ For example: AD Seine-Maritime 1B 3210, 29 July 1587; BN MS Fr 21810 fo. 53, 30 Mar. 1611. ⁴⁶ AN X2b 1177, 3 Dec. 1600. ⁴⁷ R. Grand, Anjony: une race—un château (Paris: Picard, 1951). 40 The Structure of Vindicatory Violence these attacks, his enemy stormed to the altar and tore up it up in the presence of the congregation; they smashed the pews in Anjony’s chapel, forcing him and his family to celebrate mass in the safety of their castle.

La Beraudière, Combat, 92. AN X2b 1198, 13 July 1632, recounts the consequences of an unpaid dowry. AN JJ 263 fo. 393v Apr. 1524. ⁷ AN JJ 199 fo. 242, June 1464. Floquet, ii. 454–5. ⁹ Testators who tried to benefit certain children in their wills in contravention of law codes which cherished partible inheritance were storing up future trouble. ¹⁰ Jean de Saint-Chamans’s behaviour was more unforgivable and no less destructive of familial harmony. ¹¹ In the early sixteenth century, before the classic age of the duel, disputed inheritances were still occasions for a formal challenge of combat (gaiges de bataille).

These major archives were supplemented with a variety of other Parisian court and prison records. The records in Paris were the start of the serendipitous process of pursuing the paper trail into the provinces: local judicial records and family papers were consulted to flesh the bare bones established by the Parisian material. The vastness of the undertaking required that some leads be privileged over others. I pursued cases where there was evidence of blood taking, and concentrated my energies on a swathe of the centre and south-west—Poitou, the Marche, Angoumois, Limousin, Quercy, Périgord, and Auvergne—in departmental archives where there was good record survival.

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