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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
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
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
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
Bonnie Clementsson

Partial summary and overview, 1680–1750 Around the turn of the century in 1700, Swedish society was permeated by religious ideas. The incest prohibitions were described in Leviticus in the Bible which had, by way of its addition to the national law code in 1608, been made the norm for Swedish legislation. The crime of incest was primarily perceived as an offence against God's law, a crime which could not be atoned for in any other way than by death. Previous research has shown that the penal legislation was made more stringent in all Protestant

in Incest in Sweden, 1680–1940