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The Discourse of Interpersonal Violence

Seminar Questions

  • To what extent did interpersonal violence constitute 'the common thread of human relations and of the sociability characteristic of various groups in the population' (Robert Muchembled)?
  • How did responses to different forms of interpersonal violence vary in early modern Europe?

Required Reading

All students should read

Ruff, Julius R., Violence in Early Modern Europe 1500-1800 (Cambridge, 2001), Chapter 4.

AND two of the following items:


E-Resources


Further Reading

Amussen, S.D., ‘“Being Stirred to Much Unquietness”: Violence and Domestic Violence in Early Modern England’, Journal of Women’s History 6 (1994), 70-89.

Amussen, S.D., ‘Punishment, Discipline and Power: The Social Meanings of Violence in Early Modern England’, Journal of British Studies 34 (1995), 1-34.

Anglo, Sydney, The Martial Arts of Renaissance Europe (New Haven, 2000)

Arnade, Peter, and Walter Prevenier, Honor, Vengeance, and Social Trouble: Pardon Letters in the Burgundian Low Countries (Ithaca, NY, 2015)

Astarita, Tommaso, Village Justice: Community, Family, and Popular Culture in Early Modern Italy (Baltimore, 1999)

Bailey, Joanne, and Loreen Giese, 'Marital cruelty: reconsidering lay attitudes in England, c. 1580 to 1850', The History of the Family 18 (2013), 289-305

Barahona, Renato, Sex Crimes, Honour, and the Law in Early Modern Spain: Vizcaya, 1528-1735 (Toronto, 2003)

Boes, Maria R., Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Germany: courts and adjudicatory practices in Frankfurt am Main, 1562-1696 (Farnham, 2013)

Carroll, Stuart, ed., Cultures of Violence: Interpersonal Violence in Historical Perspective (Basingstoke, 2007)

Cockburn, J.S., ‘Patterns of Violence in English Society: Homicide in Kent 1560-1985’, Past and Present 130 (1991), 70-106.

Cohen, Elizabeth S., ‘The Trials of Artemisia Gentileschi: A Rape as History’, Sixteenth Century Journal 31 (2000), 47-75.

Cohen, Thomas V., and Elizabeth S. Cohen, Words and Deeds in Renaissance Rome: Trials Before the Papal Magistrates (Toronto, 1993)

Cohen, Thomas V., Love and Death in Renaissance Italy (Chicago, 2004)

Cohn, Samuel, ‘Sex and Violence on the Periphery: The Territorial State in Early Renaissance Florence’, in Samuel Cohn, Women in the Streets: Essays on Sex and Power in Renaissance Italy (Baltimore, 1996), pp. 98-136.

Cronin, John Jeremiah, 'Honour, Duelling and Royal Power in Exile : a case-study of the banished Caroline Stuart Court, c.1649-c.1660', Crime, History and Societies 17/2 (2013), 47-69.

Dall'Aglio, Stefano, The Duke's Assassin: Exile and Death of Lorenzino de' Medici, trans. Donald Weinstein (New Haven, 2015)

Davies, Jonathan, Culture and Power: Tuscany and its Universities 1537-1609 (Leiden, 2009), pp. 157-78.

Davis, Robert C., The War of the Fists: Popular Culture and Public Violence in Late Renaissance Venice (New York and Oxford, 1994)

Dean, Trevor, ‘Gender and Insult in an Italian City: Bologna in the later Middle Ages’, Social History 29 (2004), 217-31.

Dean, Trevor, ‘Marriage and Mutilation: Vendetta in Late-Medieval Italy’, Past and Present 157 (1997), 3-36.

Dean, Trevor, and K.J.P. Lowe, eds, Crime, Society and the Law in Renaissance Italy (Cambridge, 1994)

Dean, Trevor, and K.J.P. Lowe (eds), Murder in Renaissance Italy (Cambridge, 2017)

Dean, Trevor, Crime in Medieval Europe (Harlow, 2001)

Dolan, Frances, Dangerous Familiars: Representations of Domestic Crime in England, 1550-1700 (Ithaca, 1994)

Eisner, Manuel, 'Long-Term Historical Trends in Violent Crime', Crime and Justice 30 (2003), 83-142.

Ewan, Elizabeth, 'Impatient Griseldas: Women and the Perpetration of Violence in Sixteenth-Century Glasgow', Florilegium 28 (2011), 149-168.

Farr, James R., A Tale of Two Murders: Passion and Power in Seventeenth-Century France (Durham, NC, 2005)

Ferraro, Joanne M., ‘The Power to Decide: Battered Wives in Early Modern Venice’, Renaissance Quarterly 48 (1995), 492-512.

Ferraro, Joanne M., Marriage Wars in Late Renaissance Venice (New York, 2002)

Finch, Andrew, ‘The Nature of Violence in the Middle Ages: An Alternative Perspective’, Historical Research 70 (1997), 249-68.

Finch, Andrew, ‘Women and Violence in the Later Middle Ages: the Evidence of the Officiality of Cerisy’, Continuity and Change 7 (1992), 23-45.

Fletcher, Anthony, Gender, Sex and Subordination in England 1500-1800 (New Haven, 1995) [Chapter 10]

Foyster, E., ‘A Laughing Matter? Marital Discord and Gender Control in Seventeenth-Century England’, Rural History 4 (1993), 5-21.

Foyster, E., ‘Male Honour, Social Control, and Wife Beating in Late Stuart England’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6th ser., 6 (1996)

Frevert, Ute, ‘The Taming of the Noble Ruffian: Male Violence and Dueling in Early Modern and Modern Germany’, in Pieter Spierenburg, ed., Men and Violence: Gender, Honor, and Rituals in Modern Europe and America (Columbus, OH, 1998), pp. 37-63.

Gaskill, Malcolm, ‘Reporting Murder: Fiction in the Archives in Early Modern England’, Social History 23 (1998), 1-30.

Gaskill, Malcolm, Crime and Mentalities in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 2000)

Gowing, Laura, ‘Secret Births and Infanticide in Seventeenth-Century England’, Past and Present 156 (1997), 88-115.

Gowing, Laura, Domestic Dangers: Women, Words, and Sex in Early Modern London (Oxford, 1996)

Greenfield, Anne, (ed.), Interpreting Sexual Violence, 1660-1800 (London, 2013)

Greenshields, Malcolm, An Economy of Violence in Early Modern France: Crime and Justice in the Haute Auvergne, 1587-1664 (University Park, 1994)

Harrison, Dick, 'Murder and Execution within the Political Sphere in Fifteenth Century Scandinavia', Scandia 63/2 (1997), 259-79.

Heijden, Manon van der, ‘Women as Victims of Sexual and Domestic Violence in Seventeenth-Century Holland: Criminal Cases of Rape, Incest, and Maltreatment in Rotterdam and Delft’, Journal of Social History 33 (2000), 623-44.

Hughes, Steven C., 'Soldiers and Gentlemen: The Rise of the Duel in Renaissance Italy', Journal of Medieval Military History 5 (2007), 99–152.

Hurl-Eamon, Jennine, Gender and Petty Violence in London, 1680-1720 (Columbus, OH, 2005)

Ingram, Martin, ‘Child Sexual Abuse in Early Modern England’ in M.J. Braddick and J. Walter, eds, Negotiating Power in Early Modern Society: Order, Hierarchy and Subordination in Britain and Ireland (Cambridge, 2001), pp. 63-84, 257-62.

Ingram, Martin, ‘Ridings, Rough Music and “the Reform of Popular Culture” in Early Modern England’, Past and Present 105 (1984)

Ingram, Martin, Church Courts, Sex and Marriage in England, 1570-1640 (Cambridge, 1987)

Jackson, Mark, ed., Infanticide: Historical Perspectives on Child Murder and Concealment, 1550-2000 (Aldershot, 2002)

Jaquet, Daniel, Karin Verelst and Timothy Dawson, eds, Late Medieval and Early Modern Fight Books: Transmission and Tradition of Martial Arts in Europe (14th-17th Centuries) (Leiden, 2016)

Kane, Brendan, The Politics and Culture of Honour in Britain and Ireland, 1541-1641 (Cambridge, 2014)

Karras, Ruth Mazo, From Boys to Men: Formations of Masculinity in Late Medieval Europe (Philadelphia, 2003)

Kermode, Jenny, and Garthine Walker, eds, Women, Crime and the Courts in Early Modern England (London, 1994)

Kesselring, K. J., 'Bodies of Evidence: Sex and Murder (or Gender and Homicide) in Early Modern England, c.1500–1680', Gender & History 27 (2015), 245-62

Kiernan, V.G., The Duel in European History: Honour and the Reign of Aristocracy (Oxford, 1988)

Kilday, Anne-Marie, A History of Infanticide in Britain c. 1600 to the Present (Basingstoke, 2013)

King, Emily L., Civil Vengeance : Literature, Culture, and Early Modern Revenge (Cornell, 2019)

Kollmann, Nancy Shields, By Honor Bound: State and Society in Early Modern Russia (Ithaca, 1999)

Laitinen, Rtta, 'Nighttime Street Fighting and the Meaning of Place: A Homicide in a Seventeenth-Century Swedish Provincial Town', Journal of Urban History 33 (2007), 602-619.

Lidman, Satu, 'Violence or justice? Gender-specific structures and strategies in early modern Europe', The History of the Family 18 (2013), 238-60.

Loetz, Francisca, A New Approach to the History of Violence: "sexual assault" and "sexual abuse" in Europe, 1500-1850, trans. Rosemary Selle (Leiden, 2015)

MacMillan, Ken, (ed.), Stories of True Crime in Tudor and Stuart England (London, 2015)

McMahon, Richard, Joachim Eibach and Randolph Roth, 'Making sense of violence ? Reflections on the history of interpersonal violence in Europe', Crime, History and Societies 17/2 (2013), 5-26.

Manning, Roger B., Swordsmen: the Martial Ethos in the Three Kingdoms (New York, 2003)

Muchembled, Robert, La Violence au Village: Sociabilité et comportements populaires en Artois du XVe au XVIIe siècle (Turnhout, 1989)

Muravyeva, Marianna (ed.), Domestic Disturbances, Patriarchal Values: Violence, Family and Sexuality in Early Modern Europe, 1600-1900 (Abingdon, 2016)

Muravyeva, Marianna, '"A king in his own household": domestic discipline and family violence in early modern Europe reconsidered', The History of the Family 18 (2103), 227-37

Muravyeva, Marianna, '"Till Death Us Do Part": spousal homicide in early modern Russia', The History of the Family 18 (2013), 306-30

Naphy, William, Sex Crimes From Renaissance to Enlightenment (Stroud, 2002)

Peltonen, Markku, The Duel in Early Modern England: Civility, Politeness and Honour (Cambridge, 2003)

Perry, Mary Elizabeth, Crime and Society in Early Modern Seville (Hanover, NH, 1980)

Perry, Mary Elizabeth, Gender and Disorder in Early Modern Seville (Princeton, NJ, 1990)

Povolo, Claudio, 'Liturgies of Violence: Social Control and Power Relationships in the Republic of Venice between the 16th and 18th Centuries', in Eric R. Dursteler (ed.), A Companion to Venetian History 1400-1797 (Leiden, 2013), pp. 513-42. Brill e-book

Reinhardt, Steven G., Violence and Honor in Prerevolutionary Périgord (Woodbridge, 2018)

Roberts, Benjamin B., Sex and Drugs Before Rock 'n' Roll: Youth Culture and Masculinity During Holland's Golden Age (Amsterdam, 2014)

Roper, Lyndal, ‘Will and Honour: Sex, Words and Power in Criminal Trials’, Radical History Review 43 (1989), 45-71.

Rose, Colin, 'Plague and Violence in Early Modern Italy', Renaissance Quarterly 71/3 (2018), 1000–1035.

Rose, Colin, '“To be remedied of any vendetta” : Petitions and the Avoidance of Violence in early modern Parma', Crime, History and Socieities 16/2 (2012), 5-27.

Rose, Colin, A Renaissance of Violence: Homicide in Early Modern Italy (Cambridge, 2019)

Rublack, Ulinka, The Crimes of Women in Early Modern Germany (Oxford, 2001)

Rudolph, J., ‘Rape and Resistance: Women and Consent in Seventeenth-Century English Legal and Political Thought’, Journal of British Studies 39 (2000), 157-184.

Ruff, Julius R., Violence in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800 (Cambridge, 2001)

Ruggiero, Guido, The Boundaries of Eros: Sex Crime and Sexuality in Renaissance Venice (New York, 1985)

Ruggiero, Guido, Violence in Early Renaissance Venice (New Brunswick, 1980)

Schwerhoff, Gerd, 'Early Modern Violence and the Honour Code : From Social Integration to Social Distinction?', Crime, History and Societies 17/2 (2013), 27-46.

Sharpe, J.A., and Lawrence Stone, ‘Debate: The History of Violence in England, Some Observations’, Past and Present 108 (1985), 206-24.

Sharpe, J.A., Crime in Early Modern England, 1550-1750, 2nd ed. (London, 1999)

Sharpe, J.A., Crime in Seventeenth-Century England: A County Study (Cambridge, 1983)

Sharpe, J.A. , ‘Domestic Homicide in Early Modern England’, Historical Journal 24 (1981), 29-48.

Shepard, Alexandra, Meanings of Manhood in Early Modern England (Oxford, 2003) [Chapter 5: "The violence of manhood".]

Spierenburg, Pieter, ‘Knife Fighting and Popular Codes of Honor in Early Modern Amsterdam’, in Pieter Spierenburg, ed., Men and Violence: Gender, Honor, and Rituals in Modern Europe and America (Columbus, OH, 1998), pp. 103-27.

Stone, Lawrence, ‘Interpersonal Violence in English Society, 1300-1980’, Past and Present 101 (1983), 22-33.

Taylor, Scott K., Honor and Violence in Golden Age Spain (New Haven, 2008)

Taylor, Scott K., 'Women, Honor, and Violence in a Castilian Town, 1600-1650', The Sixteenth Century Journal 35/4 (2004), 1079-1100.

Toivo, Raisa Maria, 'Violence between parents and children: courts of law in early modern Finland', The History of the Family 18 (2013), 331-48

Toulalan, Sarah, '"Is He a Licentious Lewd Sort of a Person?": Constructing the Child Rapist in Early Modern England', Journal of the History of Sexuality 23 (2014), 21-52.

van der Heijden, Manon, 'Women, Violence and Urban Justice in Holland c. 1600-1838', Crime, History and Societies 17/2 (2013), 71-100.

Vigarello, Georges, A History of Rape: Sexual Violence in France from the 16th to the 20th Century, trans. Jean Birell (Cambridge, 2001)

Walker, Garthine, Crime, Gender and the Social Order in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 2003).

Weinstein, Donald, The Captain’s Concubine: Love, Honor, and Violence in Renaissance Tuscany (Baltimore, 2000)

    Brouwer, Brawling Peasants