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By expanding the geographical scope of the history of violence and war, this volume challenges both Western and state-centric narratives of the decline of violence and its relationship to modernity. It highlights instead similarities across early modernity in terms of representations, legitimations, applications of, and motivations for violence. It seeks to integrate methodologies of the study of violence into the history of war, thereby extending the historical significance of both fields of research. Thirteen case studies outline the myriad ways in which large-scale violence was understood and used by states and non-state actors throughout the early modern period across Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Atlantic, and Europe, demonstrating that it was far more complex than would be suggested by simple narratives of conquest and resistance. Moreover, key features of imperial violence apply equally to large-scale violence within societies. As the authors argue, violence was a continuum, ranging from small-scale, local actions to full-blown war. The latter was privileged legally and increasingly associated with states during early modernity, but its legitimacy was frequently contested and many of its violent forms, such as raiding and destruction of buildings and crops, could be found in activities not officially classed as war.

Vũ Đức Liêm

 direct manipulation of peasant life and their authority ranged from organizing village defence to creating surtaxes and conducting land-grabbing. They were very familiar with violence. In 1485, Le dynastic records already mentioned ‘epidemic local bullying’ and ordered those responsible to be subjected to the law.24 Hue’s failure to govern the villages after 1802, however, led to unprecedented hardship. The unique nature of Nguyen administration allowed early nineteenth-century local gentry more space to exercise their dominance over the countryside. First, the state law code enforced

in A global history of early modern violence
Duncan Sayer

. In particular, this chapter is interested in family, household and kinship, themes that have cropped up throughout this book. It situates the detailed explorations presented in each of the previous chapters alongside an exploration of Anglo-Saxon historical information, with a particular emphasis on contemporary (seventh-century) law codes. After all, the people buried in these sites were alive when the laws were first spoken about and written down, and as a result they were constructed from the same Zeitgeist , the same blood, sweat and attitudes of the

in Early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries
Open Access (free)
Donna Beth Ellard

centuries, which interdict infant abandonment, with the exception of deformity, arguing that ‘[p]hysically impaired children … if reared, would present too great a demand on resources and in the future would be limited in providing for themselves and contributing to the community's economy’. 28 In addition to the sagas and law codes, which mention child abandonment with some frequency, archaeological evidence supports this practice as a fact of early medieval life. Archaeologists have, for several decades, discussed the

in Dating Beowulf
State-based institutions to advocate for gender equality
Anne Marie Goetz

women’s organizations has been almost insultingly cursory, showing an astonishing degree of condescension and disregard for women’s perspectives on public policy. For example, in the recent process of reforming the country’s Islamic family law code, the Moudouana, managed by the King, women’s organizations were only peripherally consulted. They were contacted in writing; public debate and the risk of conflict were avoided. Not a single woman from the women’s movement sat on the commission charged with revising this critical piece of legislation. The resulting

in Mainstreaming gender, democratizing the state?
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

creation of (Offa’s) Mercian law code.89 She is the mother of the heir to the kingdom, who was under age. She ruled as a powerful widow in the stead of a minor and after her death her son took over. Thus she is situated within a family context, ruling for her son. Women in contemporary society were at the most powerful stage of the female life cycle as widows, so Geoffrey here draws on a cultural norm to reinforce his message because Marcia’s situation as a widow was one with which secular society could identify.90 Happy marriages feature in Geoffrey, for example the

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Rousseau as a constitutionalist
Mads Qvortrup

Moses by the Lord (Exodus 20), was the birth of constitutionalism (Finer 1997). For the first time in history, a polity established the principle that the power of the king, or ruler, was restricted by a higher law. As a political historian has observed ‘the monarch [was] bound by an explicit and written law code imposed upon him, coequally with his subjects, from the outside’ (Finer 1997: 239, italics in the original). In introducing this doctrine, the Jews established, before anyone else – and at a time when unrestricted despotism was the order of the day – the

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Hans Peter Broedel

stria who is proven to have eaten a man is liable to a fine of 8000 denarii.7 In later law codes, it was rather the belief in such creatures that was more often condemned, with women who were accused of being monstrous witches frequently entitled to compensation. The continuing presence of such laws testifies to the durability of the belief that certain women could be strigae in fact, as do similar entries in early-medieval penitentials and the later exempla of preachers, and this popular belief existed side by side with the educated, clerical position approved by the

in The Malleus Maleficarum and the construction of witchcraft
Unreadable things in Beowulf
James Paz

though she may be, Grendel’s mother is nevertheless demonstrating that she knows the rules of this game. According to Leslie Lockett, extant Anglo-​Saxon law codes ‘do not prescribe the display of corpses, but they do preserve the distinction between the legitimate killing of an offender and secret murder’. Lockett notes that whereas Grendel’s killings are without just cause and are therefore kept concealed, his mother’s ‘slaying of Æschere is –​at least from her perspective –​a legitimate requital of her own son’s death, for which reason she prominently displays the

in Nonhuman voices in Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture
Nico Randeraad

when the government of Charles Rogier introduced reforms, and a conservative reaction was unthinkable in the young, liberal, unitary state. Belgium had a constitution and a liberal representative system, and could boast of a reasonably stable parliamentary culture. The Belgian constitution of 1831 served as a model for the constitutional law code permitted by King Charles Albert of Sardinia of the House of Savoy in Piedmont in 1848. Belgium’s municipal act of 1836 was studied carefully in Turin and The Hague, when the Piedmontese and Dutch governments were devising

in States and statistics in the nineteenth century